Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Reading of His Word

I have been studying Nehemiah for the last few weeks and I have to be honest, when I started, I really wasn't expecting to get this much out of it!  It's kind of funny that I say that, because my big revelation today has to do with God's Word.  It starts in Nehemiah 8 - under Nehemiah's leadership, the Israelites had rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem and settled into the city once again.  They had gathered together for the first time, since the rebuilding of the wall, to read God's Word - the Book of the Law.  Anyone who could hear with understanding was there for this moment...
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 praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!"  Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
(Nehemiah 8:5-6)
What hit me was the way the Israelites responded to the scribes being presented.  It's funny, because this week in Life Group, we talked about the Israelites would stand and worship when the Word of the Lord was presented, clamoring for a chance to kiss the scroll.  They were so enthralled by the reading of the Word that they could not contain their excitement, and that excitement exploded into spontaneous worship. for the convicting part.  When was the last time I responded this way to God's word?  Ouch.  I live in an era where we have probably 8-10 bibles in our home, not counting the app on our phones/iPads that brings His word to my fingertips in seconds.  I have become desensitized to God's Word, and this saddens me.  This reality of God's Word being so available to me has bread a familiarity with the Word that has robbed me of this excitement.  As I sat and pondered this, I realized many ways in my life that I gloss over the Word.  Too many times when I read God's Word I treat it like the latest novel instead of pausing to realize, much like Moses, I am standing on holy ground.

So many facets of my life where the Word is present, but I fail to realize the life in it and be enthralled by it.  Kelly Minter, the author of the study I am doing, puts it this way:
I love that it was the simple opening of the Word that drew such a gathering and aroused such a dynamic response of worship.  Oh, the simplicity.  The Israelites weren't looking to be entertained, checking their watches to see if it'd hit noon yet.  They weren't critiquing the song selection, examining the children's program, or bummed that this week's drama didn't top the week before's.  
I am not taking a shot at any of the many wonderfully different ways we do church.  I'm just wondering how many of us would show up for only the reading of the Bible.  Is God's Word no longer enough?

I want to live in a reality where the truth of God's Word inspires zealous worship of Him.  I want the Lord to tenderize my heart toward His Word.  I want God's Word to be my daily bread, my every breath.


  1. about confirmation for me! I've been struggling with this as well (also reading: The Resolution for women) and your words spoke directly to my heart! Thanks Stace! Although tough to hear...I needed to hear it! Xoxo