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Summary: Would we cry out to God to confess that we have sinned and He is just? Sometimes it is appropriate to cry out as a community for God’s mercy. The Israelite's knew enough to cry out to God for mercy … can’t we?

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Crying out because we’ve sinned

Nehemiah 9:1-37

Introduction

- Nehemiah is a great study of leadership; shows faithful obedience to God

- Last week we discussed a great celebration happening in the city

-- The people gather to have the Law read; and they are convicted of their sin

-- However, this is a time of celebration; to rejoice in what God has done

- Following the time of celebration, comes a time of mourning and repentance

-- This will be our focus today; understanding their hearts and minds before God

-- For you and I, this is a tremendous example of humility before a Sovereign Lord

- (It’s a little longer read today … bear with me) -- Read Nehemiah 9:1-37

- Pray

∆ Point 1 – A Time of Mourning

- Following the worship and celebration, is a time to ensure hearts are in check

-- Sackcloth was a dark, course material associated with sorrow/mourning (v2)

-- Throwing dust on their head is a sign of humility; not focused on appearance

-- Is a sign of sorrow for wrongs they have committed; their conviction on display

- Today we no longer wear sackcloth and ash, but we can still mourn and repent

-- These citizens stood and read the book of Law for approx. 6 hours (v3)

-- During this time, would’ve have been a great opportunity to repent of sin

- No different than when we experience God in a collective worship

-- Sometimes there are opportunities to shout/praise … others to mourn/repent

-- How do we know the difference? Listening to God’s Spirit as He directs us

- They would’ve taken turns reading the Law, over the course of about 6 hours (v3)

-- Then, they spent another 6 hours in confession and prayer before a Holy God

- Consider this for a moment … 12 hours spent in sorrow/repentance for sin

-- 6 hours spent reading God’s word and contemplating what it means to you

-- 6 hours in prayer before God because you value nothing more than Him

-- APP: It’s a definite challenge for you and me: check our prayer motive

- As the priests read the Law (v5), the people were called to stand and praise God

-- This praise, this outcry of worship, is where we need to focus today

- TRANS: Let’s explore their specific cries and worship of God

∆ Point 2

- S: He is Sovereign (v5-6)

-- The people begin to praise God for all that He has done

-- They confess His worthiness and proclaim that even His name is magnificent

-- Even more, they leave no doubt for all that He has done (made the …)

-- Their exclamation that God gave life to everything ought to be very encouraging

- S: He is righteous and true (v7-8)

-- It is God who initiated the relationship (first with Adam, then Abram, then US)

-- He brought them out of captivity and set them in a place where they could live

-- God provided them with all they need; to restore His people to Himself

-- Because He is righteous, the people can count on His promise to be kept

- S: He is Savior and Deliverer (v9-12)

-- God is not an absentee landlord from His creation (many treat him like this)


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