IS GOD’S WORD AT THE CENTER OF ALL I DO?
NEHEMIAH – GOD’S MAN IN TIMES OF CRISIS
LESSON # 8 – Nehemiah 8 – A Complete Lesson
This lesson on Nehemiah is unique. Instead of my asking a lot of questions, I want you to ask yourself the questions as I share. Lord willing, we’ll be back to interactive lessons next week.
· 2 Peter 1:12-13 – Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
· Revelation 2:4-5 – Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
· We can’t love the Lord unless we love His word.
· Jeremiah 15:16 – Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.
· Psalm 138:2 – I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
As others have said, the Book of Nehemiah talks of the rebuilding of the walls and the reinstruction of the people. After the construction was completed a great assembly was convened. At the center of this assembly was the Word of God. You and I who deal with the Word all the time must be careful that we do not allow the Word to become stale in our lives. We need to continually be in the Word and allowing the Word to do its work in us. Let’s ask ourselves the following questions:
DO I REQUEST GOD’S WORD? – Vss. 1-2
· The people called for Ezra to read the Word of God. They wanted to hear it.
· There should be a desire on the part of every Christian to hear God’s love letter to them. Jeremiah 15:16, Matthew 5:6
· The ones wanting to hear God’s Word should be men, women, and children who can understand it.
· Usually when we think of revival starting we think of the need for prayer. Besides this, for revival to come we need a REBIBLE!
· What level of interest do you really have in the Word of God? Do you want to read it, study it, and hear it preached and taught?
DO I RESPECT GOD’S WORD? – Vss. 3-6
· Vs. 3 – The reading of the Word could be as long as 6 hours; we would start to squirm within 15 minutes!
· The people were attentive to God’s Word. There are reasons we should be attentive. See Psalm 119:89, 105, Mark 13:31, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21
· Often our priorities are mixed up. We’d rather do than listen to God. If we don’t listen, we won’t know what to do. We often save time if we read the directions first!
· Notice that the people stood up in respect to God’s Word. I believe this helped their focus and attention.
· Notice that worship preceded reading. We should not only worship, but request God’s guidance as we read. Psalm 119:18, 27, 125
DO I READ GOD’S WORD?
· You can actually read God’s Word and get nothing out of it.
· You could be going through the motions.
· You could be distracted.
· You could be reading with the wrong motive.
· Using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Romans 15:4 as reasons for reading the Bible, you could ask yourself the following questions as you read:
1. What teaching is found in this passage?
2. What reproof is found in this passage?
3. What correction is found in this passage?
4. What instruction for right living is found in this passage?
5. What comfort is found in this passage?
DO I RECEIVE GOD’S WORD? – Vss. 7-8
· Besides reading the Word, we should be open to the preaching and teaching of the
Word. 2 Timothy 4:2, Ephesians 4:11-12
· We should be careful not to let sin, anger, or resentment hinder our reception of the Word.
· Notice that the qualities mentioned here point to expository preaching as an ideal method for communicating the Word.
· I must have a sincere desire to learn from the preacher or teacher if I am going to grow in the things of God.
DO I REFLECT ON GOD’S WORD?
· According to verse 3 the people were attentive to the Word.
· As we’ll see in a moment, they also responded to God’s Word.
· As the Word was preached, they reflected on its meaning.
· We are taught to reflect on God’s Word through memorization and meditation upon God’s Word. Consider Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2-3, Psalm 119:11, 97-100, Jeremiah 15:16, John 15:4-5
In times of crises, your reserve of Scripture will be your stay.
DO I RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD? – Vss. 9-18
· Vss. 9-11 – Ezra, Nehemiah, and others had to encourage the people.
· There was evidently sincere sorrow for sin and probably repentance. This caused tears.
· But it was a day of joy! The walls were completed, but it was a day when after many years attention was being paid to the Word of God and it was being understood.
· Later there would be time for even further examination, but on that day it was time for joy!
· Vss. 13-18 tell of the Feast of Tabernacles being celebrated. It was celebrated out of obedience to the Word of God. The most important response we can give to God’s Word is obedience! 1 Samuel 15:22-23
DO I REJOICE IN GOD’S WORD? – Vs. 12
· There was joy because the Word of God was understood. We will have similar joy as we understand and obey the Scriptures.