The People and the Law of God

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, Ezra stands before the people and reads to them “from the book of the law of God” (Nehemiah 8:18). Consider some incredible details about the approach and attitude of the people that might make a helpful comparison in our own lives.

First, the people were anxious to hear God’s word:

  • “All the people gathered as one man” (8:1). They came together at the same time and with the same purpose.
  • “They asked Ezra…to bring the book of the law of Moses” (8:1). They wanted and asked for the law to be read.
  • “All the people were attentive” (8:3). – They listened carefully to every word.

Second, the people were reverent as God’s word was read:

  • “When he opened it, all the people stood up” (8:5). They stood in reverence of God and His holy word.
  • “They bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (8:6). After hearing the word read they humbly bowed low before God in worship.

Third, the people understood and reacted to God’s word:

  • “They understood the reading” (8:8).
  • “The people were weeping when they heard the words of the law” (8:9).

Today we have unprecedented access to God’s word. Most of us have multiple printed Bibles in our homes along with digital versions on our phones. We can study, read, or hear God’s word at any moment of any day, but how does our attitude and approach compare to the people in Nehemiah 8? Are we anxious to hear God’s word? Are we reverent as God’s word is read? Do our hearts react with humble worship?

Matt Langfield