Reflection Guide - Nehemiah 8:13-18

Key points from the sermon:

  • On the second day, the heads of houses gather to study God’s Word.  The men take initiative and lead their homes spiritually. Husbands, fathers - your family hungers for God’s Word.  Don’t leave them to figure it out on their own, or worse, to develop an appetite for something else. Men, press into God’s Word and lead your family into it.

  • In reading God’s Word, they became aware of God’s command to honor the Feast of Booths (or tents/makeshift temporary shelters).  They obeyed immediately, and they obeyed fully.  

  • By celebrating the Feast of Booths, they are remembering God’s faithfulness.  They are declaring and displaying His faithfulness to the world. They are ultimately putting their hope not in their restored walls, but in God and His coming, eternal, unshakeable kingdom!

  • Most notably, they did all of this with “very great rejoicing.”  They obeyed with joy!  As we enjoy being God’s people, we will obey with “very great rejoicing,” and we won’t be able to help but declare and display His faithfulness and make Him known in every aspect (private and public) of our lives.

Scripture to meditate on this week:

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome.” -1 John 5:3

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you see happening in Neh. 8:13-18?

  2. In these verses, we see immediate, complete, and joyful obedience to God’s commands.  Which aspect do you personally struggle with the most regarding obedience: immediate, complete, or joyful?  What are the obstacles preventing us from immediate, complete, and joyful obedience to God’s commands?

  3. In general, do you view God’s commands as burdensome or good?  Why or how so?

  4. How is Jesus good news to us when we can’t or won’t obey immediately, completely, and joyfully?

  5. What might be the result of immediate, complete, and joyful obedience to God?  How would this kind of obedience impact our lives, our families, our church, our city, our world?

Practice:

This week think of one area in your life where you struggle to obey God immediately, completely, or joyfully.  Pray through that one thing and surrender it to God, trusting that God’s commands are not burdensome and trusting that immediate, complete, and joyful obedience is possible because of Jesus!  Also, remember that this coming Sunday is a Scatter Sunday. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate God’s faithfulness in public, to declare and display His goodness before a lost and dying world!  However you choose to honor Scatter Sunday, do so with “very great rejoicing,” that others may come to know our Lord and Savior!