He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.
Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Nehemiah 8: 3-6 (NIV)
Ezra opened the book… Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
Lots of lessons here today, Lord.
Imagine listening to Your scripture, gleaning every word, with my entire attention. Listening with my whole heart, with the ears of my heart.
Ezra read from dawn till noon. These people intently paid attention and consumed Your message until You consumed them. I get antsy in church when the readings run more than five minutes or heaven forbid, the Pastor talks more than 15. No wonder I leave thirsty for more of You. I am nibbling at the great banquet and barely tasting Your goodness.
What else was happening in the minds of all those people, Lord? Ezra must have been a powerful speaker, but Your presence engulfed the crowds and elevated them into heaven. Listening to Your word releases my spirit to enter Your kingdom. Only with Your almighty word can our praise and worship break loose.
I love Your word, Lord.
I want to open the book, like Ezra and praise You with each mark on the page.
Sweep me away in Your spirit so my only response is worship with hands held high.
May AMEN pour from my depths of my soul.
Bowing down to my King, my face to the ground before You, may I sing about Your wonderful deeds, Your faithfulness and generous gifts.
Come Spirit of God – open Your word so I may see You.
May Your living word breathe life in me.
And my only word in response to Your holy word is Amen.