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Teach the Word

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | December 10, 2023 | Nehemiah 8:7-8


They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read. Nehemiah 8:8 (NIV)



According to historical records, it is estimated that the Jews had been in exile for around 95 years after the first wave of Jews returned from exile to Jerusalem, led by Zerubbabel (Ezra 1-6). This continued through the second wave led by Ezra (Ezra 7-10) and the third wave led by Nehemiah. Spending almost a century away from their homes and comfort zones, it is understandable that the hardships of being in exile could have contributed to a lack of focus and intentionality in teaching and learning the Laws of God by the subsequent generation of Israel.


Could there have been a generation of Israelites who did not know God's law? Is it possible that the preceding generation failed to teach the law to the next? Could the disorientation during the exile have made it difficult for the older generation to pass on the laws to the younger? Were there no teachers or teaching priests among the people? The people's hunger and expectation at the Water Gate to hear the Law of God being taught and their response after they heard it could confirm the answers to all the questions posed in this paragraph.


Fortunately, among the priests and Levites, there were individuals prepared and willing to teach the word and help the people to understand. The crucial role of teaching and comprehending the Laws of God was fundamental to the establishment of a new civilization, commencing after the completion of the wall.


In contemporary times, some men of God preach everything except the word of God. As a result, there is a generation growing up that is ignorant of the word of God and indifferent to spiritual matters. To positively influence and transform society, it is essential to teach and learn the word of God accurately. It lays the foundation for everything, and the absence of it can be detrimental to any society.


Furthermore, if we believe that charity begins at home, then we should consider our children as our first pupils in learning the word of God. This way, we can raise a generation that knows and respects God through His teachings.



There should be intentional teaching and learning of the Word of God in homes, schools, and churches. We all have the responsibility to prepare the next generation for the assignments God has for them. Be a teacher of the word to your children at home. Study so you can teach the next generation.



Dear Lord, give me a passion for teaching your word to the next generation. May I sustain a hunger for knowing you through your word, so I will study it and teach it accurately. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.






The word "understood" in Nehemiah 8:8 is translated from the Hebrew term "הֵיטֵב" (heitev), which conveys the idea of "making good" or "making sense." It's derived from the root "טוֹב" (tov), which generally means "good" or "pleasant." In this context, the emphasis is on the people's ability to comprehend or grasp the meaning of the Law as it was being read by Ezra.

The term is not only about intellectual understanding but also implies a sense of goodness or well-being that comes from grasping the content. Throughout the Bible, understanding is often associated with perceiving the moral or spiritual significance of something. It's not merely about acquiring knowledge but about discerning and embracing the goodness inherent in God's instructions.

In Nehemiah 8:8, the people didn't just intellectually comprehend the words; there was a deeper sense of understanding that brought about a positive response. The Word of God was not merely information; it was goodness, something beneficial to their lives. This highlights the transformative power of understanding God's Word—it doesn't just inform; it brings goodness and well-being.


As we reflect on this, we are challenged to move beyond mere intellectual understanding of Scripture. Do we approach the Word of God seeking not only knowledge but a deeper sense of its goodness and how it can positively impact our lives?

How can we cultivate a deeper sense of understanding, not just intellectually but experientially, so that God's Word becomes a source of goodness and well-being in our lives?


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