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. 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. – Nehemiah 8v5-6
The temple was built. The walls were done. All the preparation was laid. Now it was time to restore the spiritual aspect.
So Ezra gathered all the people together. He assembled them and stood up before them on a raised platform. When all was ready he opened the Book of the Law. It is what he had of our Bible.
When he opened it the people all stood. Ezra prayed. The people shouted ‘Amen and amen’ lifted up their hands, bowed their heads, and fell to the ground in worship.
I love their attention to, respect for, and awe of the word of God. God’s word meant so much to them that it had a real, even visible, impact. They had an awe of the Bible that we so often can lack. We are so accustomed to having the Bible every place we can just get used to having it.
Oh that we had a heart for ‘the Book’ like these people had. Every time we open God’s word for ourselves or heart it preached it should have the same impact it had on these people so long ago. May God give me such a heart and such an awe!