Focal Passage: Nehemiah 8:1-8
Men are notorious for not wanting to read and follow instructions. After all, how hard can it be, right? However, if we really thought about it, we would realize the one who made the thing would be the best one to tell not only how the project goes together, but also how it is to be used.
If that is the case with something as simple as a home project, how much more should we seek understanding for our lives by going to God’s Word? God alone can tell us who He is, who we are and how we are to live His way in His world. More importantly, we need to realize that God’s Word is far more than an impersonal “life instruction manual.” It is His gracious and loving gift to His people initiated by God to reveal Himself to us. Ezra had returned to Jerusalem well before Nehemiah. His role was as priest and “teacher,” responsible for keeping the law of God before the people. In Nehemiah 8, the Israelites called Ezra for the public reading of God’s law. Their commitment to hearing the Word of God read was obvious in several ways.
First, the Word of God had a prominent place as they had erected a platform from which the Word would be read. Second, there was a commitment to having God’s Word read among all the people. Third, their desire was not simply for a brief devotional thought for the day. They sat under the reading of the law from morning until midday. Fourth, their desire was not only to hear the law proclaimed, but also to understand it with a view to obey.
As we consider our own lives, do we have such a commitment to the Word of God? Do we give it a prominent place in our lives? Do we keep it not only before ourselves, but before our children? Do we simply want a little “verse for the day,” or do we really desire to meditate on God’s Word? And, do we read God’s Word seeking understanding in order that we might obey it also? Solomon charged his son to “Get wisdom. Get understanding” (Proverbs 4:5). We will only find true wisdom and understanding in God’s Word.