They remained standing in place for three hours[b] while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them. Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God. – Nehemiah 9:3
Ezra the priest/scribe read from the Law of Moses to the people of Israel after they had settled back in the land of Israel. They had celebrated the fall feast of Sukkot but were now observing a time of mourning and fasting. During this reading of the Scriptures, the people stood for three hours followed by another three-hour period where they stood and confessed their sins to Yahweh.
Most modern congregations sweat and complain if they have to sit through a 26-minute message being taped on a Sunday morning! Could you imagine a congregation of tens of thousands standing for six straight hours hearing God’s word and then praying in confession of their sins! Today’s churches couldn’t do it. It’s a proven fact that the smallest gathering of any congregation is when the pastorate/elders call for a prayer meeting. You’re lucky if you have 20 people show up! Oh that we could find it within ourselves to return to the desire and self-discipline to be in the presence of the Almighty!
The people of Israel that day showed they understood two of the three basic fundamentals of the faith: reading the Word and prayer. They demonstrated the third fundamental, fasting, a short while after the reading and prayer. These three practices should be at the core of every true Christian/disciple of Yeshua HaMashiach! We need to teach our people the necessity of practicing these disciplines. It’s not to please God because that is the role of faith in our lives. No, these disciplines are what bring us into submission and obedience to Yahweh. They teach us and train us to be humble and subservient, out of love of course, to the very One who created us and loved us while we were yet sinners.
This passage is a true indictment against the family of Yahweh in this age because it shows that a people, prior to the coming of Yeshua, showed their love for God just in their daily actions. We have the blessing and privilege of knowing Yeshua first-hand. They had only a hope of His coming to which they never had the experience of a personal relationship with the Messiah! They had to wait until He was crucified, buried, and resurrected to enjoy Him. We get to know Him and enjoy His continuous love daily! How much more should we, out of love for Yeshua, be doing what the people of antiquity did! Is it so much or so hard to find the time and even clear our schedules if need be to spend quality time with our Father and Lord!
Father, most hallowed One of heaven, I have but a simple, yet required request, forgive me of my sins. I confess them to you because I love you, first and foremost and am regretful that I’ve disobeyed you in anyway, and that I know you are faithful and JUST to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess my sins. Help me to have the drive and determination as did the ancient Israelis to want to endure the hours of studying your Word and praying to you. I want to have a solid relationship with you that cannot be shaken my man or emotion or demon or any other thing in heaven, on earth, or beneath the earth. Thank you for loving me and living in me. Thank you for being there for me and teaching me the truths in your Scriptures. May they fill my heart with gladness and bring life to my situation. I yield all I am to you. May your will be done, in Yeshua’s name, Amen.