For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
Nehemiah 8:9 (ESV)
On average, Bible readers in the United States personally own 4 copies of Scripture. Eighty-four percent of readers have more than one Bible. With the amount of Bibles we have and the easy accessibility of obtaining a new one, I still wonder how many really read the Word and desire to study it. Are we like Ezra, the priest? In Ezra 7:10, we read, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” Does that verse describe you? In America, we are so blessed to have access to so many Bibles, Bible translations, Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, Bible maps, language tools, study Bibles, lexicons, and the list could go on an on. But do we really use them or do we take all these things for granted? There are still hundreds of people groups in the world today who do not have the Bible in their own tongue.
What is your reaction when you come in contact with the Word? Do you merely read it out of obligation? Do we come to the Word with a heart of thanksgiving that we have been given the very words of life? In Nehemiah 8, the people gather as one while Ezra the priest reads the Law to them. In 8:5, Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it the people stood. When Ezra and the other Levites exposited the Word and explained it to the people, the people wept when they heard the words of the Law and because they could understand it.
What do you think it would be like to witness a people group receiving a Bible for the time? I am giving you a link to see it. I was pointed to this link in my missions class at Southern. It will move you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9dpmp_-TY0. It’s a ten minute video of the Kimyal tribe in Papua, Indonesia, receiving copies of the Bible in their own tongue for the first time. I pray this video will challenge you to be more thankful for your Bible. I pray that you and I will read it and study it more, that its truth will sink deep into our hearts, that we will apply it to our lives, and that we will teach it to others. It would also be a wonderful thing if many would be stirred to work in Bible translation. There are still so many who have never experienced what the Kimyal people have experienced. Don’t take your Bible for granted. Get into it today!