“All the people gathered into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard… And he read from it facing the square… from early morning until midday… And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law… And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people [on a wooden platform], and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen,’ lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground… The Levites helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading…
“On the second day the heads of fathers’ houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law.” Nehemiah 8:1-8,13
“An Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him… Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:27-31,35
Through the ages, God has appointed people to help others make sense of His Word, and since Pentecost, He has also given His Spirit to guide in truth. What a privilege to have access to the complete Scriptures and these means of grace for knowing God Himself! (John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 8:36-38; Ephesians 4:11)
When and how are we availing ourselves of God’s powerful word? If we struggle to be consistent, ask Him to develop an insatiable taste for it, and persevere. If it seems stodgy, difficult, or impenetrable, pray for enlightenment. Would we seek out someone or a group for study, encouragement, and accountability? Whom can we help with what God has taught us? We have not because we ask not, and God delights to awaken holy motivation and supply what He knows will be life-giving. (Matthew 7:7-8; James 4:2-3)
Making sense of the Word brings conviction, and confession brings freedom and joy. Understanding compels obedience which results in gladness, life transformation, and hunger for more. The Word guards against sin, and imparts wisdom, strength, and direction for our days. It actively works to sanctify us, bears eternal fruit, and never returns void. (Psalm 119:11,105; Isaiah 33:6; 55:10-11; Nehemiah 8:10,12,14-17; 9:1-3; Hebrews 4:12)
Lord, keep me hungry to make sense of Your word. Lead me to those who can help, and those to help, as we grow together in knowledge and love for You.