Summary: Authentic worship comes out of our understanding and experiencing God's grace
Restoration of Worship
Rodeo Road Baptist Church
October 19, 2014
Disclaimer: Each sermon in this series on Nehemiah was written with both commentary help and referencing from time to time information from sermons and illustration found on Sermon Central. In most cases I tried to be faithful in giving credit to the author but I acknowledge that I was not consistent in that endeavor. So any similarity to other older posted sermons on this web site are due in part to the quality of their work and the timelessness of the truth they shared originally. There was no intentional intent to use without credit any material in these sermons that were first delivered by other pastors.
Video: The Gift of Worship
Jerry Shirley about this chapter, “It’s not about the Wall.”
“The wall is finished, but the real work has just begun. And God's real purpose for the wall is just beginning. Thank God His people in Jerusalem did not have a 'monument' mentality. They didn't see building the wall as the ultimate goal. They understood that what went on inside the walls was what really mattered. What will now happen inside was the reason the walls were built in the first place.
Once the wall was finished the people began to worship and they had revival! They had an old fashioned, heaven sent, sin erasing, devil chasing, window shaking, soul saving revival!! And it was all based on the Word! It's not about the wall, it's about the Word and worship that went on inside the wall.”
I. The restoration of worship began as a lay movement
Nehemiah 7:73-8:1 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns. And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns. And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate.
Jonathan Edwards, a former New York City pastor, authored the term "concerts of prayer" in 1747. Edwards used this phrase to describe Christians coming together in visible unity and spiritual agreement. The application of this vision was to see congregations gathering every quarter to pray together stimulating the First Great Awakening in the United States.
The Third Great Awakening began in 1857 on Fulton Street in Manhattan under the leadership of Jeremiah Lanphier. As a layman, Lanphier initiated a noon-time prayer meeting that grew to several thousand business leaders. This revival spread across the nation and was the spiritual backbone of the 2 million conversions in the nation during that period.
II. The restoration of worship centered on a desire for the Word
Nehemiah 8:2-3 And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. 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. 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.
Do you know the importance of water to our physical bodies? When our bodies fail to retain the right amount of water, dehydration sets in. It is the water in our body that determines the vitality, strength, and energy associated with daily living. Think about these facts associated with our body and water:
Ø The human body is ⅔ water.
Ø The body absorbs cold water faster than hot water.
Ø By the time you are 70-years-old, you will have required 1½ million gallons of water.
Ø Studies show that increasing water consumption can decrease fat deposits. Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
Ø If you loose 2% of your body’s water supply, your energy will decrease by 20%. A 10% decrease in water, you will be unable to walk, and a 20% decrease – you’re dead.
Well, I think you get the point. And what is true of the physical is also true of the spiritual. Because God has made you with a spirit, soul, and body that get thirsty, if you fail to satisfy that thirst, your spirit, soul, and body become dehydrated. Do you know where to look for satisfaction?
Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
a. A desire for the Word ushers in worship
Nehemiah 8:4-6 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. 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. 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.