“And day by day, from the first day to the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God… And they stood up in their place and read from the Book for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God. On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the Lord their God. Then the Levites… said, ‘Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and… made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
“And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh… you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land… By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. You came down on Mount Sinai and gave them true laws… You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land… You warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them.'” Nehemiah 8:18; 9:3-13,15,29
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
There is nothing like consistent, regular reading of the Word to influence and inform our lives. Nehemiah had led a valiant effort to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls amidst relentless opposition, and upon its completion directed Ezra to read from the law, leading the people to remember their Lord and rejoice and celebrate. The more exposure and understanding we gain, the greater its effect on all parts of us. (Nehemiah 8:1-8)
God’s word exalts its Author, promotes a high view of Him and inspires worship, explains history as it recounts His wise and wonderful ways, clarifies His commands, reminds of promises spoken and kept, and convicts of sin. It is a sturdy, immovable lighthouse that beckons us forward, warns against rocks of temptation, exposes danger, steers us in storms to the haven of Jesus. It gives hope, vision, strength, comfort. (Psalm 119:11)
What time do I daily give to the word, and how does it affect the rest of my hours? What keeps me from being drawn to its incomparable light?
Good Father, sow Your word deep in me so it seeps out in the way I worship, think, and behave.