Summary: After the people of Israel experienced revival, Nehemiah lead them in a way that would complete their revival.
A Revival that Is Complete
***For Revival to be completed in Israel, Nehemiah had to govern God’s people with firm leadership. The same is true if revival is to happen in our churches today.
I. The Restoration of Exclusion in God’s House(v. 1-9)
a. Exclusion of worldly influence (v. 1-3; Deuteronomy 23:3-5)
i. A worldly influence wants you to cater to them (Wiersbe; the Corinthian church)
ii. A worldly influence wants you to imitate them (James 4:4; Oswald Chambers; Vance Havner)
b. Exclusion of the enemy’s presence (v. 4-9)
i. The enemy seeks to stop progress like Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10)
ii. The enemy seeks to capture leadership (Wiersbe)
iii. The enemy seeks to desecrate God’s house (Wiersbe)
a. The tithe to support ministry (v. 10-11)
b. The tithe to assist the brethren (v. 13; Acts 2:44-45)
III. The Restoration of the God’s Day of Worship (v. 15-22)
a. Declaration of folly in worship (v. 15-18; Romans 1:25)
b. Declaration of new priority in worship (v. 19-22; Hebrews 10:24-25)
IV. The Restoration of Separation from the World (v. 23-31)
a. Different speech (1 John 4:5-6)
Deuteronomy 23:3-5— 3"(A)No Ammonite or Moabite shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall ever enter the assembly of the LORD, 4(B)because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you (C)Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. 5"Nevertheless, the LORD your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God (D)turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God (E)loves you.
Wiersbe—The “mixed multitude” in the church today urges us to follow the philosophy of Balaam and do what the world wants us to do. I was told about a dedicated youth pastor whose ministry was bringing many teens to Christ and building them up in the faith. He didn’t entice them with entertainment; he simply taught the Word, kept the young people busy witnessing, and met with them regularly for prayer. The church was being greatly helped by this group of dedicated teenagers.
But the enemy went to work. The youth pastor was called before the elders and asked, “What is your program for ministering to the carnal young people in the church?” He said that he had no special program for carnal teenagers, but that they were welcome to join in the Bible studies, prayer meetings, and witnessing trips. The elders dismissed the youth pastor because he was not catering to the carnal teens in the church!
James 4:4— 4You (A)adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with (B)the world is (C)hostility toward God? (D)Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Oswald Chambers—“Today the world has taken so many things out of the church, and the church has taken so many things out of the world, that it is difficult to know where you are” (The Servant As His Lord, p. 17).
Vance Havner—“Today the world has so infiltrated the church that we are more beset by traitors within than by foes without. Satan is not fighting churches—he is joining them.”
Nehemiah 2:10— 10When (A)Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.
Wiersbe—Just because a family has been active in the church a long time and has helped to build the work, it is no sign that each generation will be spiritual, or that any generation will remain spiritual. Children and grandchildren can drift from the faith and try to bluff their way on the testimony of their ancestors, and fathers and mothers can depart from the faith just to please their children. It doesn’t take long for the enemy to capture leadership, and too often the people will blindly follow their leaders in the path of compromise and disobedience.
Wiersbe—Like our Lord, Nehemiah had to cleanse the temple; and it appears that he had to do it alone. But this is not an easy thing to do. A new pastor may discover officers or leaders in the church who are not spiritual people but who are entrenched in their offices. What does he do? He knows that these leaders have relatives in the church who, like Eliashib, will cooperate with their family rather than contend for the faith. Should the pastor try to “clean house” and possibly split the church? Or should he bide his time, lovingly preach the Word, and pray for God to work? With either approach, the pastor will need courage and faith, because eventually the blessing of the Lord on the Word will arouse the opposition of the “mixed multitude.”