For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.
The first ingredient for revival is a recognition of our need for God. Second, there must be a reawakening by the Word of God. Nothing will cut through the spiritual lethargy in your life any quicker than a fresh exposure to the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Another image that is used of the Bible is that of a surgeon’s scalpel. Why does the surgeon slice you and dice you–so you can bleed to death? No, his purpose in cutting you is so that healing might come into your life. God cuts us with His Word so that we can have spiritual healing in our life. That is what Ezra did. Notice how he used the Word of God. First of all, there was a presentation of the Word of God. Nehemiah 8:3 says, “He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday . . . and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.” He spent five to six hours reading God’s Word to these people who were spiritually hungry. Look at how they responded in verses 5-6: “When he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God. And all the people answered, ‘Amen. Amen!’ while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” I believe there is something about bowing low, or kneeling, that is a part of worship. It reminds us of our position before God, that He is the Creator; we are simply the creature. That is what the people did when Ezra presented the Word of God. They worshiped low before the Lord.
Second, there was an explanation of the Word of God. Ezra had assistants that went out into the crowd, “translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading” (v.8). Why did they have to translate the law of Moses to the people? It was because a thousand years had passed since Moses penned the law, and in a thousand-year period of time, language changes. God’s message does not change, but language does change. But the word here for “translate” does not just mean a linguistic translation. It means “to weave together in a meaningful way.” They were weaving together God’s Word in a meaningful way.
Third, there was an illumination of the Word of God. Verse 8 concludes, “So that they understood the reading.” That is the work of the Holy Spirit. The preacher can read, he can translate, but it is only the Holy Spirit who can illuminate God’s Word and apply it to each heart. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Paul said, “‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” In other words, Paul was saying, human ears and human eyes cannot understand the deep truth of God’s Word. It is the Spirit of God who reveals that truth to us. If we are going to be reawakened by the Word of God, there has to be an illumination by the Holy Spirit.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Recipe For Revival” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org