09/19/22 Hear, Understand, and Obey

READING: Nehemiah 7:4-8:12

Yesterday many of us taught and preached God’s Word. Our task was not only to read the Word, but also to help others understand it and learn how to read it and interpret it on their own. We should want our hearers to rejoice because they have access to God’s Word, love to read and hear the Word, and worship the God who has given us that Word. Too often, though, I’m not convinced we spend sufficient time explaining the Word. We sometimes fail, I fear, to fulfill our responsibility to help others understand and obey it. 

We see that responsibility in today’s reading when not only did Ezra read the Law to the people, but other leaders also helped explain the text to the people. They wanted them to “listen with understanding” (Neh 8:2) and to “understand what was read” (Neh 8:8). The ultimate result of their hearing and understanding the Word was, in fact, dramatic: “Then all the people began to eat and drink, send portions, and have a great celebration, because they had understood the words that were explained to them” (Neh 8:12). 

My prayer is that all of us who will teach and preach the Word throughout this next week will take seriously our privilege and responsibility in being messengers of the Word—and our congregations will celebrate when they hear it. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you pray regularly for those who teach and preach in your church? 

DAILY PRAYER: “Father, guide my church’s pastors and teachers to help us hear, understand, and obey Your Word.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39

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