8 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
When the people finished building the wall of Jerusalem the next thing they wanted was the Word of God. We have here a description of Ezra’s first public reading of the scriptures. The people wanted to hear it and Ezra publicly read it. They read from morning till noon and the people were attentive to the reading.
For some of the people there that day, this was the first time in their lives they had heard the law read. They had come from captivity, were born in Babylon, and had no Temple there. The Jews would gather in Babylon but would not sing the songs of the Lord there. Some may have heard the law of God read but did not know it well. And so, with anxious ears and hearts they gathered for Ezra to read God’s law to them.
What a reading that must have been. The walls completed the people felt safe in their own city for the first time in close to 80 years. Their parents were taken as teenagers away from it. Most memories of it were from times of battle and destruction. Now they were standing in the city, the Temple was rebuilt, the walls were rebuilt, the enemy was on the outside and the people of God were gathered inside listening to His Word.
Can we be this excited to hear God’s word? Or has His word become so commonplace to us that when it is read we would rather be somewhere else doing something else? Consider this the next time someone is reading the Bible out-loud. Consider that you are hearing the very Words of God given for you to know Him and to know how to live.
As we study prayer we learn that Bible reading and prayer go hand-in-hand. We talk to God through prayer and He talks to us through His word. May God’s word never become something commonplace and boring but may it ever live in us as God speaks to us through it.
Last night was a blessed time hearing the report and the message from the Bachorik family. What an amazing ministry God has given them and us through them. I am very thankful that we support the labor of this family.
We focused our prayer last night on the life-and-death opportunities of VBS. As children around us face life they need the Lord. If they find Him they find life. If they don’t find Him they remain in death. VBS is not just something we do, no, it is life-or-death ministry to those whom God brings for us to minister His word and grace to. Join in fervent prayer for God to do what He delights in doing, that is, saving souls from death and lives from sin.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS