I wish we had the spiritual fervor of the people of Nehemiah’s day.  Perhaps exile is required for us to remember the passion and excitement our faith can bring us.  I know that hardship draws us closer to God, and that God can use any difficulty and pain in our lives to draw us nearer to Him.  Perhaps an exile, spiritual or physical, is necessary to generate the kind of pain and fear that leads us truly into the arms of God.

These people gathered as one and Ezra the priest read aloud the Book of the Law, the Pentateuch, what we know as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  He read to them from sunup to noon, 6 hours, and they listened with such intensity that they wept at the power of God’s Word.  Then he did it again the next day.  And the next…

If we have a full chapter of scripture to read aloud on a Sunday morning, I get complaints that it is too long.

What will it take for us to reengage with scripture with a passion that drives us to tears in its reading, that causes us to stand in rapt attention for 6 hours as someone reads the Old Testament, that draws us to the Word like a moth to flame?  I hope not too much, for the pain necessary to snap us out of our complacency may just be more than we can bear, even with God’s help.  Lord, save us and draw us to You and Your Word.

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