Strength from the word of God
Read: Nehemiah 8:1-10
Everything that we know about God comes from this Book. This is how we know that God is the Creator. This is how we know of the fall of man into sin; this is how we know that we are sinners. By this Book we know of eternity; Heaven or Hell. And by this Book we know about Jesus Christ; the one who died for our sin, the one who paid our sin debt so that we can go to Heaven. The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8—“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” We know everything by this precious word of God.
We get everything from this Book. And by the example given by Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem we can see how we can gain strength from this precious word of God.
We get strength from hearing the word of God. Nehemiah 8:2-3, 5—“ And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law….. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:”
A desire to hear the word of God. Nehemiah 8:1—“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.”
They had a great desire to hear God’s word. They didn’t have access like we do today.. Do we have any desire to hear the word of God? To read, to study, to listen to preaching…? If not then we’d better get a check up on our Christian walk!
Attentive to the word of God. Nehemiah 8:3—“And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.”
Attentive just means that they paid attention. Nothing could distract them from the word of God being preached!
Even today we need to be attentive to the word of God as it is preached, read, studied, taught..We need to be attentive to it today!
Psalm 119:9-11, 16—“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee…. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”
Do we take heed to the word of God?
Do we give our whole hearts to God’s word?
This text says “I have sought thee...” When is the last time we sought for God though His word?
The word of God is important enough for us to memorize. In some places people do not have a Bible at all or can only get pieces. If your Bible was snatched from you today, how much of it would you know? How much have you hidden in your heart?
Is the word of God a delight to you? If not it is probably time to get a check up on this altar.
Reverence for the word of God. Nehemiah 8:5—“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:”
All of the people stood in reverence to the word of God. This is why many times in churches today we stand at the reading of the text. This isn’t just something we do, but it is for the reverence to the word of God.
Application of the word of God. Nehemiah 8:6—“And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”
They were glad to hear the word of God and did something with it! They applied it to their lives!
Understanding of the word of God. Nehemiah 8:8—“So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”
They were around people who could help them understand the word of God. We have many people that we spend time with, but how many help us in our spiritual walk with Christ? We need to have people of understanding in our lives so that we can understand too.
Joy in the word of God. Nehemiah 8:10—“ Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
After the meeting there was great joy! Why was there so much joy?
They heard God’s word.
They received the word.
They did something with the word.
They were able to get closer to the Lord.
Strengthen yourself in the word of God! This is a precious Book that can help us throughout our entire lives! We must strengthen ourselves by it!