Meditation

04/07/2022

When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the 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 the Law. Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Masaaseiah; and on the left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashbum, Hashbaddaniah, Zecariah, and Meshullam. 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 worship the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:1-6)

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 major component of worship. Ezra lead a moment of high worship and it was characterized by outward demonstration. The gestures indicated dependence on the Lord and humility. Ezra’s praise was a traditional benediction (Hebrew – barak, “bless”) before reading Scripture. The people expressed their expectation that Scripture would bring praise to God and hope for their situation. Prayer is a central aspect of community worship.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, today we honor our ability to listen to Scripture and respond in a similar way the people did with Ezra. Our worship ought to be both an outward display of our faith in God, and also representative of our inner feelings with the Holy Spirit. Today also pray those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Every home is a school. What is being taught by the parents to the children?”

KNOWING GOD:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to peach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

When we faithfully proclaim the gospel message, God anoints that proclamation. He fills it with power. What God commands us to do, He enables us to do. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called. We experience great joy when we sense the anointing of God upon our lives. When we rest wholly on Him and are in obedience to His Word, He fills us with His presence and power.

I AM:

This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way. Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you, and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city an object of cursing among all the nations of the earth. The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 26:2-7)

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 (44:20-29, Isaiah 61:1-2, 63:7; Ezekiel 33:31). It continued as a pattern in worship in the New Testament church (Luke 4:15-21; Acts 20:20-21). One of the prominent features seen in these passages is the reading of the prominent features seen in these passages in the reading of the Word of God, a vital aspect of proclamation.

2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

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 20:20-21)

Proclamation helps the church to grow in Christ and invites the unsaved to believe in Christ. Paul did not shrink back from preaching (Greek – anangelio) what was helped 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 he 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 (Ephesians 1:13-14). New Testament proclamation is primarily he authoritative declaration of the good news, inviting all people to salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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