Holy Bible September 23-24 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Nehemiah 7:73b-9:37, Psalms 1, 119. Note: The Bible reading is rather long today, so you may want to split it up into two days, and then read this Bible study.

The Importance of God’s Word

How important is the Bible to you? Is it just a religious book you carry to church on Sunday or is it something more? Have you read the entire Bible? Are you well acquainted with the history of Israel and the lessons learned by his people? As we come toward the end of the Old Testament, it is hoped that this Chronological Bible study has been of great help to you in this endeavor. We will begin the New Testament September 28. For those who came to this Chronological Bible study late, or still do not feel they have a grasp on the history of Israel, Nehemiah provides a good review in chapter 9 of today’s Bible reading. Nehemiah 9:5-10:39 follows the normal pattern of the Suzerain Treaties of their day (more…).

After the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple and the Jerusalem wall there was great rejoicing. The people rejoiced in God and praised Him for all He had done for them in many Psalms of ascension (Jewish hymns usually sung on the way up to Jerusalem).

In today's Bible reading the Jewish people continue to feel grateful, so they gather together to hear the teaching from God's Word. The Israelites are greatly encouraged when the Scriptures are not only read but also explained. The Levites are good teachers because the people now understand the Scriptures. And, what they understand changes them.

Do we attend Bible studies, either in small groups or in churches so that we get a thorough understanding of the Bible and how to live? It is very necessary. God has appointed teachers and preachers in churches or other places of worship who love the Bible and are effective communicators of its teachings. We should seek to gather in such places.

The goal of Bible study, however, is not merely the collection of Biblical truths but the transformation of lives. The people of Israel are transformed by the teaching of the Scriptures. They grieve over their sins, and they rejoice at the LORD’s mercy and grace. They decide to keep the festivals at their appointed times and worship Him. During this time, they stand daily hearing God’s Word; and they listen, not just for a few minutes, but for many hours.

Psalm 119 is lengthy song that focuses on the value of God’s Word. It is a unique song in its structure.

This psalm is written in an acrostic (alphabetical) arrangement. In each paragraph (strophe) of eight verses each line begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. (The 22 strophes correspond to the 22 letters of the alphabet) So verses 1-8 each begin with the first Hebrew letter, verses 9-16 each begin with the second letter and so on [This provided a good memory tool for the Hebrew students].

The psalm is largely a collection of prayers and meditations on the Word of God, referred to by 10 synonyms….Law…Word… Saying… Commands… Statutes… Judgments… Precepts… Testimony…Way… [and] Path.

The psalmist was persecuted by men of rank and authority, who ridiculed his beliefs, seeking to put him to shame and make him give up his faith. But he strengthened himself by meditating on the Word of the Lord, which to him was his comfort, his prized possession, his rule of life, and his resource for strength - all of which drove him to desire it even more (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, by Walvoord and Zuck, © 1985, p. 879).

The theme given in Psalm 119 seems to epitomize the ministries of Ezra and
Nehemiah. While they attempted to rebuild the temple and the city walls, their people and leaders were opposed, maligned, and threatened. Three times the work was stopped, but through the prophets of Haggai and Zechariah they were encouraged to repent, return to the LORD, and to rebuild the temple and city walls. The LORD changed the hearts of the kings to pave the way for completion of their projects, and God was their defense from their hostile neighbors. Like the Israelites suffered, have you suffered persecution or the smearing of your good name? Have people threatened you or ridiculed your beliefs? Have they tried to discourage you from believing God cares and will help you? Reading the Word of God, the Bible, gives encouragement to those who are oppressed.

The Israelites are free in their land to do as they please but are still in bondage to Persia. The nation of Israel is a vassal state; Persia owns their bodies, their land, and their cattle. They are taxed for the privilege of living in their own land. They realize they are experiencing the results of the sins of their forefathers which got them into trouble, but as they read the Word of God, they know to look to Him for their help. Nehemiah prays to God that He will be sympathetic to their distress. Are we distressed by our circumstances or people around us? We can get help, too, if we seek God, read His Word and obey it.

Lessons to Live By

  • It is good to rehearse the lessons God has taught us in our lives, and His grace and mercy.
  • Attend a good church or other place of worship where the Bible is taught and its meaning is well communicated and applied.
  • The goal of Bible study is not just the collection of Bible truths. It is meant to be applied. Apply it to your life and you will be changed.
  • Are you feeling distressed because of your circumstances or because of certain people? Reading the Word of God gives encouragement to those who are oppressed.
  • Read the Word of God, listen to it, meditate on it, and obey it. It will give you light and life; it will give you understanding and direction and joy. God can help you when you seek Him with all of your heart. Do you know Him? He can give you forgiveness, peace, spiritual life and wisdom (more...)

Today’s Bible Memory Verse: Psalm 119:130 (NIV) “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

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