Vs. 5, “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 comes to join Nehemiah upon completion of the walls. This was also the Jewish equivalent of New Years and the seventh month included the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles all celebrated for what God had done and is doing in their lives. I love this passage and the reverence given to God’s holy Word as the people stand to hear Ezra read from it. We are a short attention spanned society these days, notice how he preached for hours and days and the people attentively listened. Many of the people didn’t have the Scripture in their homes, so this was very exciting for them. Most of us have multiple Bibles and some collecting dust in our homes.
Regarding application…Weeping. Vs. 9, “Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred 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.” Why did they weep? Because in this passage there are several times it states they understood. They wept because they understood what the Scriptures were telling them, they understood their past and what brought them here, they understood they were sinners before God. One of the former Presidents of Multnomah Bible College was Joe Aldrich (who just passed away yesterday). His last year was my first year at Bible College. This man taught many of us how impactful the Word of God is. He would preach weekly at our school’s devotional times and it was something we all looked forward to. Without a doubt, I would say well over half the students would be crying at everyone of his messages. It wasn’t that they were all sad or depresssing messages, it was that Joe Aldrich had such a reverence and love for the Word and it was so powerfully conveyed to us. Over the years, I find myself weeping and crying far more often than I did was a in my early twenties. As the years go by in our lives, the magnitude of God’s Word grows ever more sweeter in our hearts. Amen!