Friday, January 15, 2016

Raise Up A Platform

"And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 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." - Nehemiah 8:4-6 ESV

Fourteen men on a raised platform made so that the people could see and hear them. A platform made to hold that many people had to be sturdy.

"Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court, and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven... As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple." - 2 Chronicles 6:13 & 7:1 ESV

A cubit is approximately eighteen inches. So this platform was 7 1/2 feet long and 4 1/2 feet high.

It is good to have a platform to present the message because if we are going to reach more than a few people there must be a platform of some kind. These platforms were not holy. God did not give specific instructions about how they were to be built or with what material they should use.

These pulpits were sturdy enough to hold the people who stood on them. They were made for prayer and to explain (and proclaim) the word of God to people.

We need men who will make a platform and then stand on it to proclaim the Gospel. This platform isn't a pedestal. You can still reach these men. They aren't standing there to be seen. They are standing there to be heard.

Some might say that there are to many people doing this already but I say there should be more not less... more humble men... more men with the grace  message from Heaven that does not originate from them.

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.' " - Luke 4:16-19 ESV

Jesus stood and read this. He was the fulfillment of that prophecy. This is the year of the Lord's favor. God has unbarred the doors of Heaven and men can go there because of what Jesus has done. Let's go to cities and tell them the good news. The platform we use is our choice. It should be sturdy and not to high. It should work for the setting. It might be the radio or the internet. It might be a homeless shelter or a Thursday night meeting in the back of a pizzeria. It might be flyers out on lampposts or lawnsigns. Let's pray and then see what reaches people.

Thank you God please make us creative people who don't leave the old landmarks but are brave enough to stand on something to make your message known.


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