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June 19 – The joy of knowing who we are 

“And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing.” – Nehemiah 8:17 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 8:13-18, Leviticus 23:39-43

Does your family have any summer traditions? My parents got married in July and went camping for their honeymoon. When I was young, every July our family would go camping, and now I make it a priority to take my family camping each summer. Wonderful memories are made.

The Feast of Booths was about much more than a family tradition or a break from work. The feast had been forgotten, but now it would be revived to teach and connect the people with their God and His care for them. They would stay in the booths to remember that their God provided for their fathers in the wilderness for 40 years. During the feast, they would spend time with friends and family, feasting, learning the stories of how God cared for His people and that this is theirGod who is strong and mighty and faithful.

This is our God, too. We are still pilgrims, travellers, passing through this world, looking forward to the New Jerusalem to come. We still look to our God to provide for us all we need in the wilderness of life. This is what Jesus taught. When it was the Feast of Booths and the people were thinking of how God, through Moses, brought water from the rock, then Jesus declared in a loud voice, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”

God has provided for His people. He continues to provide for His people, and will provide for us until our weary days are done and we are home. Rejoice in this!

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to make you keenly aware of His past, present and future care for you. Pray that God will give you joy, even on the days you feel weary and alone.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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