Neh. 8:5 Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.
Why did the people stand on their feet when the Book of the Law was opened up to be read? From the text it would appear to be because of their respect for what God was about to say to them. They understood that this was not some ordinary speech they were about to hear, it was the Word of God set before them.
Their respect for the Word stemmed from their respect for God. Even though they had not been faithful to God, they did not lose their awareness that God was worthy of their respect and honor. By standing they were paying God, the author of the Scriptures, His rightful honor and respect.
I wonder how many of have such a high respect for God and His Word that when it is opened up to us that we would be alert and pay attention to it. In some churches the congregation stands up when the Word is read. Standing is a good thing in that it keeps us focused on what is being read. We are not as easily distracted when we are standing.
Regardless whether we are standing or sitting, are we paying attention to the reading of the Word? What we do when the Word is read shows our true respect for God and His Word. How can we expect to receive anything from the Lord if we don’t respect Him enough to listen what He has written? If our minds are elsewhere, we may as well not even open up the Word. Listening to or reading the Word does the soul no good if our minds and hearts are not in it.
The Lord deserves and demands our undivided attention to Him. If you struggle in this area, ask the Lord to help you take Him and His Word more seriously. Ask Him to help you stay focused on what He is saying to you so that you can learn from it and apply it to your life.