“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” —Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
One of the greatest joys of my life is knowing God by experience. In Nehemiah Chapter 8, the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate (A Jerusalem city gate, restored by Nehemiah.) The people ask Ezra the priest, teacher to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses.
The people of the assembly were made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. Ezra read it aloud from daybreak till noon at the Water Gate. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
When Ezra opened the Book, all the people 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 worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” vv. 6
Just imagine if when the Word of the Lord (the Bible) is opened up today during our worship service we bow down and worship the Lord in all His majesty with our faces to the ground.
Then the spiritual leaders read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.
“Then Nehemiah the governors , Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.” v. 9
Then Nehemiah acknowledge the day as Holy. He said to the people “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” v. 10
Spending time in the presence of the Lord and His Word is our strength. Jesus has given every believer the same glory the Father gave Him. What will we do with this revelation? How can we live according to the glory He has given us? Will we bow down and worship Him?
Dr. A. Francine Green