God’s Word Leads Us to Worship Him (Nehemiah 8:5–6) - Radical

God’s Word Leads Us to Worship Him (Nehemiah 8:5–6)

In this episode of Pray the Word on Nehemiah 8:5–6, David Platt teaches us that God’s Word ought to lead us to worship him.

“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, 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.”
-Nehemiah 8:5–6

What a scene. One of my favorite scenes, I think in all of the Bible, as Ezra stands up in front of the people of God. So the walls have been rebuilt around Jerusalem and he stands up in front of God’s people and opens the word of God. All he does is open it, in the sight of everybody. And as soon as he opens it, hasn’t said a thing. All the people stand up and Ezra starts blessing, praising, worshiping the Lord, the great God and all the people start shouting, “Amen. Amen.” They’re lifting up their hands and then they bow their heads and worship the Lord with their faces to the ground.

All Ezra did was open the word of God and it elicited praise and worship and shouting, amen. People bowed down, and fell on their faces on the ground, in awe of the great God, who has given us his word.

Nehemiah 8:5–6 Shows Us That God’s Word Leads Us to Worship Him

Do you see the scene in your mind? All Ezra did was open the word of God and it elicited praise and worship and shouting, amen. People bowing down, getting on their faces on the ground, in awe of the great God, who has given us his word. Do we revere God’s word like this in our lives? In our churches? You think about all these things. People standing up, lifting up their hands, shouting, maybe bowing down with our faces to the ground. What do we normally associate those kinds of responses to? Musical worship, right? All it takes today is for somebody with a guitar to stand up in church and everybody stands up and maybe lifts their hands and shouts and sings and maybe bows down the ground, which is great.

Praying God’s Word for Comfort

We see all kinds of pictures of musical worship like this all over the Bible. We’ll see this in Nehemiah 12. But what if all it took was opening God’s word to cause us to respond like that. God help us to revere your word. We praise you for your word. God, I just confess, I am loving reading through Nehemiah right now. I love your word.

We are so thankful for your word. For how it speaks to us. For how it directs us and guides us, and encourages us and comforts us, and challenges us and convicts us, and changes us and transforms us, like nothing else. We love your word. Thank you, God, for your word. We praise you for it. We praise for your revelation of yourself, for how we see and come to know you, the great God, and love you, the great God, through your word.

Nehemiah 8:5–6 Leads Us to Revere His Word

So help us in our lives and our families and our churches to revere your word. To stand in awe of it. God, we pray for these kinds of scenes in our churches, that we would respond to your word with shouts of amen, and with bowing down with our faces to the ground, and worship and blessing you, in response to your word to us.

Praying God’s Word for the Unreached

God, even as we pray all these thing, we pray for people who don’t have your word. God for the Shuwa Arabs and Chad, over three million of them, who have little to no knowledge of your word, who can’t experience this joy and this awe at your word because they don’t have it.

Nehemiah 8:5–6 Calls Us to Pray for the Spread of the Gospel

God, we pray for the spread of your word, to the Shuwa Arabs of Chad. For the spread of the gospel, the planting of your church, and the making of disciples there, that they might experience joy in your word. God, we pray for that. God, we pray for the Shuwa Arabs of Chad. We pray that you’d help us have your word, to revere and rejoice over it, and to spread it to all the peoples of the world, including specifically, oh God, we pray for the Shuwa Arabs of Chad. In Jesus’ name, we pray all these things, according to Nehemiah 8:5–6. Amen.

View the 2022 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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