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Responding to the Scripture

Nehemiah 8:9

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Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah 8:9 NIV

This chapter of Nehemiah records an event that likely occurred shortly after the walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt. The returning exiles had settled back into the land but came together in Jerusalem. And Ezra was instructed to read from the Book of the Law of Moses. This would have been some portion of what came to be known as the Torah, probably Deuteronomy.

As Ezra read, there were Levites available to help the people understand what was read. This went on for half of the day, and the people initially responded with morning and weeping. But the day ended in a joyous celebration. Because they now understood what had been read to them. And they were not content to do this just for one day. Ezra read from the Book of the Law, the Levites taught, and the people celebrated for a whole week. And the impact of this week went on much longer.

The people who listened to Ezra that week did not have ready access to the Scripture. What they were hearing was probably very unfamiliar to most of them. But they were eager to listen to it read and to understand what it meant. And they responded with mourning as they realized they had not been following what it said. And celebrated because they now had a better understanding of God’s word.

Respond to the Scripture

Unlike them, most of us have easy access to the Bible and can read it whenever we want. But do we? Do we go beyond just reading it to seeking understanding? And do we respond to what we read with repentance and renewed commitment? Do we celebrate because of what God’s word can teach us about God and his purpose for us? Or does it mostly sit on a shelf collecting dust?

Follow the example given to us here. Open your Bible. Read it. Study it. And respond to what the Scripture has to say to you. It will make a big difference in your life.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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