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Summary: We must have the courage to hear God’s Word.

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REAL REFRESHMENT

Nehemiah 8:1-18

S: Courage

Th: Brave Hearts

Pr: WE MUST HAVE COURAGE TO HEAR GOD’S WORD.

?: What? What should we do when we hear it?

KW: Responses

TS: We will find in our study of Nehemiah 8:1-18 three

responses we need to have when we hear God’s Word.

The _____ response we need to have to God’s Word is…

I. EXALT (1-8)

II. ENJOY (9-12)

III. EMBRACE (13-18)

Version: ESV

RMBC 09 March 03 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Personal (babies crying)

When our children were babies, I was always amazed at the listening abilities. Night after night, child after child, when one of them cried, Dondra would be up in a flash.

I, on the other hand, never heard a thing. I would ask Dondra, “Where are you going?” and then inevitably, I would hear the baby crying.

And I would always wonder, “How does she do that? I didn’t hear a thing.”

Are you a good listener?

ILL Notebook: Listen -- C & H (weren’t you listening either?)

In the comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, we find in the first frame, Calvin is running around the house chasing Hobbes.

As we move to the second frame, we observe Calvin’s mom shouting: Calvin, quit charging around the house!!

Of course, in the third frame, the inevitable happens. We read, “Smash, bink, bonk, boom!”

As we come to the fourth frame, we find Calvin in the middle of a disaster of broken lamps and disheveled furniture with Mom yelling: WHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU?!?

And Calvin responds: Beats me, weren’t you listening either?

Well, our topic today is listening.

TRANSITION:

But, first, let’s consider our…

1. Context: The wall is finished.

In chapter 6, we observed that Nehemiah led the people successfully.

In 52 days, during the heat of summer, and in spite of intense opposition, the task of rebuilding and connecting the wall was successfully completed.

And at the end of the rebuilding, it would have been easy to say, “Well, the task is done.”

“Everything is looking good.”

“This is an impressive wall with all the right people in the right places.”

But Nehemiah does not have a monument mentality.

For…

2. Context: Nehemiah is not done yet.

As we observed in the last chapter, there is much to do.

The most important aspect is observed in today’s study.

For though the lack of physical protection has now been solved, there is still another crucial issue.

It centers on the spiritual nature of the nation.

And it is here that we learn that…

3. WE MUST HAVE COURAGE TO HEAR GOD’S WORD.

We must have such courage because we need to hear the truth.

For when God’s Word is truly heard with spiritual ears and minds, it penetrates the heart.

And stuff happens that no one plans on.

You see, it is that powerful.

So, as a matter of observation…

4. We will find in our study of Nehemiah 8:1-18 three responses we need to have when we hear God’s Word.

As we give consideration to this passage, note that there is no mention of the wall.

Our attention now shifts from the vision to rebuild the wall and its reconstruction to the Author of that same vision.

This is of the utmost importance, for the end of the line is not us, it is God Himself.

OUR STUDY:

I. The first response we need to have to God’s Word is EXALT (1-8).

[1] And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. [2] So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. [3] And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. [4] And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. [5] And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. [6] And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. [7] Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. [8] They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

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