When God’s Word is opened, God’s voice is heard.
This content is from OPEN, a new online resource that serves as a guided journey through the Bible.
Some years after Josiah’s failed attempt to call people back to the Bible, God allowed enemies to reduce His own city to a pile of rubble. The Babylonian army laid siege to Jerusalem. There was a terrible loss of life and those who survived either fled for their lives or were taken prisoner and marched off to resettlement camps in Babylon. But God had not abandoned His people, and after seventy years, a small community returned to rebuild the city.
Ezra the priest was faced with the challenge of teaching the Bible to a community of people who thought they knew the Lord, but who knew very little of His Word. Ezra’s strategy was to gather the entire community, around fifty thousand people, in the public square.
As they gathered, they “told Ezra… to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel” (Nehemiah 8:1).
How do fifty thousand people make a request? They chant! This crowd gathered with a great hunger for the Word of God,
and growing impatient for events to get underway, they began to shout, “We want the Bible; bring out the Bible!” The assembly was made up of men and women and “all who could understand what they heard” (8:2).
That means children were there too. It is a powerful thing to bring children into an environment where they see adults worshiping and taking the Word of God seriously.
As Ezra read the law of God, the people mourned and wept because they realized how far they were from what God was calling them to be. So Ezra said to them, “‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.’” (8:9).
One of the first effects of receiving the Word of God is that it will humble you. You will discover sins in your life you didn’t see before. You will become sensitive to attitudes and actions that grieve the heart of God. God’s Word will convict you of sin,but it is never God’s purpose to leave you there.
Conviction of sin is always a means to an end, and the end is that we come to a deeper appreciation of God’s grace.
That’s why Nehemiah said, “This day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Scripture has the power to change human life and reshape an entire community. When God’s Word is taught, God’s voice is heard. The Bible read and applied will expose our sins and reveal God’s grace. When this leads to repentance and obedience, you will experience great joy.
WAY Nation and Open the Bible have partnered together to provide you a guided tour through the whole Bible!
Open the Bible is your answer to “how can I go through the Bible and know what I need to know?!”
This unique online tool provides you three paths to engage with God’s Word so you can know how the whole Bible story fits together.