by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
In the days of Ezra the prophet, Israel was in much the same state as the Church today. Happily, however, some of the leaders became convicted that they had been neglecting the Word of God —especially that part which was addressed to them: the law of Moses.
As a result they built for Ezra a pulpit on which to stand and read the Scriptures to the people (Neh. 8:4). “From morning until midday” he read to them, while others mingled with the audience and“caused the people to understand.”
“So they read in the book, in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,” with the result that “all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions [gifts], and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them” (Vers. 8,12).
Similarly, after our Lord had explained the Scriptures to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, they said to each other:
“Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
Well-meaning groups and individuals have for decades been praying in vain for a true spiritual revival in the Church, but the only sure road to revival is a renewed interest in the Bible, and especially in what God there says to us in the Epistles of Paul.
When we become convicted of our neglect of God’s Word to us as found in the Epistles of Paul; when men of God “study” to“rightly divide” the Word and begin teaching it from the pulpit, a great spiritual revival will inevitably follow but, alas, most of God’s people are too complacent, too satisfied with a shallow profession to enter into this blessed experience. However, as we study the Word of God for ourselves, and especially that part of His Word which applies particularly to us, we, like the Israelites of Ezra’s day, will experience the joy of understanding God’s love letter to us.