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October 07, 2013

Illumination

Nehemiah 8

8 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.

8 They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

You cannot afford to be indifferent when you read the Scripture. When Ezra read the Law to the Israelites during Nehemiah’s time and the Holy Spirit illuminated it to the minds of the people listening to it, there was repentance and rejoicing.

The best way for Scripture to make sense is to ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds. Ask the Lord before you read the Bible or listen to a preaching and for pastors before preparing for a message: “Lord what do you want to say? Holy Spirit speak to me as I read your word. Give me wisdom to understand the Scripture and illuminate my mind to see your truth.” I do this almost always and it actually works. I pray that I might be illuminated by the Word and that when I preach the people will be illuminated to the truth of God’s word and the gospel.