After the return from exile, and the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem, the Israelites gathered “as one man [the men and women and all who were able to understand] in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.” Nehemiah 8:1 and 2.
The people of God demanding that their leader bring out the Bible and read from it!
“So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.” Nehemiah 8:2-3
Commenting on this, Jim Packer gives one reason why we need to be reading God’s word: “All forms of exercise, whether physical or mental, require exertion, and effort in worthwhile activities should never be grudged. Writes Paul to Timothy: “Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things” (1 Tim. 4:7-8). A basic dimension of self-training in godliness is learning from the Bible to live by God’s truth, and those who do not expend effort in exercising themselves at this point sentence themselves to come short of real godliness at many points. The Jews at the Water Gate were profoundly right to take time out for serious exertion at the first possible moment in grasping the revealed will of God.” (A Passion for Faithfulness, page 153).
How good is your Bible exercise?