In 2nd Chronicles 36:16, Israel “despised” the words of the God’s messengers, whom they “mocked.” They thought little of, took little thought for, and otherwise diminished the importance of God’s Word in their lives. The Israelite nation in Nehemiah Chapter Eight did anything but despise God’s Word. Let’s look specifically at one of the ways they proved not to despise God’s Word.
Nehemiah 8:1…“And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate…” Here we see that they gathered together. We notice later on that the reason they gathered together was for the purpose of hearing Ezra read God’s Word “And they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.”
The central component of gathering to worship on the Lord’s Day is to hear the Word of God preached. It would be very odd to come to church on a Sunday morning and sing some hymns, listen to praises, hear people give testimonies, receive an offering and then have the pastor close in prayer and dismiss everyone without ever having the Word of God opened and taught. That would be very odd indeed.
Acts 2:1 shows everyone being in one place and in one accord. There they received the Holy Spirit. They may have sung (though its not recorded in Acts Chapter Two) but they definitely preached. So much so that the Spirit of God moved in the hearts of the hearers to the tune of three thousand souls. That was accomplished, in part, because of the preaching of God’s Word as Peter referenced such books as Psalms, Joel, and Isaiah.
Romans 10:17 says that “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” It’s expected that people need to hear the Word of God preached in order to be saved. One place that should always have an occasion for the teaching and preaching of God’s Word is in a Bible believing church. The Apostle Paul even alluded to having two but no more than three messages at any given church service.
Today, many churches have one watered down thirty minute sermonette, with no Sunday evening service anymore. The less services a church has, the less opportunities to teach and preach God’s Word. It’s one thing for Christians to skip out on church and prove to others that the teaching and preaching of the Bible is of little significance to them. It’s quite another sad commentary when churches themselves under the leadership of their pastor decide to forego a Sunday evening (or at least a second message in an extended service as some churches practice). This speaks volumes to their congregations about how important (or not) the teaching and preaching of the Bible is.
If there is an opportunity to hear God’s Word in your local New Testament church, you ought to be there, and for good reason too. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” God’s Word will strengthen us and prepare us for the coming days when evil will permeate almost every aspect of society. To learn how to keep ourselves unspotted from this world will require us to learn God’s Word (2nd Timothy 2:15) and apply what we learn (James 1:22-26). Sadly many Christians don’t read their Bible for one reason or another, so skipping out on church, when that is probably the only time and place they will have an opportunity to learn God’s Word shows a position of thinking too little of God’s Word to make sure one gets to church, where the Bible is taught.
Folks display a despising of God’s Word when contrasted to how those same people treat football games, family outings, and other such lesser important things. To these people, the Bible can take a back seat to the aforementioned activities, and if it’s raining and the beach trip is cancelled, then MAYBE they’ll go to church. Again, the central component to gathering to worship is for the preaching of God’s Word to equip us with truths we will need to apply in this lifetime to be serious minded disciples of Christ who actually can make a difference for God in this present dark world. It’s my contention that no serious minded disciple of Christ will despise God’s Word, and likewise, anyone who does despise God’s Word is not likely a serious minded disciple of Christ.