Friday, April 15, 2022

Restorers, Repairers and Rebuilders: Lesson 5 Rebuilding God’s People

 The rebuilding of the walls was finished on the 25th day of 6th month. Nehemiah 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.

Now begins the rebuilding of the people and their relationship to God. Ezra returned to Jerusalem to help Nehemiah in the dedication of the walls and the sanctifying of the people in their now rebuilt city. Ezra, a priest, scribe and scholar, assumed the job of rebuilding the people through the Word of God.

Rebuilding God’s People: By God’s Word

Nehemiah 8:1-8 The Word of God, Read, Interpreted and Applied. Nehemiah 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly (clearly and probably translated)

and gave the sense (they interpreted what the passage meant)

and caused them to understand the reading (they applied the passage to the people of Nehemiah’s day.)

This is the classic definition of expository preaching. Read it clearly, interpret it correctly and apply it to the lives of the listeners.

Rebuilding By Joy :Nehemiah 8:9-12

The people wept, probably because they were convicted of their national and personal sins. But Ezra, Nehemiah and the Levites told the people not to weep.

What were some reasons that weeping would not be appropriate at this time?

The dedication of the wall was a time to rejoice, not weep.

It was a time to look forward in joy no backward in sorrow.

It was the Holy Day of the feast of Trumpets, a feast day for rejoicing in and thanking God for His blessings.

The Power of Joy In Serving God

I need to utilize the power of joy in God's service. Quit waiting for joy to happen and instead believe in the power of joy that is already yours. Joy is both the power to serve and a reward for serving God.

Acts of Joy

Acts 5:40-42: Joy in Acts of the Apostles: Peter and the Apostles were arrested, imprisoned, warned not to preach and then beaten. What was their reaction to this abuse and threat?

They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Acts 16:22-25 – Joy in Jail

Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, jailed, and put in stocks. What did they then do?

They sang joyously through the night.

And what was the result of this joy empowered service?

There was an earthquake, the jail doors were opened and the stock unlocked, the Gospel was preached, the jailer  and his household repented, believed and were saved and baptized. From this start a great work began in Philippi.

Joy Our Power To Serve

Joy is a means of empowering God’s servants. Jesus taught the disciple the lesson of Joy in the Upper Room Discourse.

Joy In Jesus: John 15:10-14 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

How do we find and hold to joy?

By knowing Him, by keeping His commandments and hearing His word.

Joy Our Reward In Service

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

What made the difference in the two servants who were successful and the one which was not?  What was the motivation of each?

Two servants heard, "Enter into the joy of thy Lord."  One was cast out. Two understood why they were serving, to experience the joy of the Lord but the failed servant was motivated by fear instead of joy and live. He failed and was cast out of his place of service.

Why Am I Serving?

I must ask myself, Why and How am I serving God? Am I serving Him out of fear and legalistic duty, like the unprofitable servant?  If that is my motivation, then I will fail. Fear and guilt cannot sustain a lifetime of service.

Instead, I must serve Him in the power of, and for the reward of joy. It must not be the fear of condemnation that drives me, but the anticipation of the joy that draws me. Then it will be that one day, I may hear, “Well done though good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

Rebuilding By Remembrance

Nehemiah 8:13-16 Ezra and the Levites led the people in rebuilding the Holy Days of God, beginning with the Fall Festivals.

The first day of the seventh month marked the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hoshanah) ; the tenth day would be the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and the fifteenth to twenty-second days, the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).

These Holy Feast Days built up the history and heritage of God’s people through the memorials of the past and helped to rebuild their relationship with Him.

The Feast / Holy Days of God

The Power of Memorials

Today, we the New Testament people of God, celebrate every Sunday and two other memorials, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. All of these remind us of who God is in relationship to us.

God’s Old Testament People celebrated the Sabbath days and seven feast or Holy Days. All were meant to be a memorial of their relationship as a nation and a people to their God.

It is vital to our relationship with God that we honor these memorials. He has given them to us for a purpose, and if forget the memorials, then we will also forget God who gave them.


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