In the days of Ezra the prophet, Israel was in much the same state as the Church today. Happily, however, some of the leaders became convicted that they had been neglecting the Word of God — especially that part which was addressed to them: the law of Moses.
As a result they built for Ezra a pulpit on which to stand and read the Scriptures to the people (Neh. 8:4). “From morning until midday” he read to them, while others mingled with the audience and “caused the people to understand.”
“So they read in the book, in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,” with the result that “all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions [gifts], and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them” (Vers. 8,12).
Similarly, after our Lord had explained the Scriptures to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, they said to each other:
“Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
Well-meaning groups and individuals have for decades been praying in vain for a true spiritual revival in the Church, but the only sure road to revival is a renewed interest in the Bible, and especially in what God there says to us in the Epistles of Paul.
When we become convicted of our neglect of God’s Word to us as found in the Epistles of Paul; when men of God “study” to “rightly divide” the Word and begin teaching it from the pulpit, a great spiritual revival will inevitably follow but, alas, most of God’s people are too complacent, too satisfied with a shallow profession to enter into this blessed experience. However, as we study the Word of God for ourselves, and especially that part of His Word which applies particularly to us, we, like the Israelites of Ezra’s day, will experience the joy of understanding God’s love letter to us.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.