In Nehemiah 8:1, we read: “And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel.” After the Israelites had finished building the wall in Jerusalem, they gathered to hear the Word of God. Then, in verse 3, we are told something wonderful:
And he [Ezra] read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
It is inspiring to hear that the people were so hungry for the Word of God that they listened to the Word from early morning until midday. Not only did they listen but they were attentive to the Word of God. They were eager to hear from God and be changed by His Word.
Sadly, in many places in the Western world today, certainly in Europe, a large number of people think that the Bible is completely irrelevant for their lives and for the challenges that they are facing. What are we to do about that? One option is to be discouraged and complain about it and become more and more silent about the Word of God as we interact with non-Christians.
But the better option is this: we can be excited about the Bible, loving God and loving His Word, and we can boldly talk with non-Christians about the Bible and why we think that it is the most important book.
In our church in Munich, Germany, we have a man who after he had been born again told one of his closest friends, a non-Christian from a well-educated family, that he had finally found the book that gives him the answers to all the important questions in life. The non-Christian was puzzled that his close friend now had such a high view of the Bible, but because he knew his friend well and because he had a lot of respect for his friend, he decided that he needed to at least open the Bible and read some of it. God in His sovereign mercy used one friend to get another friend somewhat interested in reading the Bible.
Once the friend started reading the Bible and thinking through what it actually says, he became more and more intrigued by Scripture, and it was obvious to him that this book could not have been written just by man. As this man read more and more of the Bible, God used His Word to draw this man to faith in Jesus Christ. Today, this man is one of our best Bible teachers in Munich.
Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God? If so, then don’t be ashamed to talk with your non-Christian friends and neighbors about the Bible and why they ought to read it too.