SOAR with the bible
In reading Nehemiah 9 and 10 my overall reflection is that these passages are an example of how to read the bible well.
There is a principle that we should use when reading the bible known as SOAR (Search, Observe, Apply, and Respond) And in Nehemiah 9-10 we see what happens when we take the time to do this and to read the bible well.
In Nehemiah 9:1-6 the Israelites show us How to Search. Daily they open up the book of the law of the Lord their God (Nehemiah 9:3) and they spend a quarter of their day reading and learning from the book (Nehemiah 9:3). The Israelites want to read and learn more about who God is and to find this out they search the scripture to see who God has been in the past.
Now In Nehemiah 9:7-36 we are shown what good Observation of the bible looks like. We can see that the Israelites have not just been reading the book of the law of the Lord their God but they have also been observant of what is going on in each of the books, and have a good understanding of what each book is trying to say. They can see that God is faithful even though their ancestors disobeyed God (Nehemiah9:16-19). We can see that they have looked at each book of the Old Testament in depth and interpreted the meaning to help them understand it.
In Nehemiah 9:32-36 we are now shown how to Apply what we have learnt. They know that when their ancestors were sinful and wicked that god punished them. They then apply this to themselves In Nehemiah (9:36). Here the Israelites have realised that because they are being sinful and are disobeying God like their ancestors did in the past, that now God is punishing them just as he did to their ancestors in the past.
Finally in Nehemiah 9:38-10:39 we see the Response. The Israelites respond to what they have learnt by making a commitment to follow the laws of God. They realise that they can’t keep doing the same thing that they have in the past so they make an agreement with everyone to follow Gods laws so that everyone knows what is expected of them and so that they can keep each other accountable.
So my reflection is this. If we want to grow in our faith then we are to use this example given to us. We need to read our bibles and see what it is trying to teach us. Once we understand it we are then able to apply it to our lives and then respond appropriately just as the Israelites did here.