Summary: Message 11 in our exposition of Nehemiah. This message expands on the subject of the fear of the Lord.
Chico Alliance Church
Faithful God-fearing Followers
I. REBUILDING SECURE WALLS 1-7
A. Recognizing the needs through inquiry
B. Responding to needs through intense intercession
C. Resolving needs through planning and perseverance
D. Resisting opposition through prayer and perseverance
E. Nehemiah Restores the walls and gates 15-19
1. Chronology 52 days
3. Continued conflict 17-19
F. Nehemiah Establishes Security and Order 7:1-73
1. By Enlisting Workers
c) Temple Trustees
(1) A Faithful Man
A FAITHFUL MAN
fervently and consistently carries out assigned responsibilities
no matter how small or how large
using his God-given resources to their full capacity.
...Without the need for continual controls or compliments
...In spite of the temptation for immediate temporal pleasure and fulfillment
...In spite of the trial of imminent temporal pain and failure.
There is a second desirable qualification for leaders suggested in this passage.
It is no wonder, as one traces this trait through Scripture and discovers its benefits to ones life.
Do you desire freedom from sin?
Prov 16:6 says by this trait men depart from evil.
Would you wish to be wise?
Prov 1:7; 9:10 declare this trait as the starting pint of wisdom and knowledge.
Would you relish a long satisfying life?
Prov 10:27; 14:27 relates that this trait prolongs one's days and is the fountain of life.
Do you seek financial security, honor and quality of life?
This trait coupled with humility are the means according to Prov 22:4.
Do you pine to please the Lord?
Psalm 147:11 states that the Lord takes pleasure in them that have this trait and those that hope in His mercy.
Do you thirst for spiritual insight into the ways of God.
Psalm 25:14 affirms that the secrets of the Lord is with them that develop this trait.
Do you long for contentment and satisfaction in life?
Prov 19:23 advocates that this trait tends to life and he that has it shall abide satisfied.
Psalm 34:9 adds that there is no want to them that have this trait.
Do you crave confidence in life's endeavors?
Proverbs 14:26 discloses that in this trait is strong confidence: and one's children shall have a place of refuge.
Do you long for healing to your body and refreshment to your bones?
Proverbs 3:7-8 connects these things with humility and this particular trait.
All of these things we all hold valuable in life and more are directly related to this trait, this attitude, this way of life, this perception.
This attitude is the key that unlocks an entire storehouse of blessing for the body soul and spirit.
This morning we hope to clarify the vital concept and discover how it is developed in the life of the individual follower and a church family.
Nehemiah chose the governors for Jerusalem first because they were faithful men, second because they "feared God more than many."
(2) A God-fearing man
In order to understand the "fear of the Lord", we must briefly investigate the concept of "fear". There are many words used in both the Old and New Testaments to communicate the concept of fear. The interesting observation is that the same words are employed for helpful, beneficial fear and hurtful, destructive fears. Some of the words used are: terror, fright, dismay, astonishment, trembling, dread. Each of these words seek to describe some internal response based on certain perceptions of an external person or circumstance that prompts some kind of action.
Formula: PERCEPTION RESPONSE ACTION
Fear is a learned response, developed response. Nehemiah indicates that there are different intensities or levels.
It is based upon perceptions developed from childhood. We develop these perception through observation, experience, or communication from someone else or a combination of all of the above. The faultier the perception the more extreme the internal fear and corresponding behavior. The more accurate the perception and knowledge, the more appropriate the internal response.
Illus: Electricity cause fear due to ignorance of how it works. We fear what we fail to properly perceive or understand. The better the understanding, the healthier the response.
In the Bible we are instructed to not internally respond to people or circumstances out of faulty perceptions.
Do not fear the enemy.
Do not fear the future.
Do not fear trial.
We are instructed to internally respond to things related to God from a proper perspective of Him and his ways.
Fear lest we miss a promise of entering His rest.
Fear God, keep his commandments.
Perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Let's explore further this "fear of the Lord."
Fear of the Lord is a God-designed motivational force toward holiness and godliness.
"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of the fear of the Lord. 2Co 6:17-7:1