"And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God. On the stairs of the Levites stood Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani; and they cried with a loud voice to the LORD their God. Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise." ~ Nehemiah 9:3-5
It has been said that we make time for what we want to do. It might include the ball game, flea market, auto race, picnic, concert or whatever comes along. We are always willing to make exceptions for the fun things in life. We're even willing to spend long periods of time in such activities. But, since time is one of our most valuable commodities... is the benefit worth such an investment?
The people of Israel had just concluded a season of celebration and daily reading of the Scriptures. Now they assembled with fasting and humble confession. The word of God was read for three hours while the people stood in place. This was followed by another three hours of confession and worship. The hours were long, but they brought a great work of God in the lives of His people... a lasting benefit well worth such an investment.
Are we really bothered when a football or baseball game goes into overtime? Do we leave for the beach early in the morning and return after sundown, sorry that it took so long? Then why do we complain when we sit through a worship service, or a Bible Study that runs a little longer than expected? Since time is one of our most valuable commodities... which investment produces the best benefit?