Summary: PROPOSITION: Because Christ is the living Word, you are able to experience His joy through His Word.
Please turn with me to Nehemiah 8. Have you ever completed a major project at home or at work, a project that seemed humanly impossible at best to complete? And then with an overflowing thankful spirit you wanted to fellowship with God? That is what is happening in this passage: the children of Israel have returned to Jerusalem, completed rebuilding the outer wall under extreme enemy opposition, and now want to fellowship with God through His Word. So, Ezra is called upon and helps them understand how they can continue to experience the joy of the Lord. If you would like to experience the joy of the Lord, please follow with me as we analyze this passage, Nehemiah 8.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 at 8:46 am the al-Qaeda attacked the United States. They hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners. Two of the airliners crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing 2,998 people and 6,291 injured excluding the 19 hijackers. Both towers collapsed within two hours destroying billions of dollars in office space. The hijackers crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed into a field near Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania after passengers and members of the flight crew attempted to retake control of their plane, which was said to have been heading for The White House. No survivors from any of the flights.
The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals from over 90 different countries. The United States responded to the attacks by declaring a War on Terrorism, launching an invasion of Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists, and enacting the USA PATRIOT Act.
Aftermath: The attacks had a significant economic impact on the United States and world markets. When the stock markets reopened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (“DJIA”) stock market index fell 1,369.7 points by the end of the week, its largest one-week point drop in history. U.S. stocks lost $1.4 trillion in value for the week.
In a speech to the USA on September 11th, President Bush said, "Today, our nation saw evil." and, "Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me."
America once again was taught the frailness of human joy. President Bush vaguely pointed Americans to the One who is able to provide indestructible joy, God. This morning I would like to point you to the joy of the Lord which is eternal and which is not dependent upon our circumstances but rather on our Savior.
PROPOSITION: Because Christ is the living Word, you are able to experience His joy through His Word.
Nehemiah begins with the rebuilding of the wall and ends with the ordering of community life according to the Law. So, within the newly-rebuilt walls and centered around the rebuilt temple, the Law reorders the life of God's people—the covenant is renewed.