And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people . . .. 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 8:5-6
Lots of events in life give rise to celebrations; fewer give rise to worship; even fewer produce worship accompanied by tears. One occasion of the latter occurred when Ezra read the law to the assembled Jews in Jerusalem: “For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:9).
Why did they worship and weep when Ezra read the law to them? Because they were reminded of the grace of God. The law promised them blessings for obedience, captivity for disobedience, and restoration for repentance. And they had seen it all play out in their lives. They were back in Judea, forgiven and restored, just as God had promised. As Ezra read the promises of God to them, they were motivated to walk humbly with God going forward.
Those Jews were not the only ones to whom God gave “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Let us marvel with gratitude at God’s faithfulness revealed in His Word.
The Word of God is perfect: it is precious and pure; it is truth itself. Martin Luther