Summary: Exposition of Nehemiah 9:1-37 about the confession of hte people made in response to the hearing of the law
Text: Nehemiah 9:1-37, Title: Return to Contrition, Date/Place: NRBC, 12/2/07, PM
A. Opening illustration: Mackenzie wanting to go the Dinosaur museum, and us not really having time, and hoping that she would forget, but three-year olds have surprisingly one-track minds over long periods…
B. Background to passage: The Israelites are riding the wave of revival. In chapter eight, the Word was read, and the Feast was celebrated. In chapter nine we see confession, and in chapter ten we see a renewal of the covenant. If you recall three weeks ago on the first day of the month they began to weep at the reading of the Word of God. But Nehemiah and the other leaders told them to rejoice and not to weep. But as any truly God-inspired revival would do, it came back. Three weeks later, after the Feast of Tabernacles, the reading of the Word still brought forth a time of contrition, confession, and repentance.
C. Main thought: in the text we see three aspects of their confession to God
A. The faithfulness of God (v. 5-15)
1. Even though they were confessing their sin, their prayer was very God-centered. Notice all the things that God did in these verses. He is the subject of every sentence in this portion. And what is exalted about Him is primarily his faithfulness. All God’s mighty acts on behalf of his people are recounted. And even after verse 16, when the people’s failures are spoken of, God still forgives and keeps His covenant, verse 17-21. Verses 27-28 and 31 sum it up nicely. God’s faithfulness endures to all generations, regardless of the failure of His people, God never forsakes, and always keeps His promises exactly like He said. And these truly brokenhearted people rejoice at the endurance and faithfulness of their God.
2. Ps 119:90, Ex 34:6-7, 2 Tim 2:13, Jer 3:1-15, 2 Cor 2:14,
3. Illustration: Don Leno the boss of the sharks losing his cool with Sykes and telling him he is “out,” “Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.” –Jerry Bridges, words to Farther Than Your Grace Can Reach, tell about the time that I was struggling with a particular sin, and after having committed it again, I found myself praying for forgiveness, acknowledging that God would probably not forgive, or at least not anytime soon, but then He spoke, and said I don’t work that way,
4. Don’t glorify sin in your testimony. Talk about what He did for you. But isn’t it good to know that nothing can make God forsake His covenant with you. You cannot sin bad enough for God to say you and done, out. Now, let me make a warning about presumptuous sin. Explain how scripture does not allow for forgiveness basic on willful rebellion. But that how God is an unending source of mercy and forgiveness to those who stumble and are repentant. God never goes back on His Word, never walks out, never forsakes, never leaves, never sleeps, and always causes us to triumph through Christ. Church, we must never get weary of picking up the brethren who are truly warring against sin but faltering. We must strive for the same know of persistent loving-kindness. Oh how many times God should have forsaken us