All the people gathered together at the square in front of the the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses that the Lord had given Israel. On the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women, and all who could listen with understanding. Nehemiah 8:1-2
Many churches are placing a greater emphasis on family ministry. Brian Haynes has written a book titled, “Shift” that presents the important Biblical principle that parents are responsible for the spiritual development of their children. Too often parents have brought their children to the church in hopes that the church would teach them what they needed to know about God. Brian Haynes’ book presents the idea that spiritual development of children needs to be shifted back to parents. Churches need to partner with parents to help parents do their job of raising their children and teaching them about God, Jesus, and how to live their lives to bring glory to God.
This verse indicates that all the people (men, women, and children) gathered to hear the reading of God’s Word. Normally only men would have been included, but this was an unusual occasion where all the people gathered. The children present that day certainly would never forget seeing their parents and grandparents, along with the largest crowed they’d ever seen, worshipping and praising God. The Word that was read that day would have been the law of Moses, the Torah, or the first five books of the Bible. Normally, God’s Word was read during the Feast of Booths every seven years. It had been more than eleven years since God’s Word had been read in Jerusalem. That was reason to bring all the people together to celebrate.
Challenge: Parents must model, not just talk, for their children to learn how to live their lives for God. What type of model are you setting for your children or grandchildren? Ask God to help you to set a good example for those who may be looking to you for spiritual wisdom and direction.