Read God’s Word
Jon: Can you imagine losing the most important instructions ever and not being able to read them?
Bradon: No, that sounds like it would end in disaster!
Jon: That is what happened to the Israelites. Today we learn the importance of reading God’s word.
About the Story
Bradon: Last week, we learned about the thousands of people who returned to Judah, and that context is important.
Jon: They finished the wall, people were finding their place and roles within Judah, and God blessed them. These were good days for Judah.
Bradon: These were indeed good days for Judah. It was evident that the people desired to follow God, and as a result, God was leading them into many blessings.
Bradon: Today’s Story is found in Nehemiah chapter eight.
I have to say it sounds kind of like God commanded everyone to go on a big camping trip. They left their homes, cut branches down and lived in shelters just like they did after they left Egypt and lived in the wilderness.
Jon: It does feel a lot like summer camp too. I mean it’s a festival, people come together and have a ton of fun and then they learn about God just like we do at summer camp. Sounds to me like the Israelites stole our idea of summer camp!
Bradon: LOL – Pretty sure nobody stole anything from anyone, especially the people who lived thousands of years before us!
Jon: Fair, but I do see another similarity between summer camp and the Festival of Shelters. In today’s story, the Israelites had forgotten what was written in scripture. They had forgotten how to follow God!
Bradon: Right, and it seems that for many summer camp is great in that it refocuses people on God and how to grow in a relationship with him. It feels like the majority of campers are either introduced to the idea of a relationship with God or appreciate the encouragement and lessons on continuing to follow God.
Jon: This was exactly what was happening for the Israelites in today’s story. Many were introduced to new ideas about following God and welcomed the encouragement and lessons to follow God more closely.
Bradon: All of this came from reading God’s word. Yes, summer camp and Fesitval of Shelters sounds fun but at the core of everything is God’s word, scripture. Our lesson today is to read God’s word.
Jon: Reading God’s word will change your life. Likely not in a flash but slowly over time. The Holy Spirit challenges, encourages and cares for us through the reading of scripture.
Bradon: I would say, and I know Jon would agree with me, that no piece of literature, no book, has had a bigger impact on me than the bible. It has transformed how I view our world and has changed me and the way I live.
Jon: Well said Bradon. Later in the discussion episode, we are going to share a couple of bible resources with you, so stay tuned.
Bradon: Take time this week and read the bible.