September 28. Nehemiah 8-10.
These “church services” and messages were long! Lasting hours at a time and went on for days and weeks. Most church services today have been scripted and produced down to the minute in order to accommodate the busy lifestyles and demands of the general audience.
Israel was living through some hard times as slaves and oppressed people, and their daily habits and routines did not reflect a close walk with God or focus on Him and His plan. Then one day, something changed:
8:1-5 Now, in mid-September, all the people assembled at the plaza in front of the Water Gate and requested Ezra, their religious leader, to read to them the law of God, which he had given to Moses.
They asked for Ezra, their preacher, to read to them from God’s book of the law. Their recent history and even on this day of reading was filled with tears and very little celebration and purpose of life, just work, work, work, trying to survive. But with this first step, to read and hear God’s Word again, a transformation had begun. This transformation would lead to confession, celebration and commitment to the things of God.
But reading and hear the Word of God was only the beginning. The next step was an explanation of the Scriptures.
8:7-8 As Ezra read from the scroll, …and the Levites went among the people and explained the meaning of the passage that was being read.
And this transformation continued with studying the Scriptures, paying attention to even the smallest details of the text.
8:13 The next day the clan leaders and the priests and Levites met with Ezra to go over the law in greater detail. 14 As they studied it, they noted that Jehovah had told Moses that the people of Israel should live in tents during the Festival of Tabernacles to be held that month.
With the reading, the explanation, and the detailed study, the result was a renewed passion and commitment by the people to keep and to live these powerful truths they had heard, read and studied.
9:38 Because of all this, we again promise to serve the Lord! And we and our princes and Levites and priests put our names to this covenant.”
Today, those can continue to be powerful and life-transforming dynamics for your life. Read God’s Word. Listen to the explanation of His Word. Study, in detail, His Word. Then enjoy the refreshed relation with the author of the Book, through your confession of sin, a celebration of His mercy and goodness, and a commitment to His plan for your life.
Read It. Study It. Live It.