Ezra opened the scroll. All of the people could see him. That's because he was standing above them. As he opened the scroll, the people stood up. Ezra praised the Lord. He is the great God. All of the people lifted up their hands. They said, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down. They turned their faces toward the ground. And they worshiped the Lord.
Read verses 1-4. Who was Ezra? What did he do for the people? Who was his audience (2, 3)? How long did he speak for? What was the people’s attitude toward the speaker and what was being read (3)? Why did the Lord give the Israelites his word (1)? Why is important for us to pay careful attention to the word of God.
Read verses 5-6. Where did Ezra stand as he read to the people? How did he begin the worship service? What praise topic did he share? What was the people’s response to this praise topic? Why do we need to be thankful for God’s words (1)? What can we learn about the right attitude of worship?
Read verses 7-12. Why did the Levites teach the words of God to the people (8)? Why do you think the people were sad and cried as they listened to God’s words (1)? What did Ezra and the Levites tell them? Why should they be joyful (9, 10b, 11)? Why did they celebrate (12)?