Summary: In this message, we’ll see that what God is really after in all our rebuilding is worship. Nehemiah rebuilt to restore worship. That’s what the ultimate end of our rebuilding must be. When that is in view, we will be looking for evidences of true worsh
You’ve seen, felt, shared, and met a need. You’ve found some brokenness in your family, in the marketplace, in the church and you’ve been busy rebuilding. You formed a dream team to help you and you’ve made it through attacks from without, division from
within. You’ve even survived personal assaults. And the broken wall has been rebuilt.
Now what? I’ve helped a few people, but is that really all there is?
After you’ve rebuilt a broken wall
Series: Here’s hope: Rebuilding a broken world
Text: Nehemiah 8: 1-12, pp. 357-358
Attention must go away from the work of your hands to the work of God’s hands. Nehemiah’s dream was not just to see some walls rebuilt, but to see some lives renewed. It’s the people, not the walls, that make a city!
Nehemiah has led the people to rebuild the walls. They are done! What we see in Nehemiah 8 is what happens after the brokenness is gone.
The walls are rebuilt, but there was as spiritual vacuum in the city. Chapter 7 is a detailed chapter on organizational structure, so the people were now well ordered, well defended, and well governed. But they weren’t in touch with God.
The ultimate end of rebuilding something that’s broken is worship.
Betsy Stretar with YoungLives! Christine Cooper. Jeremiah 29:11. The end result is not mentoring a young mother, helping her find a godly spouse, establishing a stable home. The end result is worship!
Jesus talked about how important worship is. He defined it in terms of loving God.
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Once the wall was finished, some of the workers had returned to their homes in the surrounding towns and villages. They were ready for things to return to normal. The past 52 days of rebuilding had turned their lives upside-down. But as they attempted to return to business as usual, the significance of what had happened began to sink in.
Prior to the rebuilding of its walls, Jerusalem had been an open city, broken-down, economically depressed, low in morale, under-populated (7:4), and in no way glorious for God.
You have to think that Nehemiah would have been praying and planning for what was next. What’s it going to take for Jerusalem to be a holy city? What actually happened five days after the walls were rebuilt was a spiritual leader’s dream. God showed up!
You know you’ve rebuilt…
… the right way and for the right reason…
… when you end up with…
1. … hearts that hunger. vv. 1-3
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…
That’s what you see happening here. Look at verse 1.
1 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.
2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.
Did you notice that we are meeting a new leader here? Ezra. He was a priest, a scholar, and a teacher of God’s word. The king of Persia had sent him to Jerusalem before Nehemiah came. Ezra was sent to make sure that worship in the rebuilt temple was taking place. Nehemiah led in rebuilding the walls of God’s city. Now, Ezra led in renewing the lives of God’s people.
It’s seems that spontaneously the people left their homes in the surrounding towns and villages and began to gather on the square in Jerusalem. The wall was finished six days before the beginning of the Jewish New Year. This was the time for the Jews to celebrate a festival called the Feast of the Trumpets. On this New Year’s Day, the conscience of the nation needed some attention. Verse 3…
3 He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand…
This is a 6:00 am service to a 12:00 pm service! Six hours! How do you think that would work today? I’ve noticed that in today’s world, people are increasingly indifferent to God’s word. Not these people. They had hungry hearts. Do you? Notice two tell-tale signs of hungry hearts.