“On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people” (v1). While Nehemiah the governor was back in Babylon, the new settlement in Judah began to slip away from faithfulness to God. When he returned and the Scriptures were read publicly, it was obvious: the people had been ignoring the Sabbath (v15) and neglecting to bring their tithes and offerings to the Temple. Sadly, without financial support, the Levites went back to their farms (v10), rather than serve in the Temple.
“As soon as the people heard the Law …” (v3). Our human tendency will always be to drift back into old ways, but God’s Word, through His Spirit, clarifies the right path.