Nehemiah 8:1. And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
We have always had a Christ centered ministry here. That is so mainly because of the importance that we place on the word of God. Let us resolve today to continue in steadfast service by reaffirming our dedication to the scriptures. The people in our text knew that there is great gain from simply reading God’s Word. There are many, many things that reading the Bible will do for you. Let us take a look again at our text and think about some of the blessings that this chapter says will come to us from the simple reading of the Bible.
V.1. Read the text again. It encourages fellowship with God’s people. They gathered together.
V.2-3. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
It’s for men, women and all with understanding. ALL should be equally attentive to it.
V.4. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
It inspires preaching and open faithfulness.
V.5-6. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
It creates respect for the things of God and causes worshipful humility in hearts.
V.7-8. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
Sometimes it stops you in your tracks and makes you want more of it.
V.9. And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Sometimes it makes you sad.
V.10. Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Sometimes it makes you glad.
V.11-12. So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved. And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.
It brings joy to everyday duties and the giving of gifts and love offerings.
V.13-15. And on the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers of all the people, the priests, and the Levites, unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law. And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month: And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
It brings out things for us to do that we’ve forgotten or never learned to do.
V.16. So the people went forth, and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the street of the water gate, and in the street of the gate of Ephraim.
It causes us to go and do what God would have us to do.
V.17. And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.
It brings great gladness when followed with an obedient heart.
V.18. Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.
It stirs consistent faithfulness.
Conclusion: Neh. 9:1. Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God.
It is amazing what the simple reading of God’s word can do in the lives of God’s people. When was the last time YOU were moved to set a time aside for fasting and for weaning yourself away from the things of this world that only bring carnal satisfaction to your flesh? When was the last time you made a conscious effort to concentrate on spiritual things rather than sports, leisure and entertainment? When was the last time you were truly separated from the world? We have read God’s word to you today. Do you feel the need to confess your sin and take a stand for the truth of God? Do you not agree that it is time to get your life in tune with the Bible even if it takes half the day to get to the place where you can truly worship God in Spirit and in Truth? If you are unsaved, we call on you to repent and believe the gospel to the saving of your soul. If you profess to believe on Christ, we urge to read the word and get your heart right with God and serve Him the Bible way by His grace. AMEN.