Things are looking pretty good; only one thing wrong. Okay, not a big thing compared to what we'd been through, but still...
So God gave me the idea to bring together the people, their leaders, and officials and to check the family records of those who had returned from captivity in Babylonia, after having been taken there by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Nehemiah 7: 5-6 CEV
And they are good people, giving generously to help rebuild the Temple and for all the things needed for worship. We're talking gold and silver, people! How great is that?
The priests, the Levites, the Temple guards, the musicians, many of the ordinary people, the Temple workers—all the people of Israel—settled in the towns and cities of Judah.
Nehemiah 7:73 GNT
2 So Ezra brought it to the place where the people had gathered—men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3 There in the square by the gate he read the Law to them from dawn until noon, and they all listened attentively...
5 As Ezra stood there on the platform high above the people, they all kept their eyes fixed on him. As soon as he opened the book, they all stood up. 6 Ezra said, “Praise the Lord, the great God!”
All the people raised their arms in the air and answered, “Amen! Amen!” They knelt in worship, with their faces to the ground.
Nehemiah 8: 2-3, 5-6
People started crying and carrying on because it was like looking into a mirror and seeing how we match up to the Law. (Trust me, it isn't a pretty picture.)
But you know what? God is so good; He's so good that He doesn't leave us in that place.
My boy, Ezra, and I knew this thing had to turn around in a minute. That's when the Lord showed up.
9 All the people began sobbing when they heard the commands of the law.
Then Ezra the priest, and I as governor, and the Levites who were assisting me said to them, “Don’t cry on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God-- 10 it is a time to celebrate with a hearty meal and to send presents to those in need, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. You must not be dejected and sad!”
Nehemiah 8: 9-10 TLB
But you know what, Dear Reader, through all the crazy and on a day like today, I can say, without a doubt, God loves us! He loves us and He wants the best for us. As long as we seek to stay in the center of His will, He will empower us to finish the task(s) He sets before us, and bless us into the bargain.