Read for This Week’s Study: Neh. 12:27-47; 1 Chron. 25:6-8; 1 John 1:7-9; John 1:29, John 1:36; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 9:1-11.
Memory Text: “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: ‘For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel’ ” (Ezra 3:11, NKJV).
This week’s memory text gives us insight into the Hebrews’ worship practices and how their gratitude toward God had overflowed in praise to Him. In 515 B.C. they celebrated the dedication of the new temple (Ezra 6:15-18) and then, about 60 years later, the people celebrated the dedication of Jerusalem’s completed wall (Neh. 6:15-7:3; Neh. 12:27 onward).
Following the listing of genealogies in Nehemiah chapters 11 and 12, the author transitions to the time when they celebrated the dedication of the city wall. It was customary for the nation to dedicate things to God: the temple, a city wall, or even houses and public buildings. Such a dedication was thoughtfully prepared and was accompanied with singing, music, feasting, sacrifices, rejoicing, merriment, and the purification of the people. David established the practice of sacrifices during a dedication, and afterwards Israel’s leaders followed his example, starting with Solomon when he brought the ark into the temple (1 Kings 8:5).
This week we will look at how they worshiped the Lord during this time and see things that we, who worship the same Lord, can apply to ourselves.