Nehemiah

I wonder if you have ever read Nehemiah??? I just finished reading through Nehemiah again. I have read through Nehemiah many times, but something very awesome about the Bible is that God always will show us something new. God speaks through His Word (Psalm 119:105; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 4:12). Last week I wrote down to write about Nehemiah chapter 13, but I want to start with Nehemiah chapter 8. Nehemiah was known for his prayers. He always went to the Lord in prayer. He was very humble. One can simply look at Nehemiah 1:4 and see Nehemiah going to the Lord in prayer. Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the king. That is a cool job. Nehemiah’s job was to mobilize the people of Jerusalem to finish rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The wall is finished then in Nehemiah chapter 8 at the very beginning it says this:
“And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the LORD had given to Israel.”
(New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ne 8:1). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.)
Isn’t that great? They stood for hours as Ezra read the law. They wanted to hear that. Question: are you interested in reading God’s Word? Are you interested in hearing God’s Word proclaimed and taught in a worship service? Does God’s Word convict you to worship? Now, some further questions for people like me: suppose that you love learning, suppose that you love hearing God’s Word taught and preached, are you worshiping the Lord? I can love God’s Word for the wrong reasons. I may love hearing a preacher preach. I may think, “What’s he going to say today?” Or, “Who is the preacher gonna slam today?” We may like this just like people will look at a train wreck. Okay, or we like hearing something taught. Maybe we think, “What can I learn today?” I think that is good, but God’s Word should compel us to the truth and convict us to worship. We never, never want to be like those in 2 Timothy 3 who Paul says are always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the Truth. Nehemiah 8:3 says that he read from the book of the law from early morning until midday, that is a long sermon. I think he probably taught it a little and preached it. Here is a link to an article by Dr. Albert Mohler about what is called expository preaching:
http://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/albert-mohler-al-mohler-expository-preaching-is-the-antidote-to-anemic-preaching-1741.asp?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=scnewsletter&utm_content=SC+Update+20131126
In Nehemiah 9 the people confess their sins. They do this in humility. Then we skip to chapter 13. Look at Nehemiah 13:10-11 (below):
10  I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to his own field.
11  So I reprimanded the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts.
(New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ne 13:10–11). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.)
Something that stood out to me is that Nehemiah reprimanded the people for their sin. You see in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Timothy is instructed to reprove and rebuke with the Word of God. God may use a pastor or lay person preaching the Scriptures to reprimand you, or me. Who is your prayer partner, accountability partner? God may use that person to reprimand you. We think of a reprimand as a negative thing, but that is the grace of God. That should be greatly encouraging because that helps you grow as a person and as a Christian. Proverbs 27:17 says “as iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens his brother.” (or a sisters sharpens her sister) Who is sharpening you? Who keeps you from getting dull. Have you ever tried to cut with a dull knife?
In Nehemiah 13:14 we once again see Nehemiah’s prayer and that is a prayer that we could pray after his example. In Nehemiah 13:17 we see Reprimand the people again. That is now twice in this chapter, but that is something God uses pastors to do, but always with the Scriptures. Then in verse 22 we see Nehemiah’s prayer, again.
“For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness.”
(New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ne 13:22). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.)
I think I will end with that. My prayer is that we all read the Scriptures and apply them allowing God to speak to us.
blessings in Christ,
Pastor Steve

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One thought on “Nehemiah

  1. I think prayer partners can be a good thing or not so good. My experience has kind of taught me that they must be God appointed after much prayer. The Scriptures are so special because not only are they true but are also so real and open as they describe the nature of man so vividly and with it the character of God and His will and desire for His creation. So thankful for them.

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