- The wall is complete, and the law is read. The completion of the wall was not an easy task, but once it was up and protecting the city of Jerusalem, the Children of Israel were ready to celebrate! The Bible account states that Ezra was asked to bring the Book of Moses to a special platform prepared for the purpose of recognizing this unusual event. Have you looked at the “Book of Moses” lately? How long would it take for Ezra to read in public the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy? What do you believe he selected from those five books to read to the people?
- How the passages were read. Did you find it interesting that the reading of Scripture was done by two groups of 13 men? How was this carried out? Have you ever read the first five books of the Bible in one sitting? Would you assume that the “reading” of the Bible books was more a matter of summarizing their content and making it easy for all the people to understand? How long do you think the people spent dwelling on the important passages in these books during the time they spent on this activity?
- How the people responded. Paint a picture in your mind of the response of God’s people to the reading of His word to them. What did they say in unison over and over? What did they do with their hands? Did they bow down to God as well? What emotions took over the people at this time? Can you and I obtain a similar blessing in the way we read God’s word today? Can we be just as joyful now, in the closing days of earth’s history, as the Children of Israel were for this event? Would you like to see God’s people breaking out in joy at special occasions in these days as we approach the Second Coming?
- The Joy of the Lord. Have you ever been overwhelmed–or a least impressed from head to toe–by a congregational response to an appeal by a gospel minister to rejoice in the good news of Jesus’ Second Coming? After so many years of trial and discipline even in our people of today, can we summon the joy of the Lord in our special times when we get together to praise the Lord? Should we do more of that or does God want us to keep on the silent side of things as we feel surrounded by bad things as well as good ones today?