Bible distributors sell or give away more than 100 million Bibles each year—20 million in America alone. The Bible exists in some 2,400 languages, covering 95% of the world’s population. Access to God’s word is a huge blessing. We are indebted to the people who translate Scriptures into local languages, and we are indebted to Johannes Gutenberg who invented the printing press in 1440. People in Ezra’s day did not have printed copies of the Scriptures as we do; so we find in Nehemiah Chapter 8, that they asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had given for Israel to obey. Ezra stood before the assembly of men, women, and children; all those old enough to understand. From early morning until noon, he read aloud to everyone who could understand. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet. When he finished, the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Those people called for the reading of God’s word because they knew the value for themselves and their children. They were willing to stand for 4 to 6 hours to hear God’s word. Today, we have many Bibles, unlike people in Ezra’s day. Yet if we merely own them but fail to read and obey them, we are worse off than people in Ezra’s day.
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