Unity * Neh. 8:1-7

Respect, honor, reverence in the presence of God Almighty. (This is so lacking in the Christian church today – to our shame) Do we respect God, His holy Name, the Holy Bible, and the things of God? How our lives would change if we would show reverence – individually and corporately.)
The first thing I’d like to note is that all the men and women met together in unity; as one voice. They all were on time to meet with God. No one put anything above or ahead of the importance of meeting with God. (Again, lacking in the Christian church today – to our shame) People go to church late and disrupt those around them, because they are late and the service has already started. And where is their focus? Are they truly there to meet with God or are they just putting their time in? What about those who leave early? Is God top priority in their lives?
Question to ponder: What are my thoughts and attitudes? Do I revere God, His Name, His Word, His house of worship?
If you were going to a job interview, what would your mind be on? What would you be wearing? Most importantly, would you be on time for the interview because you want the job. How much more important is God Almighty than anything else. We need the fear of YHWH in us all! As the Holy Scriptures states in Proverbs – The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom.
As Ezra was opening the Holy Scriptures, the Torah, all the people stood up as an outward form of respect. When Ezra began praising God, what did the people do? They, in one accord, raised their hands in reverence and responded with excitement, “Amen! Amen!” (Amen = I agree) The reverence for God did not stop there. The people (not a few, but all) then “bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” They prostrated themselves before God. How many times have you done this? Have you ever done this? Have you ever seen anyone else do this as an outward act of reverence? Where is the focus? What is the attitude? What are they doing? All this is a total submission to YHWH, the Creator of heavens and earth and everything in them.
A few key points:
*people unified- came together at the same time with same purpose
*stood for reading of Holy Scriptures – outward honor
*lifted hands to God in reverence
*excitedly responded Amen! Amen! when praising God
*prostrate during worship = humble before God and totally submitted
*listened intently to Scripture and Its meaning for hours
* They were hungry for the Word of God and ate and ate and then were spiritually nourished.