Daily Thought for: 11th July

EZRA—READING OUT THE WORD

Nehemiah 8. 1-12

In our thoughts for today, the name of Nehemiah is linked with the name of Ezra. The walls of Jerusalem had been repaired and the people of Israel were settled, Neh. 7. 73. But Nehemiah, as governor, realized that there were many problems; these were both moral and spiritual. The walls may have been built again, the people established in the land, but other things were wrong. How could these matters be remedied? 

At this point, something significant happened. Ezra the priest and scribe was appointed to read publicly from the law of the Lord. This was to have a dramatic effect on the affairs of the nation. It is good at times to be reminded of the value of the public reading of God’s word. 

Ezra read in a way that all the people could hear, ‘in the sight of all the people’. Reverent hearing was given as he read, and all could appreciate what it was about. Care should be taken as to how the Word is read. Often it is mumbled, with no distinct sound; God wants His word to be read with proper emphasis so that it may be clearly be heard by those for whom it is intended. 

Again, Ezra ‘gave the sense and caused them to understand the reading’, v. 8. In a day of advanced ability to communicate God’s truth, it is easy to assume that all people have the same degree of understanding that we have. This may not be so. Therefore let us make the meaning clear to all as we read and teach. 

‘They found written . . .’, v. 14. We remember that there was an on-going discovery of those things that Ezra began. Day by day, from the first day to the last, he read in the book of the law, v. 18. There was so much to hear, and so much to learn. Let us remember today that we need constant instruction from God’s word. It is a continual, responsible, exercise in our lives, and it  brings constant blessing. 

One last lesson may be learned. Just the reading of God’s law had great effect. There was much repentance and confession of sin, 9. 1-3. Such truth was made clear that wrong things had to be put right, but with fasting there was feasting! 

 

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