Day 38 – Confession and Praise. As the people learned about the law, they focus loot home on concession sins and praise of God’s holiness. Read Nehemiah 8:13-9:5.
Then on the second day the heads of fathers’ households of all the people, the priests and the Levites were gathered to Ezra the scribe that they might gain insight into the words of the law. They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. So they proclaimed and circulated a proclamation in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hills, and bring olive branches and wild olive branches, myrtle branches, palm branches and branches of other leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written.” So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance. Nehemiah 8:13-18 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/neh.8.13-18.NASB
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the sons of Israel assembled with fasting, in sackcloth and with dirt upon them. The descendants of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. While they stood in their place, they read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God. Now on the Levites’ platform stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah, said, “Arise, bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Your glorious name be blessed And exalted above all blessing and praise!
We see the people of Israel remember and understand a festival that they had not celebrated for years and years. So they decided to go ahead and celebrate it. This gave them an opportunity to recognize God and all that he had done to provide for them.
Celebration and praise of who God is leads to confession. As they were praising God and celebrating him, they recognized who they are and what they have done and started to confess. As they confess, that leads to praise of who God is for forgiving their sins. Do we praise God for who he is? Do we find reasons and opportunities to lift up God and all that he is and all that he’s done in our lives?
As we do this, we see a much clearer picture of who we are. We begin to understand our need for confession, our need for all that God is. As we spend time confessing our sins and being made right with God and clean, we can’t help but praise God for who he is. When was the last time we spent time in praise of God? When was the last time we spent time in confession to be made right before God? These two go together and make up an integral part of our relationship with God.