Summary: This message deals with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and the restoration of worship. Are there walls that need to be rebuilt so that we too can have "Worship Restored" ?
Neh 1:1-4, Neh. 8:1-8
Our text is one of the most beautiful portraits of the people of God at worship in all of scripture. It is a wonderful climax to a sad chapter in the history of God’s people.
When they disobeyed God and forsook him to go after idols.....God allowed them to be invaded. The temple was destroyed, the walls of the city were broken down, and the gates burned. Thousands of the Jewish people were taken as captives, and slaves. As of the time of our writing, the temple had been rebuilt. Yet, for the most part worship had not been restored. Many of the sins that had caused their troubles continued. Yet, God has a plan....and he has a man. He chooses a Jewish man serving in the King’s palace in Persia. A man who had never seen his homeland, one who had never laid sight on the temple. This is the story of Worship Restored!
1. The Weeping........Revealed. Neh. 1:1-4
a. There must be responsibility.
Nehemiah knew why his homeland, the people, and the city was in the condition it was in. There was no making of excuses, no laying of blame, no questioning God. He knew that the ruins of the city, and his country were the result of sins against the Holy God that had redeemed them. It is high time that we as a nation.....we as Christians quit passing the buck for our failures, quit laying the blame for our condition upon others. The moral dilemma’s that we face are a result of sin !
Government cannot correct it.........Education can’t get us back.............A Better Economy will not bring about Spiritual and moral recovery.
It is time that we take responsibility for our sin.
b. There must be remorse.
When Nehemiah rec’d the word of his country’s condition.....the Bible says that he
wept.....meaning he shed tears..........he also mourned.....to cry audibly. Nehemiah was broken hearted over the condition of his people. You know something sadly missing in our church’s today ? Weeping ! How long has it been since you saw wet eyes in church ? Tears at the altar ?
Story of Allen........
Know how come their missing ? It’s called “we don’t care”. We.....the church......have “settled in”. We’re saved......got our fire insurance against hellfire......and we’re just waiting for the Lord to come back ! That my friends is one of the most dangerous attitudes, and conditions that a people can ever get in.......That’s about as back-slidden as you can get.....when you’re unconcerned about your country.....about your church......and about others !
c. There must be repentance.
Nehemaih repented for the sins of those before him that had sinned against the Lord.
He repented for his own sins as well.
He realized that he too bore responsbibility.
The evidence of his repentance are seen in his fasting and praying.
Unless their is weeping over the ruins.....responsibility over our condition.....remorse and repentance for our sins their will never be a return to the former days.
2. The Walls..........Repaired.
Neh 2-6 gives the details of the repairing of the walls.
There was “fences that needed mending.”
The enemy had broken through and torn down the walls to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the “city of God”. It was the place where God said he would meet with his people. It was the center of worship for the Jews !
Before we as a church can really worship God the way that we need to.....and the way that God desires which is in “spirit and truth” as we discovered last week........there are some fences that need mending !
Fences between us and God
Fences within our families
Fences within the church.
For this to take place it takes.......
Nehemiah not only confessed his sin, and those of his forefathers, but he besought the Lord that he would touch the heart of the King of Persia that he might allow him to return to Jerusalem to repair the walls.
It is not enough to sit back, and wait for someone else to take charge or to wait for someone else to do the job. Someone must take the initive if change is to take place.
Though Nehemiah took the initive and became the leader.......he had to have help.
3. The Word..........Read.
Many of these folks born in captivity had never heard the word of God read. All that they had heard had been passed on to them.
Some no longer spake the native language, and possibly could not even understand what was being read to them......yet notice this....
a. Appetite. ch. 8:1 “besought” “employed”
b. Attentiveness ch. 8:3
c. Appreciation. ch 8:5
4. The Worship.........Restored. 8:6-8
The knowledge of God......the reading, and understanding of the scripture produce worship. Some folks seem to only get all stirred up, worked up, fired up and for the most part mixed up after some good singing.......don’t get me wrong......I love some good singing myself........it’s part of worship !