There are many lessons for a Christian to learn from in the Old Testament both good and bad. The Israelites were God’s chosen people, but they were a people that didn’t always choose God. The Book of Nehemiah contains a portion of their during a time they were choosing God coming from a captivity they endured after not choosing God. Nehemiah and Ezra were dealing with a people who wanted to follow God, but didn’t know how, so in Nehemiah 8 we see how that was changed.
They first requested the Law to be read to them by Ezra in verses 1-7. Instead of rejecting the knowledge of God these people wanted to know more. (Hosea 4:6, II Pt. 3:18)
They then inspected the Law to understand is better and where they were failing to follow it in verses 8-12. The Law was explained to them, and they were reasoning through the scripture to have a better grasp on it. (Acts 17:3,11)
Finally, the accepted the Law through verse 13 and the remainder of the chapter. The Israelites understood the errors they were committing and commandments they were not following and so they began to make changes in their ways to be right with God.
The lesson for a Christian here is that we should be interested in hearing scripture, have a desire to learn what scripture means, and a willingness to make the changes in our lives that the scriptures demand. (Ps 119:105, II Tim 3:16,17, Col 3:16) The Israelites were not perfect and the would make other mistakes, but Nehemiah 8 shows us a people that we can look to as an example of how God’s people should be.