So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the Nethinim, and all Israel dwelt in their cities.
8 Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. 3 Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate [a]from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. 8 So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.
9 And Nehemiah, who was the [b]governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.
How to Prioritize God’s Word
Bring it Out (v2)
- Can find the Bible almost anywhere free (YouVersion on your phone, for example)
“When I am in the Book, this Book keeps me from sin.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Read It (v3)
- Read it daily
- Read it slowly (comprehension and reflection)
- Read it expectantly
Be Attentive to It (v3)
- Remove distractions
Turn the phone off (put it on airplane mode to turn off notifications)
Have a paper bible
Praise the Lord for It (v5)
- Thank God for the Word before you even begin reading
“I have to get my own self excited and prepared for [the Word]” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Get an Understanding of It (v7b; 8)
- God wants us to understand it, not just read it.
“You can never understand what you don’t read.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Got to Respond to It (v9)
- Put the Word into action
- Our response becomes a weapon
“If you don’t respond to it, you’ve just had an exercise in reading.”
Rejoice Because of It (v10-11)
Get your game plan for the week. Put time in for God!