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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Attentive to God (Nehemiah 8)

Do you ever set out to read the Bible, but your mind wanders or you start thinking about all the other things you have to do or you get hungry or you get a text message or you get a phone call or ...

God sent Nehemiah to lead the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. Then He called Ezra to lead the spiritual reform of the nation; leading the people to turn their heart back to God.

We can't turn back to God if we are not willing to listen to Him and the truth of His Word. So that was the first step, reading God's Word to the people. They all gathered to hear Ezra read God's Word and they stood from early morning until midday, attentively listening to the reading of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

Nehemiah 8:2-3,5 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 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.

Their attentiveness to stand there for hours, listening to the reading of God's Word, demonstrated hearts ready to turn back to God and hear from Him.

So then what does our lack of attentiveness show?

What does it show God when we get sleepy when we start to read His Word?

What does it show God when we are too busy, easily distracted, or see other things as more important than spending time with Him in His Word?

What does it show God when we decide to pick and choose what parts of the Bible we will believe and follow and what parts in our infinite wisdom we decide we can reject?

If we truly believe God is who He says He is and the Bible is the infallible Word of God which He has given to guide us, correct us, and protect us, how could we possibly not stand attentively seeking to hear from Him directly, through His Word?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

If the Bible truly is the inspired Word of God, how much more will we hear from God and be led by Him if we make it a priority to spend time with Him in it daily, getting the nourishment we need?

For me, any day that I don't spend time in God's Word, I am just off. I become self-focused rather than God-focused. I need the nourishment of God's Word in the morning to face the world with His Light and His love the rest of the day.

Dear Lord, Thank you for waking me up this morning and reminding me that I need one on one time with You every day in Your Word, not just in a devotion or commentary, but in Your Word so that I can hear directly from You. Thank you Lord for continuously inviting me to seek You in Your Word each day. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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