Body Language

Rob Bentz

READ : Nehemiah 8

Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people . . . and when he opened it, all the people stood up. (v. 5)

Kneel. Stand. Bow. Fall prostrate. Raise hands. Clap hands. Dance. The Bible details all sorts of body language when it refers to our worship of God, including here in Nehemiah.

In verse 5, when Ezra takes the platform to read the Law of the Lord – the Pentateuch or first five books of the Bible – God’s people stand in reverence. They stand out of respect for God’s Law.

In verse 6, Ezra praises God, and the people respond by raising their hands to heaven in praise. But that wasn’t enough. God’s people also got their voices involved, with exuberant shouts of “Amen!” But that still wasn’t enough. The people of God also fell to their knees in a bowed posture, and then fell face down on the ground.

God’s people were so overwhelmed by the power of his Word they couldn’t help but respond to God in praise – with their entire body! Seem a little excessive? Not according to the Bible. Throughout Scripture (Deut. 9:18, Ps. 47:1, 95:6, 134:2, 1 Tim. 2:8) we read of men and women of faith worshiping God using a wide-range of body language. Worship the Lord your God with your heart, your soul – and your body!


Father, help me worship you with my whole being, including my body.