Summary: In Nehemiah 8, we see true worship by the people. We see a longing for God's word; Listening to God's word and we see that we must let God speak to us through His word.
A call to worship
Intro: A PARAMEDIC was asked on a local Dallas TV talk-show program: “What was your most unusual and challenging 911 call?”
.“Recently,” paramedic began, we got a call from that big white CHURCH on 11th and Walnut. A frantic usher was very concerned that during their WORSHIP service an elderly man PASSED out in a pew and appeared to be dead. The usher could find no PULSE and there was no noticeable BREATHING.”
.“What was so unusual and demanding about this particular call?” the interviewer asked.
.“Well,” the paramedic said, “we carried out four guys before we found the one who was dead.”
. The message this morning in about worship.
. We are back in Nehemiah this morning and we are going to see one of the most beautiful pictures of worship found in the Old Testament.
.Many people go to church every Sunday.
. Many go for their whole life and never truly experience the worship of God.
. In one of my textbooks I found this little saying about modern man and their worship this week.
. Modern man: “worships his work, works at his play, and plays at his worship”
. My prayer is that this is not so for us.
. As I said we are back in Nehemiah this morning and we turn our attention to what the Jewish people did after the walls were rebuilt.
. They had spent basically two months in intense labor, working around the clock to rebuild the walls.
. 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 wanted to hear from God. They wanted to worship the one who had been with them as they had built the walls. They began to worship and they had an old fashioned Revival meeting.
. You remember the old fashioned revival meetings that would start on Sunday morning and end up after midnight on Sunday night.
. This revival was based on the word. On scripture.
. Let’s read our text.
. 1all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had given for Israel to obey.
2So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand.
3He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.
4Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. To his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah. To his left stood Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
5Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.
6Then Ezra praised the LORD, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
7The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah—then instructed the people in the Law while everyone remained in their places.
8They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage
9Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the LORD your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”
11And the Levites, too, quieted the people, telling them, “Hush! Don’t weep! For this is a sacred day.”
12So the people went away to eat and drink at a festive meal, to share gifts of food, and to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.