I decided to pick up my Life Journal after not having used it in awhile (I have been using a different Bible reading plan) and used it for my Bible study this morning. I flipped to the assigned reading for today: Nehemiah 7 and 8, and Acts 1. It wasn’t long before I found the verse I would journal on:
“All the people went away to eat, to drink, to send portions and to celebrate a great festival, because they understood the words which had been made known to them.” Nehemiah 8:12
You see, Ezra brought the book of the law before the people and translated it from Hebrew to Aramaic so they could understand it. The people wept (v.9) because they had not obeyed the law, but Nehemiah said, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (v. 10).
Conviction of sin brings sorrow, but true repentance brings joy and celebration! We should live in a constant state of humility and openness to correction, just as these people did. What stood out to me was the commentary in my Bible. It says, “Conviction of sin caused the people to weep, appropriate to the Day of Atonement but not to the Feast of Trumpets and the celebration of the completion of the wall.”
In Theology class yesterday I did a presentation on the Christus Victor theory of atonement, and it recalled to mind a classmate telling me a few weeks ago that the Day of Atonement was around the day of our presentation. So, as I read the notes in my Bible today, I decided to look it up. Today is the Day of Atonement. How appropriate that I “happened” to read what I did today? I almost skipped my devotional time today as I got a late start to the day and have class at 12:00pm. However, I didn’t, and decided to open up my Life Journal and do the recommended reading for the day (The Day of Atonement falls on different days each year so the Life Journal didn’t know this would happen). It wasn’t by chance, but by Design.
If you aren’t familiar with this Biblical Holy Day, it is the day forgiveness of sins is asked of God, and is usually accompanied with 24 hours of prayer and fasting. You can find out more here: Yom Kippur.
Aren’t you glad that we have a loving, forgiving God who casts our sins to the bottom of the sea? My prayer is that as we study His word we receive more and more revelation and understanding so that we can walk of the life of abundance He has planned for us. ❤