Modern Despair: nothing to worship
Week 31: 27/07/2023. Thu
Damaged self image of self and community can be repaired with reading and reverence for God's Word. Do we have the antidote to modern despair caused by having nothing or no one to worship?
Nehemiah 8:5–6 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (ESV)
Reforming the returning exiles into God's ideal community was not an easy task. But first things must be first, a re-look at motivation and morale. Chasing after things and non-gods had taken their toll on morale. The human heart finds no rest, unless it finds things worthy of commitment and worship—it was made that way.
As Ezra opened the book, all stood. The motivation and morale booster was not Ezra, the platform he was elevated on, nor merely the vocals from that reading. These were merely molecules, winds and sound waves on their own.
But the unique feature of the words which they heard while standing in reverence was that these words were from their God, who deserved their praise and worship. The lifting of hands probably displayed their sense of need to seek someone worthy of worship. Their "Amen, Amen" pointed to their submission and endorsement of what was being read, their submission to the authority of Scripture.
Modern despair originates much from veneration of created objects rather than the Creator. The rebuilt community must not make the same mistake, again.