In order to know the words, the acts, and purpose of a book one must open that book. It does not matter if the book is historical, study, a novel of fiction, historical fiction, etc., educational that book must be opened. Even an e-book must be opened to know its contents.
The Bible, the word of God, is no different in that way. A lot of Christians say they believe the Bible, yet they rarely if ever open it. In their homes it is a decoration on a bookshelf or on a table, but is never picked up and opened, except maybe on Sunday as the pastor opens it to read, and they might follow along. How can a Christian grow without opening Scripture? Growth would be a non-event in such case.
Hear from the book of Nehemiah…
“And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: and Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” Nehemiah 8:5-6 (KJV)
This event for Nehemiah took place following the return of God’s people; after seventy years, from Babylonian captivity, and the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall. The people’s only access to Scripture was through the scrolls, and usually read by the priests and prophets of their day. That is no excuse today. Not too many people have or can legitimately say, “I do not have a Bible, neither do I have access to one.” There are millions of copies of God’s word throughout the world. Most people; if they want a copy they can get one.
At any rate look at what happened when Nehemiah opened the book. Out of respect for the Word, the people stood up. It does not say they were asked to do so. It does not say that anyone motioned for them to do so. It simply says, “…All the people stood up”. Then we are told they heard Nehemiah bless the LORD, and they answered “Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands, bowing their heads, and worshiping with their faces to the ground”.
O for the respect, reverence for the word of God from God’s people today.
I have attended many worship services where the preacher asked people to stand in reverence to the word of God. Nothing wrong in that. I do believe, however, if we the people had a real reverence for the word of God, when anyone in a meeting opens the word of God in our midst we ought to stand without a prompter. The prompter should be the opening of the Book.
Most of all: be sure you open, read, and study the Book for yourself. And notice how through the Spirit of God He will read you too.