Summary: It not only takes the right message and the right method to understand God’s Word. It takes the right response. Do you want to understand the Bible in such a way that it will be sufficient for all of your life’s needs? Then you must have the right resp
Understanding God’s Word is not an optional thing for us. Understanding God’s Word is crucial. If we want to live our lives in the way that we were designed to live them, we have to understand how to do it. And the only way we can do that is to understand God’s Word. So, the question that this text has brought us to, over the past few weeks is, How can we understand God’s Word? What is He trying to tell us? How is God trying to speak to us? He’s trying to speak to us the exact same way that He was speaking to the remnant in our passage. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen that, first off, in order to understand God’s Word, we have to start with the right message. And then last week, we looked at how not only the right message is important, but the right method is important as well. Now, if all you heard were those two messages, you might think that the burden of understanding God’s Word is all on the one delivering it. You might think that if the preacher is doing his job, everything’s covered. I hope you didn’t think that. But even if you did, tonight’s message should clear that up. Because if the only thing it took was having the right preacher, everybody that listened to Jesus would have been saved. Everybody that listened to Paul would have completely understood God’s Word. But that wasn’t the case, was it? Because it not only takes the right message and the right method to understand God’s Word. It takes the right response. Do you want to understand the Bible in such a way that it will be sufficient for all of your life’s needs? Then you must have the right response to its teaching. Tonight we’re going to look at seven ways that the remnant responded to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. And as we do, I trust that we will be persuaded to respond in the same way when we hear God’s Word preached and taught.
When God’s Word is preached, we are to respond in unity. We’ve talked about this several times over the past couple of weeks. But we’re going to talk about it again because it’s important. If it wasn’t important, there wouldn’t be such an emphasis about it in the text. If we want to understand God’s Word, we have to gather together in unity. ALL the people gathered for the teaching. Not just part of them. Not just occasionally. They all gathered. And notice how verse 1 says that all the people gathered. They gathered as one man. What does that mean? It means that they gathered in unity. They left their differences behind. Were they all equally as “spiritual”? No, some of them had been passing information back and forth to the enemy. Some of them were related to Tobiah and were secretly plotting with him against Nehemiah. But they were all part of the “as one man” who came to hear the preaching of God’s Word. They didn’t bring those differences or disagreements out at that time. It wasn’t the right time or place for that. Later on, we’ll see that Nehemiah will take care of some of that. But not now. Differences were laid aside for the sake of the preaching of the Word. All the men. All the women. And all the children who were old enough to understand. Divisions of age and sex and social class were laid aside. Just like they should be laid aside for us. Everyone must be welcome and encouraged to sit in here under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. And if someone comes in here to listen to the preaching of God’s Word, we must gather together with them “as one man”. No matter what they look like. No matter what their background is. No matter if we know them or not. No matter if they have a lifestyle that is an abomination or not. I’m not talking about church membership here. I’m talking about the hearing of God’s Word. And when we hear God’s Word preached rightly, we are to respond in unity. We are to also respond with eagerness.