Editor’s Note: The AMI devotionals from Nov. 9-11 are written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church (S. D.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
How important is the Bible to you? Before you give the quick “Christian” response, please pause for a moment and reflect honestly.
It was reported that Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish writer and poet, and a committed Christian, while on his deathbed, said to his secretary, “Bring me the book.” To this request, his secretary thought of the thousands of books in Scott’s library and asked, “Dr. Scott, which book?” “The book,” replied Scott, “the Bible – the only book for a dying man!”
Of course, the Bible isn’t just a book for a dying man, but for a living person as well. Jesus once said in the heat of spiritual battle: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matt. 4:4).
The Israelites had returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah’s supervision. And while the walls would provide some level of safety and protection from surrounding enemies, the leaders understood that unless the Lord watched over the city, the walls and the guards were only standing in vain (cf., Ps. 127:1). Thus, they gathered all of the citizens in one assembly under the ministry of the Word.
The scene depicted in these verses of Nehemiah reminds us to hunger for God’s word, for it is truth that will bring us true freedom.
Lord, Your word is a lamp unto my feet. Please use it to guide my life. Help me to hunger for Your Word and to understand it; and help me to apply Your word into my everyday life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Zech. 14
Lunch Break Study
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Questions to Consider
- In what ways do you personally meditate on the Law of the Lord?
- What is the outcome of a person who meditates on the Law of the Lord, day and night? What is the outcome of a wicked person who neglects the Law of the Lord?
- To “meditate” means to “read carefully” or “pore over.” The Hebrew verb is defined as “read in an undertone”—meaning intensive, careful reading and study. One may say “they read it carefully day and night,” or “they read and think about its teachings all the time,” or “they are always reading and thinking about its teachings.”
- Whose leaf does not wither. The withering of leaves is an indication that the tree is dying, or dead; so in some languages, it may be more effective to say “it stays strong and healthy.” In all that he does, he prospers. The verb “to prosper” includes all areas of life, not only spiritual but also financial and physical.
Meditate on the Word of God that you read through today. Re-read it once more carefully, and then think about why God wrote the verses/chapter.