Bible Readings and Devotion for October 17, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for October 17, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
The Book of Nehemiah is a powerful, first person account of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The city had been destroyed as a result of God’s judgment on the people for their persistent and unrepentant sin. The Babylonians were the destroyers. They took the people into slavery and exile in Babylon, leaving only the broken-down city and the weakest of the people.
In chapter 4 the Jewish people are working diligently to repair the walls. Without walls, the city was vulnerable to enemy and criminal attack. The early part of the chapter tells of the plots by nearby enemies, and how God stopped it. As the account moves along we hear about new techniques which the people used to be ready for possible, future attacks. The core technique was to have a sword either in hand or on their belt at all times. Their work situation was split into two priorities: build the wall and fight off enemies. That way, if nearby enemies attacked again, the people would be immediately ready to defend their city.
In an even greater way, our life today in Christ is similar to this. Daily, and all throughout our lives in faith with Jesus, we have a split reality. At the same time, we have two priorities. It is as if we have our hands in two places. One hand is raised up to God in praise and honor. We are also looking with expectation to the final appearing of Jesus or his call for us to be in our eternal home. The other hand is reached out in sharing our faith and fellowship with and in self-giving service to others in this world. This is not always easy, but it is godly, it is the calling of Jesus for us. We live in a life of dual priorities, but both are important for our faith and life, just as the Jews had two priorities to protect their city.
Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, you turn us from the old life of sin. Grant that we who are reborn to new life in him may live in righteousness and holiness all our days, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.