Chapter 8 is such a holy picture of what it should look like to engage in God’s word. Here are a few things I was reminded of as I read it:
-The reading of God’s word deserves respect. I’ve visited a few churches lately that request you to stand when they read from the Bible. It might feel formal or religious, but it’s a good way to posture yourself and remember you’re reading divine words. What a precious gift we have in front of us! Let’s remember that.
-The Bible was interpreted as it was read to the people. For the past five years, I’ve started reading a bible with a lengthy commentary on it. I use to be oppposed to them and wanted to give myself space to sort out Scripture for myself, but I’m so thankful for what it adds to my knowledge. Especially books or topics I’m not very familiar with.
-Keep a humble heart of where you stand. The people wept and mourned as they listened to the words of the Law, realizing how far they were from what God was requiring.
-Stay joyful! Don’t let shame overtake you when you read God’s word. Instead, celebrate what a loving God we have and all the ways he’s taken care of his people. And in our case, celebrate that we get to receive the gospel and extend it to others.
“And Nehemiah continued, ‘Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!’ ” 8:10