Want the Book (Nehemiah 8:1) - Radical

Want the Book (Nehemiah 8:1)

“And all the people gathered as one man 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.”
– Nehemiah 8:1

I love Nehemiah 8:1. I love that picture. So the temple has now been rebuilt, the walls around Jerusalem been rebuilt. And first thing that happens right after that, Ezra chapter eight verse one, all the people gathered together and they say to Ezra, “bring out the book.” And what follows, Ezra comes out, he opens the book, the Law of God, he reads it. All the people stand up. They bless God. They worship God. Then they lift up their hands and bow their heads. They worship the Lord with their faces to the ground. It’s this amazing scene because they want the book.

Nehemiah 8:1 Leads Us to Ask Do We Want the Bible?

We have the Word of God constantly at our fingertips. Do we want the Word of God? Do we want the Book?

They want the word of God and it leads to the worship of God. I pray for this in the church I pastor that they will want the book. They will want the word more and more and more and more. And when we gather together and open the book, open God’s word and proclaim it, that it just leads to worship because we want the word, and not just when we gather together, but on a day-by-day basis. That’s the beauty of what we have in the Bible.

We Have Easy Access To the Bible

Like what we have, these Old Testament saints could have only longed for, like access to the scripture on our phones? Not that they knew what a phone was, but if they did, like to be able to have the word of God at our fingertips at any moment. Like we want the word, we want the word. You just think about your phone and how you can pick it up and you can just start scrolling through this app, that site, all these different things like the word of God.

Do we want that more than we want the latest news, latest Facebook information, latest Twitter posts, latest Instagram picture, whatever it might be. Not that all those things are bad by any means. They’re not bad in and of themselves. But what do we want more? Do we want the word? Do we want God’s word more than we want anything else?

When we want God’s word, it will lead to a level of worship and joy in God, a level of conformity to the image of Christ, a life in God that is far beyond what anything else in this world. Any other app, any other thing we might want could ever give us.

Nehemiah 8:1 Leads Us to Pray For Desire of God’s Word

So, God we pray that you would give us desire for your word. God, I pray for this every week for my own life. I pray for this every Tuesday morning. Specifically for my own life, for my wife, for my kids, co-laborers around me, the church you’ve called me to pastor. Just for people in my sphere of influence, I pray that they would hunger for your word, love your word, want your word, love your word, meditate on your word, memorize your word, study your word, proclaim your word.

So God I pray for this right now in a fresh way for my own life. I pray for this for others who are listening to this. Give us a right desire for your word, a Nehemiah 8:1 like desire, longing for your word. And we pray that as we open it, it will lead to a depth of worship and joy and abundance of life that you promise it will bring.

Nehemiah 8:1 Leads Us to Pray For Unbelievers

So God I pray, just be faithful to that promise as we open your word and long for your word, and God as we pray continually for the spread of your word in the world. God we pray today for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka, over a million of them, no known followers of Jesus. They need your word oh God. They need your word. Cause your word to go to them. They don’t even know to long for your word, but God they need your word in order to be saved from their sins.

Oh God cause your word to go to them. Raise up Christians who will go to the Tamil in Sri Lanka. God I pray, even as we pray for all these different people groups on different days, God I pray that you’d just cause hearts in different ways to be drawn to a different people groups in ways that the fruit of our praying right now might be somebody going to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and taking your word to them.

This Verse Leads Us to Praise God

So, God we praise you for your word. We praise you that we have it. And we thank you for it. We pray that you would help us to get the most out of it, like to long for it and to experience life in it and as we do, to spread it; to spread it right where we live, and wherever you lead to people like the Tamil in Sri Lanka. All glory be to your name for your word. May it spread around the world that the nations might long for it. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

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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