Porta das Águas

No último e mais importante dia da festa, Jesus levantou-se e disse em alta voz: Se alguém tem sede, venha a mim e beba. Quem crer em mim, como diz a Escritura, do seu interior fluirão rios de água viva. -João 7:37-38

Texto: Neemias 8:1-10

Material: uma Bíblia e cornetinhas de festa

Resumo: Neemias levou as pessoas a obedecerem os mandamentos de Deus. Nós sentimos uma felicidade dentro de nós e ganhamos uma força interior ao entender e seguir a palavra de Deus.

Nós gostamos de celebrar o início de um novo ano. Isso nos dá a chance de lembrarmos o que aconteceu durante o ano que passou e ficarmos ansiosos quanto ao futuro. Hoje eu quero contar a história de um homem de Deus que ajudou as pessoas a encontrarem alegria ao ouvir e entender a palavra de Deus.

Aproximadamente 445 anos antes de Jesus nascer, um homem chamado Neemias liderou o povo hebreu no retorno a Jerusalém. Eles eram escravos em um país distante chamado Babilônia. Apesar de terem voltado para seus lares em Jerusalém, eles precisavam recomeçar do zero. As construções foram destruídas pela guerra. Eles precisavam reconstruir a casa de oração, conhecida como Templo. Então precisavam reconstruir as muralhas da cidade para se protegerem dos inimigos. As pessoas estavam tristes e aflitas. Elas queriam relembrar dos bons tempos do passado. Queriam ter esperança quanto ao futuro delas como povo de Deus. Elas estavam sedentas pela palavra de Deus.

(Leia Neemias 8:1-3.)

No primeiro dia do ano novo, o povo se reuniu em uma praça pública ao sul do templo, próxima à porta das Águas. Era um lugar onde toda a família poderia ficar reunida. Não era um lugar só para homens, mas também para mulheres e crianças. A porta das Águas recebia esse nome porque perto dela havia um rio subterrâneo que era usado para fornecer água ao templo. A porta das Águas dava para uma área do templo onde os sacerdotes realizavam um ritual no qual se banhavam, se purificando para fazerem seus deveres no templo. Essa área exigia o uso de “água viva” ou água corrente, e não uma água armazenada em jarras ou potes. Por ser o primeiro dia do ano novo (Rosh haShaná), os sacerdotes tocaram as trombetas de chifre de carneiro, chamadas shofar, para celebrar.

Pediram que Esdras, o escriba, lesse as Leis de Deus escritas nos livros de Moisés (Torá). Eles são os primeiros cinco livros da nossa Bíblia. [Mostre a Bíblia.) Eles fizeram isso desde o amanhecer até o meio-dia! (E vocês acham que as nossas missas são muito demoradas? ) Já que muitas pessoas não entendiam a língua hebraica original, os sacerdotes explicaram tudo na língua que elas conheciam e as ajudaram a entender o que as Leis significavam. Quando as pessoas perceberam que não estavam seguindo as Leis de Deus, elas ficaram tristes e choraram. Mas Neemias falou para elas não chorarem, porque Deus queria que todos ficassem felizes naquele dia. Porque a alegria do Senhor os fortalecerá. (verso 10) Deus daria a eles a força e a coragem para viver, mesmo quando estivessem passando por tempos difíceis.

Então as pessoas se dedicaram a servir Deus novamente e houve uma grande renovação (renascimento).

Poucos dias depois eles começaram a ver a Festa dos Tabernáculos. Agora deixem-me avançar um pouco no tempo. Aproximadamente 475 anos depois nesta festa, os sacerdotes estavam levando jarras de água para a área do banho ritual através da porta das Águas. O Senhor Jesus se levantou e disse em alta voz para as pessoas: Se alguém tem sede, venha a mim e beba. Ele prometeu dar o Espírito Santo àqueles que acreditassem nele. Isso seria como uma água viva purificando o interior deles! (veja João 7:37-38.)

Com essa lição nós aprendemos que não é importante só ouvir a palavra de Deus da Bíblia, mas também entendê-la, prestando atenção quando os nossos professores da escola dominical explicam o significado dela. A palavra de Deus é para TODAS as pessoas. Deus nos dará uma felicidade interior, a alegria do Senhor, conforme crescemos espiritualmente ao aprendermos como Deus gostaria que vivêssemos.

Oremos: Querido Senhor Jesus, obrigado pela alegria que você nos dá quando ouvimos a sua palavra na Bíblia. Amém.

(Passe pequenas trombetas para as crianças tocarem.) Vamos mostrar a todos como estamos felizes agora: vamos tocar nossas trombetas para agradecer a Deus pelo ano novo!

©2004 por Jim Kerlin. Todos os direitos reservados.

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