Scripture: Nehemiah 8:2-6
Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand. Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD the great God. And all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
Insights: If you think emotions and exuberance are going to fuel us to the finish line of faith, then you are greatly mistaken. It takes something much stronger to provide lasting fuel for this kind of race and that something is the Bible. In today’s verses notice two things that were done in regards to the Word. First, they read the Bible for six hours. That time frame is what is meant by early morning until midday. God forgive us for those times in which we complain when a service goes past noon and our bellies are not feed. Second, they respected the Bible. Now, please understand, we don’t worship the Bible. God is the only One to be worshipped. The Bible, however, is God’s Word to us and therefore ought to be treated properly. These Jewish worshippers in Jerusalem stood up when Ezra opened the book. There are times we ought to stand in honor of the reading of God’s Word and this service was such an occasion. As the Words were read notice what else the people did. They said, “Amen, Amen!” As a preacher, let me tell you that is like sickim’ to a bulldog. You ought to encourage your pastor as he preaches by verbally giving affirmation to those points the Spirit pricks your heart. Notice a third thing they did to show respect for God’s Word as it was read. They raised their hands. The overwhelming joy of those Words brought visible expressions of exhilaration. Finally, they became convicted of their sin because of the Words and they laid on the ground.
- Are you spending time daily in the Bible?
- Are you worshipping the Lord unashamedly?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Word, the Bible. Let me show the proper respect of it as I worship You. Let its instruction guide me life and ways. To You be honor and praise. Amen.