Bring The Book
Nehemiah 8:1-3 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spoke unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.  And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
l. INTRODUCTION -- QUOTES ABOUT THE BIBLE
-The Bible is the greatest book ever delivered to man. Throughout history it has had detractors and skeptics but it’s vitality has outlived it’s harshest critic and when all is finally said and done, the Word of God will stand.
Augustine -- The Scriptures are our letters from home.
Martin Luther -- The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.”
John Bunyan -- I never knew all there was in the Bible until I spent those years in jail. I was constantly finding new treasures.
George Meuller -- The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.
Charles Spurgeon -- Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.
B. Presidents and Patriots
Robert E. Lee -- In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.
Ulysses S. Grant -- Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write it’s precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.
Woodrow Wilson -- I am sorry for the men who do not read the Bible everyday; I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and of the pleasure.
Dwight D. Eisenhower -- The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.
Ronald Reagan -- I never had any doubt about it being of divine origin. . . . Point out to me any similar collection of writings that has lasted for as many thousands of years and it still a bestseller, worldwide. It had to be of divine origin.
C. Poets and Philosophers
Immanuel Kant -- A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read besides.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe -- The Bible grows more beautiful, as we grow in our understanding of it.
Sir Walter Scott -- The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of the Bible. The more deeply he works the mine; the richer and more abundant he finds the ore.
Charles Dickens -- The New Testament is the best book the world has ever known or will know.
Helen Keller -- The Bible gives me a deep, comforting sense that ’things seen are temporal, and things unseen are eternal’.
ll. THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT BE NEGLECTED
-Most American homes, at least in the past, had multiple copies of the Bible on the shelves and scattered about the house. But time has demonstrated that the Word of God must be more than something that graces the coffee table.
-It must be read and applied to our lives. It is more than a motivational book in times of difficulty. It is more than something to be read at funerals. It is more than something to be carried to church under our arms.
A. A L’Amour Illustration
Louis L’Amour, the great Western writer, wrote a short story about a man who liked books. The man acts suspiciously as he examined the books on the shelves of a library. He took down one book and then another until he finally found one. It was a leather-bound copy of Shakespeare’s King Lear. He ran his fingers gently over the cover, then opened the book and sniffed it’s pages. Suddenly, he tucked the treasured book under his coat and bolted out the door.
Someone who was watching all of this transpire ran after the man and after a long chase finally caught him. The man surrendered the book without a struggle. Then he explained. All of his life he had loved books but he could not read. He came to the library anyway because he loved how books smelled and the way they felt in his hands. That is why he had taken the copy of King Lear.
So many people today are exactly like that with their Bibles. They enjoy the feel of the leather-bound cover. They proudly show off the study notes that is scattered throughout. They argue with others about the best and truest version. They love the smell of the pages. Their Bible is a treasured object—something that is looked at but not read. (Adapted from Back to the Bible by Woodrow Kroll)
B. A Personal Illustration -- The Power of the Word
I can remember in my very early Bible college days, how that a love for the Word of God begin to develop within my own life. I had one particular instructor, Kelsey Griffin, who really turned me on to the power of the Word of God.
I can remember sitting up night and night and poring over Scripture and cross-referencing different areas in Scripture with a Dugan Bible that I had purchased from Bro. Griffin for $20. Over the years, it has been marked up and has become a very valuable treasure to me.
But there is one instance that I can remember quite well in my junior year that happened to me. I do not classify it as a vision or a dream but I certainly do feel as if the Lord has used this over the years to help me. Generally, I would always try to go to bed around 1 A.M. and when I finished studying for the night, I would leave that Bible open on my desk. Late one night, went back into the kitchen, and I just looked over in the direction of my desk.
It appeared to me as if a light flicker, just a little spark of fire, begin to dance on the open pages of that Dugan Bible. The fire grew until, as it gained momentum, the whole room began to be filled with a powerful light. It grew and grew until darkness was absolutely overcome.
I still hold that thought in my life. I still understand the incredible power of God’s Word. I still believe that there are things in His Word that will come to pass in the course of time if we can pursue them with an intensity that is unparalleled to any other pursuit in our lives.
C. Sound The Alarm
-An article that came out in 1995 for Moody magazine quoted Howard Hendricks, a longtime professor at the Dallas Theological Seminary. He was lamenting the “almost indescribable ignorance concerning Scripture and theology” that he noted in incoming freshmen and even graduating seminary students. Hendricks said: “Even among students here at DTS, most could not name half a dozen of the Ten commandments, let alone all ten.”
-Dr. Hendricks spoke for most seminary professors when he described a vicious cycle of illiteracy that begins and ends in the local church. He observed:
“Seminaries supply churches with pastors who are biblically under-equipped, but the reason they leave seminary under-prepared is that they arrive there without a solid Biblical foundation. That is the fault of the parents and their home church. The seminary reflects what was done at the local church level. If the churches (and families) don’t teach the Bible, the students don’t have it when they arrive here. They often don’t have a clear-cut statement of the gospel. It’s been watered down, purely an experience-based thing.”
-I realize that this article is a bit dated. However, George Barna has discovered some even more horrifying trends about the Word of God in this generation.
D. The Psalm 119 Treatise
-In Psalm 119, the whole chapter speaks of the importance of the Word of God and how powerful it is to those who incorporate it into their lives. But it also gives to us what happens to those who do not “download” it into their walk.
-A great question is asked in that chapter:
Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
-If a man is going to cleanse his way, someone is going to have to “bring the Book.”
Psalms 119:97-104 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.  I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.  I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
-Note the verbs that come from this great chapter (this list is not all inclusive, you can find far more applications than just these):
7 -- I will praise thee. . .
8 -- I will keep thy statutes. . .
10 -- Let me not wander from thy commandments. . .
11 -- Thy word have I hid in mine heart. . .
12 -- O Lord, teach me thy statutes. . .
13 -- With my lips I have declared. . . .
14 -- I have rejoiced. . .
15 -- I will meditate. . .
16 -- I will delight. . . I will not forget. . .
18 -- Open thou mine eyes. . .
19 -- Hide not thy commandments from me. . .
22 -- Remove me from reproach and contempt. . .
23 -- I did meditate in thy statutes. . .
26 -- Teach me thy statutes. . .
28 -- Strengthen thou me. . .
29 -- Remove from me. . . Grant me. . .
30 -- I have chosen. . .
32 -- I have run the way of thy commandments. . .
33 -- Teach me, O Lord, . . .
34 -- Give me understanding. . . I shall observe. . .
35 -- Make me go in the path. . .
36 -- Incline my heart. . .
37 -- Turn away mine eyes. . . . quicken me. . .
38 -- Stablish they word unto thy servant. . .
39 -- Turn away my reproach. . .
40 -- Quicken me in thy righteousness. . .
41 -- Let thy mercies come to me. . .
43 -- Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth. . .
44 -- I shall keep thy Law. . .
46 -- I will speak of thy testimony. . .
47 -- I will delight myself in thy commandments. . .
48 -- I will lift up unto thy commandments. . . I will meditate.
55 -- I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night. . .
58 -- I intreated thy favour with my whole heart. . .
59 -- I thought on my ways. . . turned my feet. . .
62 -- I will rise to give thanks. . .
66 -- Teach me good judgment and knowledge. . .
67 -- I have kept thy word. . .
68 -- Teach me thy statutes. . .
69 -- I will keep thy precepts. . .
70 -- I delight in thy law. . .
73 -- Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. . .
74 -- I have hoped in thy word. . .
77 -- Let thy tender mercies come unto me. . .
78 -- I will meditate in thy precepts. . .
80 -- Let my heart be sound in thy statutes. . .
88 -- Quicken me. . .
93 -- I will never forget thy precepts. . .
94 -- I have sought thy precepts. . .
95 -- I will consider thy testimonies. . .
97 -- O how I love thy law. . .
101 -- I have refrained my feet from every evil way. ..
102 -- I have not departed from thy judgments. . .
106 -- I will keep thy righteous judgments. . .
113 -- Thy law do I love. . .
115 -- I will keep the commandments of my God. . .
116 -- Uphold me. . .
117 -- Hold thou me up. . . I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.
124 -- Deal with thy servant. . . teach me thy statutes..
125 -- Give me understanding. . .
133 -- Order my steps. . . let not iniquity have dominion over me. . .
135 -- Make thy face to shine upon thy servant. . . teach me thy statutes. . .
145 -- I will keep thy statutes. . .
146 -- I will keep thy testimonies. . .
153 -- Consider my affliction and deliver me. . .
154 -- Plead my cause and deliver me. . .
162 -- I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. .
163 -- Thy law do I love. . .
169 -- Give me understanding according to thy word. .
173 -- I have chosen thy precepts. . .
174 -- Thy law is my delight. . .
-“Bring the Book.” In the early stages of this year. . . . “Bring the Book!!!”
lll. THE TEXT IN NEHEMIAH
-Not every story of reconstruction is a victorious one. Reconstruction in the south, for instance, after the civil war was a terrible story.
-But the book of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of a great reconstruction—the reconstruction of Jerusalem.
-Nehemiah returns back and empowers Ezra with fresh vision and determination to see the task finished. Nothing is heard about Ezra while the wall is being built but now he becomes the principal figure. Nehemiah 8:1-2 points out that he was both a scribe and a priest.
-Nehemiah especially deals with the reconstruction of the walls in the first six chapters and the re-instruction of the people in chapters 7-13.
-As part of the re-instruction, there is in chapters 8-10, a back to the Word of God movement. The people themselves asked for the Scriptures to be expounded to them (8:1).
-The wall has now been finished. It took just a mere 52 days for Nehemiah and the Spirit-empowered men to complete this incredible task.
-Nehemiah and Ezra now begin to work in tandem. Nehemiah has created the fortification and Ezra is going to now read the Law.
-These two men basically stand together at this point. Nehemiah represents the civil authority and Ezra represents the spiritual authority.
-According to Ezra 7:9, Ezra had gone back to Jerusalem about thirteen years before Nehemiah and had fought a wearying battle against the corruptions of the captives.
-So now, with the wall being built, Ezra prepares to read the Law. The sun beginning to rise over the slopes of the mount Olivet, touches the gathered crowd. Ezra stands on a raised platform. The people have gathered themselves together as “one man” (8:1) before the water gate.
-Many of these gathered had never seen a sacred scroll. Now they not only are going to see it, they are going to hear it. A common tremor rose through the crowd that day. They all stand to their feet out of reverence and obedient attention.
A. The Effects of Bringing the Book
-It was a great moment when Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people. With one accord, and as one man, the people stood. Ezra began by praising the Lord, the great God, and all the people said, “Amen, Amen.” They lifted up their hands, bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
-All the people wept when they heard the word of the Law. They became so emotionally moved until the scribes, priests, and Levites attempted to restrain them and said,
Nehemiah 8:9-10 KJV And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
-The people went their way to eat, to drink, to send portions, and to make great mirth because they had understood the words from the book.
-The congregation had a right to be happy because they had stood on the street from morning until midday, listening to every word that had been read.
-Their rapt attention and desire to learn had paid off in joy as the result of assurance received from God, their Father. What a celebration!
-We must understand that nothing for the kingdom of God will be accomplished until the word pierces our hearts.
Many years ago in a Moscow theater, matinee idol Alexander Rostovzev was converted while playing the role of Jesus in a sacrilegious play entitled Christ in a Tuxedo. He was supposed to read two verses from the Sermon on the Mount, remove his gown, and cry out, "Give me my tuxedo and top hat!" But as he read the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted," he began to tremble. Instead of following the script, he kept reading from Matthew 5, ignoring the coughs, calls, and foot-stamping of his fellow actors. Finally, recalling a verse he had learned in his childhood in a Russian Orthodox church, he cried, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom!" (Luke 23:42).
-When we “bring the Book” much is accomplished in the lives and hearts of people. When we “bring the Book” the critics are silenced because there is undiscovered power in the Book.
-Observe some of the belated discoveries of science:
1. The “north” above our earth is “empty.” The Bible flashed out this fact 3460 years ago: Job 26:7
2. “Air has weight.” The Bible flashed this into air waves 3460 years ago: Job 28:25
3. “Earth must balance.” The Bible gave this information 2650 years ago: Isa. 40:12
4. “Earth hangs on nothing.” The Bible told this 3460 years ago: Job 26:7
5. “Stars do not deviate in their courses.” The Bible flashed this fact 3236 years ago in this phrase: “The stars in their course”: Judg. 5:20
6. Science: “Sand keeps the ocean in.” Bible: “The sea is bound in by sand and cannot pass it”: Jer. 5:22.
-We need to know the Book. If Heil the Bethlehite had known the Book he never would have rebuilt Jerico and lost his two Sons.
-This book is God’s Book. Therefore, because it is His, I say, “Bring the Book.”
• Since God is immutable His word is forever settled in heaven.
• Since God is One, this Book is one story.
• Since God is wise this Book contains the wisdom of the ages.
• Since God is righteous this Book reveals how to live righteously.
• Since God is Holy this Book will tell how to live Holy.
• This Book reveals God’s heart and mind.
-It narrows it down. It is not just what you want to believe is all right.
SOME SAY: Everyone is basically good.
GOD SAYS: “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23).
SOME SAY: There is no hell, so there’s no need to be concerned.
GOD SAYS: “Fear him who…has power to throw you into hell” (Luke 12:5).
SOME SAY: Heaven is not a real place.
GOD SAYS: “I am going...to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
SOME SAY: There is no such thing as life after death.
GOD SAYS: “Man is destined to die... and after that. . . judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
SOME SAY: We can do nothing about the future. What is going to be will be.
GOD SAYS: “You must be born again” (John 3:7). How can you be born again?— Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom.
SOME SAY: We cannot be sure of salvation or our destiny when we die.
GOD SAYS: “You may know that you have eternal life” (I John 5:13).
-This Book is God’s treasure that is given to us. “Bring the Book.”
A Christian traveler was packing his suitcase about to proceed on a trip, when he remarked to a friend: “There is still a little corner left open in which I desire to pack a guidebook, a lamp, a mirror, a telescope, a book of poems, a number of biographies, a bundle of old letters, a hymn book, a sharp sword, a small library, containing 66 volumes—all these items must occupy a space of about three by two inches.” “How are you going to manage that?” asked his friend, and the reply was, “Very easily; for the Bible contains all these things.”
-I cannot tell you how many times that I have been challenged, encouraged, lifted, inspired, filled with faith and hope when I have either read the Word or listened to the preached Word.
-Bring the Book!!!!
Revelation 22:1-5 KJV And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.