Summary: America is in great need of Revival and needs some Nehemiahs who care enough to do something.
Intro. For the last few weeks, I have preached on Revival. We saw a woman who her barrenness drove her to her knees - God gave revival to a nation. We saw a woman whose need drove her to seek the Lord, and her faith struck oil, and brought revival to her home. Today, we see another one that sought revival of his people. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are all from the same era, though they are not in chronological order. When we come to the book of Nehemiah, the Jews have been in captivity for over 150 years.
I. The Palace - vs. 1, 4 Nehemiah knew prosperity! Today as we celebrate the 234th birthday of our nation, we can admit that we have known prosperity. Even today, our poorest are wealthy compared to the poor in other countries! We have been blessed, and Nehemiah had been as well.
A. His Position was one of Comfort - The life of the King’s cupbearer was one of peace and power - He lived the good life!
B. His Position was one of Confidence - He was the most trusted, close to the king. He guarded the life of the King, keeping him from being poisoned.
America has been blessed by God, the Palace of the World!
II. The Patriotism - vs. 2-4 Genuine patriotism will produce:
A. Concern - How are things back home?
We could ask this question, we should ask this question! How are things?
The Condition - Jerusalem was completely devastated.
1. The People are Afflicted.
2. The Walls are Broken.
- THE WALLS SERVED AS SECURITY
- THE WALLS SERVED AS SAFETY -windstorms, enemy attack
- THE WALLS SERVED AS SEPARATION - But the walls were broken
3. The Gates are Burned - they had been defeated by the Enemy (SIN).
- Sin always brings defeat, And REVIVAL in the Land was needed.
B. Contrition! It broke Him!
He heard the condition, sat down and wept - FOR DAYS!
1. His Heart was effected by the news.
2. His Life is Halted! - Comfort is no longer a priority - that is patriotism.
That is why men and women of history have fought for freedom. But what can we do here now?
III. The Prayer - Just like Hannah, and her broken heart over her barrenness, Nehemiah had a broken heart for his country, and it first drove him to his knees.
His Answer would not come Quickly - "CERTAIN days" Chisleu 1:1 (December) to Nisan 2:1 (April) FOUR MONTHS later he asked the king- This was no quick fix.
A. An Approach of Certainty.
1. God, I acknowledge you as God.
2. God, I acknowledge you as Great.
3. God, I acknowledge you as Gracious (mercy) - God promised it: De 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
B. An Asking of Concern - vs. 6a He prayed as Daniel did - Da 9:17 "Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies."
1. Attend to (ear attentive) me.
2. Acknowledge (eyes open) me.
3. Accept me - (hear or listen to me) We must CRY to God!
C. An Attitude of Conviction - vs. 6b-7 As soon as he approached God, he was broken - as Job 42:5 "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." (We need this!)
- something must be done! He could not merely continue his life of ease - He had to stand and do what he could!
1. The Conviction of Perseverance - prayed “day and night” - 6a
A genuine burden will remove our comfort and drive us to our knees.
2. The Conviction of Penitence - repentance is needed. - 6b-7
D. An Approach of Confidence - vs. 8-11
1. The Promises of God - vs. 8-9 (if we sin you will punish, if we repent you will restore us) (He knew the promise made to Solomon 2 Chr 7:14)
- God Keeps His Promises - speaking of Abraham - Romans 4:21 "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."
-We have the same ones today!
2Ch 7:14 "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."