Summary: If we want to see our nation turn back to God, we must clean up God's house, the White House, and our own house.
A company held an inter-office softball game every year between the marketing and support staff. One year, the support staff whipped the marketing department soundly, but the marketing department demonstrated how they earn their keep by posting this memo on the bulletin board after the game:
“The marketing department is pleased to announce that we came in second place in the recent softball season, after losing but one game all year. The support department, however, had a rather dismal season, winning only one game.” www.cybersalt.org/ cleanlaugh; www.PreachingToday.com)
It’s amazing how people can be accurate in what they say without telling the truth. Our politicians do it all the time. Their words are accurate, but often misleading. They do it not to offend potential voters, but let me tell you: now is not the time for such nonsense; now is not the time for misleading rhetoric, which seeks to avoid offending anybody at any time.
Now is the time to lay it on the line and say it straight especially for the church of Jesus Christ. Our nation has lost its moral footing as is evidenced by the violence exploding in our cities, schools, and churches; the increasing racism which keeps rearing its ugly head, and the wholesale acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
We are on the verge of either a great revival or a moral implosion with devastating results to the religious freedoms we have enjoyed in this country for hundreds of years. So now is NOT the time to be “politically correct”. Now is the time for God’s people to speak up, speak out, and speak clearly to its culture if we want to see a return to the biblical values which made this country great.
Nehemiah faced a similar situation in his day. He had rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days (6:15). Then he spent 12 years rebuilding the people (1:1; 13:6). They had committed themselves to the Lord and to full and complete obedience to His Word. Specifically, they promised God that they would not intermarry with unbelievers, that they would keep the Sabbath, and that they would support the house of God (10:28-33).
Nehemiah was satisfied that he had completed the work God called him to do, so he went back to his old job as cup-bearer to the king. Then, a year or two later, Nehemiah asked for a leave of absence to go back to Jerusalem to dedicate the wall (which we read about last week), and to check on their progress. Well, what he saw did not make him very happy, at all. The people had cast aside their commitments to God. They had forsaken their moral foundations and forgotten the God who raised them up again.
Nehemiah 13:1-3 On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent. (ESV)
One of the first things Nehemiah did, upon returning to Jerusalem, was open the “Book of Moses” and read it to the people. He didn’t share his own opinion or offer his own commentary. He just let God’s Word speak for itself, and it had a profound effect on those who heard it.
You see, the Bible is like a tiger. You don’t have to defend it or explain it. You just let it loose, and it will change lives forever. That’s what happened in Nehemiah’s day, and it can happen in our day too if we just…
STAND ON THE WORD OF GOD.
Just read the Bible and declare it. Just let it loose and let it do what God designed it to do.
In his book, Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi Zacharias talks about the hazards that plagued the climbers in their expedition to Mount Everest during the spring of 1996. That year, the attempt to reach the summit resulted in a great loss of life.
One of those who died was Andy Harris, one of the expedition leaders. Harris had stayed at the peak past the deadline, and on his way down, he was in dire need of oxygen. Harris radioed the base camp to describe his predicament. He had come upon a cache of oxygen canisters left by other climbers, but he told base camp they were all empty. However, those who had passed by the canisters on their own return from the summit knew they were not empty, but full. So they pleaded with Harris to make use of the canisters, but he wouldn’t listen to them. Already starved for oxygen, Harris continued to argue that the canisters were empty.