Nehemiah 8:2 – So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month.
In Nehemiah 8, we see both the air and ground war of truth at work. In the New Testament, this same pattern occurs when there is the public preaching of the gospel to large groups, followed by small groups meeting in homes to build relationships and spur one another on to love and good deeds.
Air War Ground War
Deals with the masses Deals with individuals and small groups
Is event centered Is relationship centered
Draws people to the church Connects people in the church
Proclaims with authority Explains with accountability
Provides general principles Provides personal applications
Shortly following completion of the rebuilding of the wall, roughly 50,000 people moved back into the city and had practical needs for everything from housing to food. The first church service occurred only one week after the wall was completed because the worship of God was the high priority. This time of year was their equivalent of New Year’s Day and was the perfect time to get right with the Lord.
Ezra, the spiritual leader, was the counterpart to Nehemiah, who was the administrative leader. We see the two men working out of their gifting, with Nehemiah focused on stewarding things, and Ezra focused on stewarding people. The men were very humble as they willingly shared power and worked together with tremendous success.
Nehemiah 8 reports a profound moment when God the Holy Spirit really moved in the lives of people as they gathered for Bible teaching and worshipful singing. Can you think of a time in your life where you experienced something similar?