“When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in he square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of he seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of he Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Analah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaselah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishaei, Malkihah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. 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.” (Nehemiah8:1–6)
The assembled people saw and heard Ezra read aloud from the preserved and recovered book of the Law. Apparently two reasons lay behind the public reading. The people could not read the book themselves, and the assembly was often asked to be a witness against itself (Joshua 24:22). God’s scribe also acted as an interpreter of he holy words, explaining the meaning to a people reverently standing to hear. Clearly, Moses’ Law was accepted as written, authoritative Scripture. Having the written Word and recognizing its authority are only part of the responsibility of God’s people (then, as now). We are all called to understand and obey revelations.
Having the written Word and recognizing its authority are only part of the responsibility of God’s people (then, as now). We are all called to understand and obey revelations. The reading of the Word of God was used to lead a great revival in worship. This revival was characterized by confession and repentance. Reading and proclaiming God’s Word is a basic part of worship.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is when we come to worship You, that we feel Your Presence, and as we talk with You and let our thoughts and words let us come before Your throne of grace in a humble and honorable manner. This, we ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Pure religion is love in action.”
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because he Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind p the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the ear of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1–2)
God instructed the prophet to preach to the people in the house of God when they came to worship. Proclamation of God’s Word is a part of genuine worship. This aspect of worship is most clearly seen in the time of the prophets (Isaiah 61:1-2, 63:7; Jeremiah 44:20-29; Ezekiel 33:31).
It continued as a patter of worship in the New Testament church (Luke4:15-21; Acts 20:20-21). One of the prominent features seen in these passages is the reading of the Word of God, a vital aspect of proclamation.
“You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” (Acts 20:2-21)
Unbelievers helps the church to grow in Christ and invites the unsaved to believe in Christ. Paul did not shrink back from preaching (Greek – anangello) what was helpful to the Ephesians. He publicly invited people of all races to accept the gospel. God intends for unbelievers to be brought to repentance and faith through the preaching of the gospel (1st Corinthians 1:21).
Proclamation closes with an appeal for repentance and faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of salvation (Ephesians1:13-14). New Testament proclamation is primarily the authoritative declaration of the good news, inviting all people to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Second Thought of the Day:
“He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, and was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today, this scripture is fulfilledin your hearing.’” (Luke4:15–21)
God instructed the prophets to preach to the people in the house of God when they came to worship. Proclamation of God’s Word is a part of genuine worship. This aspect of worship is most clearly seen her in this story of Jesus’ reading of Isaiah in his home town. The problem is Jesus grew up there and everyone probably had some story of Jesus, but to compare Jesus to the long awaited Messiah, was hard, because they were not looking the Jesus that grew up in Nazareth and when he spoke those words, they were upset beyond comprehension.
They people Jesus grew up were talking about stoning Him or throwing him off of a cliff. Jesus simply got up and walked out and out of town, never looking back. Once again, Jesus had modeled how to read the scriptures and proclaim the good news, but they rejected him for it. Jesus did meet the expectations of God. The Spirit directed Jesus’ ministry and fulfilled Old Testament expectations of the Messiah. Jesus affirmed the Spirit’s role in His life by quoting Isaiah. So if you had been in Nazareth on that day when Jesus read and proclaimed God’s Word and that on that day, “This scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” how would you react to Him?