So as I was reading I came across this verse: NEHEMIAH 8:5-6 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
That hit me as such a powerful verse, so I want to unpack my thoughts, the first part:
“Ezra opened the book”, this is in reference to the book of the law that God gave to Moses that was passed on.
The second part:
“All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.” They built a wooden platform for him to stand on to make sure everyone could see him and when he opened the book the people ALL stood up. What an amazing reverence they showed to God through this book that He handed down.
The third part:
“Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!”” This is Ezra saying the prayer blessing God for his work before reading to the people, and not only do they say amen like we do today but they raise there hands, and there was not even any music playing. 🙂 They raised hands out of reverence to God so to me that is even more reason to feel free to raise hands when worshiping with music.
“Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” Wow, they showed this reverence and submission to God and Ezra has not even started reading yet! This just smacks me with we are an arrogant group of people who say a message or the music did not bring me closer to God. These people are worshiping and they have not even heard what Ezra was going to read yet. You know I am sure they had kids back then also who made them late because one forgot to put their sandals on or had to go to the bathroom but this really shows the priorities here. They were there ready to worship before Ezra really even got started. What would that be like in the Edge to have everyone there on time ready to worship before we even step on stage to play a note. Wow, now I know I can’t wait for that to happen I need to be that myself and make sure I am in that mode and just pray that the fire spreads. Strip away the good looking exterior we all try to show and just be ready to worship as we are for the one that created us.