Putting God's Word into Practice…

Notes from Nehemiah (Chapter 8:1-12)

on December 6, 2014

Wow!  What a beautiful example of real revival!

UNIFIED:  “And all the people gathered AS ONE MAN into the square before the Water Gate.” (8:1a)  

HUNGRY:  ‘And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel…And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand.” (8:1b,3a)  

ATTENTIVE:  “And the ears of ALL the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.” (8:3b)

REVERENT:  “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people (on a wooden platform) and as he opened it ALL the people stood.” (8:5)

RESPONSIVE:  And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and ALL the people answered ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” (6)  They were so overwhelmed by the truth of God’s Word–so drawn into His presence–that nothing else mattered except humbly bowing in awe!  No manipulation, no formulas, no man-made eloquence–just God’s Word read and explained.

REPENTANT:  “‘This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.’ For ALL the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.” (8:9b)  God’s Word brings brokenness–a recognition that He is holy and we are not.  It exposes the areas where we are falling short.  It breaks our hearts over sin.

REVIVED:  “‘And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, ‘Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.’ And ALL the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make GREAT REJOICING, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (8:10b-12)  Rejoicing is the natural outflow of a clean heart!

What if we approached God’s Word like that all the time on Sunday mornings (or Saturday nights)?  What if we viewed it as time set apart as holy to the Lord?  What if we gathered as “one man?”  What if we were excitedly asking for the Word to be read to us?  What if we were all attentive to each word for as long as the pastor read and explained?  What if we were moved by the truth–not holding back the “Amens” and humble worship?  What if we allowed God’s truth to move us to repentance and revival?  All of us in all of our churches in all of the world…IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE!  It starts with ME!  Lord, unite my heart to fear Your name; move my heart to long for your pure truth; humble my heart to respond to Your Word–let it have full authority over my life; revive my heart so that it is overflowing with joy and rejoicing.


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