Presentation on theme: "Rebuilding the Walls Nehemiah 1:3-4 “Those who survived the exile and are back in the providence are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem."— Presentation transcript:
Rebuilding the Walls Nehemiah 1:3-4 “Those who survived the exile and are back in the providence are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
Today’s Story – That story lies right between Ezra 6 and Ezra 7 … – 400 years God had warned the Nation and then collapse – God’s mercy brings restoration after 70 years
II Chronicles 36: The L ORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the L ORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.
Whose Fault is it ??? When a Nation, a people or a person is in Trouble???? No one it seemed came up with a collective sense of responsibility and said together “it’s our fault because we have been turning our backs on God!”
2700 years ago a Nation, God’s Nation, suffered under the same disease that we face today…forgetting and turning our backs on God!
So the Big Question today is … What condition are we in…??? Where is my life, our family and our Nation?
Snapshots of Rebuilding a City … Restoring a people A God initiated process God used courageous men like Zerubbabel, Haggai, Ezra and Nehemiah to accomplish His goal God at every step put foundations in place
Snapshot # 1 First Group 50,000 exiles return under Zerubbabel. Primary mission was to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem … Temple complete in 515 BC
II Chronicles 36: In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the L ORD spoken by Jeremiah, the L ORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 23 This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “ ‘The L ORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
Snapshot # 2 The second group return under Ezra the priest. 57 years later … This event falls between Ezra 6 and Ezra 7 (Under Artaxerxes in his seventh year 457 BC) The beginning of teaching the people the Word of God and restoring Worship
Ezra 7:1-10 THE STORY During the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel had given. The King granted him everything he asked, for the “hand of the Lord his God was on him.” Some of the Israelites, including priests, Levites, musicians, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
Snapshot # 3 A final group return to Jerusalem under Nehemiah who had a vision of rebuilding the walls. Approximately 13 years later Nehemiah is stirred by God (444 BC) with concern over Jerusalem
Nehemiah 1:3-4 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” 4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah 1:8-9 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
As God rebuilds a Nation or a people… A pattern and lesson that we need to pay attention to as well. 1.Worship 2.Walls 3.Word
The Defining Question: How am I doing at putting in place or keeping in place God’s provision and protection over my life so that I am not suddenly caught unaware?
I. God’s pattern putting the Guardrails back in place… Restored Worship A. The first place of return for Israel was the moving to rebuild the temple which had been destroyed… B. Why the Temple …?
As we enter into this Fall schedule will Worship given a Priority? Haggai 1:7-9 This is what the L ORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the L ORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the L ORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.
Hebrews 10:23-25 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
II. Rebuilt and restored Walls Nehemiah 1:3-4 “Those who survived the exile and are back in the providence are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.
Walls ? The walls of an ancient city spoke of Identity, Protection, Boundaries and Security. The Walls broken down and not repaired or replaced spoke still of a scattered people and a unsecured people.
God cares about total restoration of His people … Zechariah 8:1-5 Again the word of the L ORD Almighty came to me. 2 This is what the L ORD Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.” 3 This is what the L ORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the L ORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.” 4 This is what the L ORD Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. 5 The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”
The Walls of our times: a.The Values that we live by, the ethics that rule over us. b.The practices of our lives … as informed by the Word of God c.The Absolutes of God’s ways and words that allow us to know Who we are and to Repel our enemies d.The activities, habits, thoughts that rule us.
Where do these walls stand… 1.Walls in our thinking … 2.Walls in our speaking … 3. Walls in our behavior …
In the Nehemiah story the battle for the walls is enormous Enemies didn’t want the walls and used intimidation, threat, ridicule and even attempted to use the lawyers and rulers of Persia to stop them… God is calling out Nehemiah’s who will stand in the gap … leave their comfort zones and “Rebuild the Walls” of our land…
Wall building never easy but necessary… Nehemiah came under a burden Nehemiah fasted and prayed Nehemiah dreamed a God given vision of a Restored City Nehemiah joined with others and shared the vision Nehemiah resisted the enemies every strategy
The Result: Nehemiah 6:15-16 So the wall was completed on the twenty- fifth of Elul, in fifty two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
The question for us is are we allowing God to rebuild and re-enforce His walls in our lives???? Striving to live within God’s instruction Listening to those God has placed in godly authority over us? Daily seeking out God’s ways, God’s word and God’s counsel Instituting the Walls/Boundaries (Guardrails) of the Spiritual disciplines to cause me to grow and be wise in God?
III. Returned the people and restored the Word of God and obedience Nehemiah 8:1-3 1 …. all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the L ORD had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.
What is it about the Law that is so freeing …? Restores our boundaries and Guardrails and makes us safe again… Knowing and doing God’s will is cleansing, freeing and soul nourishing.
If you mess with Guardrails!!!
What about us? This whole series of messages of the Story are designed to put the Word of God in front of us and our children in an understandable way!
The Big Ideas: 1.Putting Worship in my life … a.Don’t miss corporate worship make it a priority b.Get into a small group 2.Make sure Walls are in place … a.One sticking point or stronghold area … confess to another and allow them to hold you accountable 3. The Word … the 5 X 5 plan a. 5 minutes in Word, 5 days a week