Disciplined - Study

Public Reading of Scripture
1 Timothy 4:11-16
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone despise your youth, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love,[b] in faith, and in purity. 13 Until I come, give your attention to public reading, exhortation, and teaching. 14 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

A desire to Hear from God requires a desire to actually hear the Word of God.  If we don’t discipline ourselves to hear God’s Word regularly, we may only hear it accidentally, just when we feel like it, or never at all.

Public Reading of Scripture
This has been the practice of God’s people from the time they were God’s people!
The first place that we find the public reading of Scripture in the Bible is at the foot of Mount Sinai in Exodus 24. This is also arguably the first place that the corporate public worship of God is fully described in the Bible. Thus, it is not insignificant that it was in this key context, after the Israelites had been rescued from slavery in Egypt, that Moses “took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people” (Ex. 24:7).

Following this formative moment at the foot of Mount Sinai, where God established His covenant with Israel, we find numerous other places where this practice also appears. In Deuteronomy 31, the Lord commands the Israelites through Moses to read the entire law at the end of every seven years “before all Israel in their hearing” (v. 11). In other words, God’s people were called to remember the covenant that they had entered into with the Lord, and an essential part of preserving this memory was the public reading of Scripture.

Through this practice of reading, the identity of Israel as the covenant people of God was formed and renewed, and the people of this former slave-nation recommitted themselves to the service of the God who had saved them.

This kind of covenant renewal ceremony, in which the public reading of Scripture played a central role, is exactly what we find described after the Israelites first entered into the Promised Land. Joshua 8:34–35 records that Joshua “read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.”

This is the same practice we find described later in Israel’s history after the law, which had been lost for a time, was found in the temple. When God’s Word was rediscovered, King Josiah brought about reforms that began with the public reading of Scripture: “Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord” (2 Kings 23:1–2).

This is the same practice we find after God’s people returned from exile under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. They read for hours “from early morning until midday” on a special “wooden platform” that appears to have been the first “pulpit” in history (Neh. 8:3–4).

Luke 11:28-Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

We will talk about this deeper in a couple weeks but attending church is a great way to discipline yourself in listening to the Word of God! My value of public reading of Scripture is the one thing I’m passionate about on Sunday mornings when we gather.  Reading of the word unites our hearts, tells the story of God, we learn together

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