God’s Covenant

Obeying God’s Covenant

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 12

A “covenant” is an agreement between two parties.

A covenant is used in many ways in the Scriptures, but we must know that God has made a covenant with all mankind.

God has not only has made a covenant with all mankind, He is also the true witness to all covenants that we make with each other.

Even the marriage between one man and one woman is a covenant witnessed by God!

What was a part of God’s covenant with Abraham?

Lev 26:42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
Lev 26:43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.
Lev 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
Lev 26:45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.

God will never forget the covenants He has made!!!!

Deu 4:31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

The covenant that effects the church the most is, the Covenant of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

So let’s continue in the Book of Nehemiah:

*****Neh 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps.

These Levites were not in Jerusalem nor were they in Persia, they had returned to their cities that had been assigned to them from the time of Joshua.

We must know that God has intended all along for Jerusalem to be the most holy city in all the world, but that will not take place until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even so, the wall was built according to the plan of God, and it should be dedicated to Jehovah God who had blessed its reconstruction!

When we see the things that only God could have accomplished, we are foolish to not praise Him for those things, also knowing, there are many things that we do not recognize that God has accomplished, according to His plan, that moves ahead every day.

The Levites had been set apart for the priestly duties, including the work of the Temple, including the handling of sacrifices, but also arranging for the things of worship.

Remember the Nethinins were responsible for the care of the Temple.

It was also the Levites job to purify all the instruments of worship, including the musical instruments and by singing praises to the Lord.

The Levites were a gift of God to the Hebrew people and they still are today!

We must always understand that the city of Jerusalem is a special place set aside for the use of God!

The world could help to make this happen now instead of rejecting the plan of God or God has already said He will solve this problem Himself!

All those who claim the Lord Jesus Christ, should know all these things!

We as Christians must be dedicated to the Lord. This is the act of consecration, setting apart ourselves for the Lord.

*****Neh 12:28 And the sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain country round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of Netophathi;
Neh 12:29 Also from the house of Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had builded them villages round about Jerusalem.

Netophathi was the home city set aside for the Levites, but these particular Levites were singers.

Most of the singers for the worship in the Temple lived there, but some did also live in what is called the plain country, round and about Jerusalem.

That word plain is where the term Palestine comes from!

Although the Temple, the City of Jerusalem and homes were already dedicated to the Lord, this may be the first time that the walls of Jerusalem were dedicated to the Lord God Jehovah.

We might understand by this act of dedication, that the walls of Jerusalem were useless without the strength of God to protect them from His and our enemies.

The wall we build around ourselves, is the wall of salvation, and this wall is protected by the Divine Will of God, if we have dedicated ourselves to the will of God!

We need this wall of salvation, because within our house (our soul) dwells the Holy Spirit (Ghost) of God!

How did these Levites purify themselves?

Num 8:7 And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

*****Neh 12:30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.

Notice that all these things were meaningless, unless they were purified!

We must understand to be purified, is to put away all false gods and the idols of this world, and give ourselves to the Lord.

We must repent of our evil ways and walk in the ways of the Lord!

We cannot do this unless we have accepted the work of Jesus Christ to save us and the truth of our Creator!

We cannot be used of God to reach others, until we our saved and separated from this world of sin, pure in mind, (the mind of Christ), and sincere in the work the Lord has given us to do!

Why was the wall purified, because it was in fact a “type” of the power of God to defend Israel.

We must remember Solomon’s Temple, the city of Jerusalem, and these walls would never have been broken down had the previous generation been obedient to Jehovah.

It was disobedience to the Word of God that had caused all the problems of the nation buy God will never forsake the nation of Israel.

2Ch 36:14 Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:15 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
2Ch 36:16 But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.
2Ch 36:17 Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

With all these things now in the past, it was now time to look forward.

The Temple was rebuilt, the City of Jerusalem was rebuilt, the Walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, and it was time to rededicate these things to the God who had allowed these things to happen.

*****Neh 12:31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks, whereof one went on the right hand upon the wall toward the dung gate:
Neh 12:32 And after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,
Neh 12:33 And Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,
Neh 12:34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

Nehemiah brought the princes up on the wall because they were the descendants of the royal family of King David, but they were not the government at this time because Nehemiah was the governor assigned by King Artaxerses.

It was important that all the people see that the royal family were in agreement with these things Nehemiah had set his heart to accomplish.

The one thing the people needed to see, was that this wall that had been built so quickly was a sound wall and able to protect them and it was truly a work of God.

The walls of Jerusalem were wide enough for many people to walk upon.

We should remember, that the Dung Gate would show all of them the place where the filth of the city could be seen.

One half of these groups of princes would be led by Hoshaiah which means (Jah has saved), who we know nothing more about.

Azariah could possibly be the leading prince of the tribe of Benjamin.

We already know that Ezra was a descendant of the High Priestly family and a scribe of the Word of God.

This Meshullam, was also one of the chief men of the tribe of Benjamin.

Judah was a man who Nehemiah had made to be over one half of the city of Jerusalem.

This Benjamin was one who had to give up his Gentile wife, and a high-ranking man of the tribe of Benjamin.

This Shemaiah was one who was the head over certain of the priests.

This Jeremiah was also over certain of the priests.

This group on the wall had the princes from the royal line of King David, the two men assigned by Nehemiah to be in charge, each over one half of Jerusalem, the princes of the tribe of Judah, the princes of the tribe of Benjamin. and the heads of all the Levites and the priests.

If these people were convinced that the walls were safe and part of the dedication ceremony, then they could encourage all the other Jews, who we can be sure were watching as these men made their trip around the Walls of Jerusalem.

Since this was a joyous occasion, then there was a need for music.

*****Neh 12:35 And certain of the priests’ sons with trumpets; namely, Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Michaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph:
Neh 12:36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.

We know that Asaph had been appointed by King David, to be over all the music of the worship services and even in the time of Nehemiah, this family still provided the music for worship and at this dedication of the walls of Jerusalem.

We should understand that in typology, these walls represented the Divine protection of God.

Psa_5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This Zechariah was the descendant of Asaph, and all these others were part of that family.

Those musical instruments would include:

The harp or better known as the lyre.

The psaltry another type of harp.

The sackbut another type of harp that had only 4 strings.

The lute which was a type of guitar.

The gittith another type of string instrument.

The timbrel a form of tamborine.

The toph which is a drum.

There would be bells.

There would be cymbals.

And of course there would be trumpets of different types, possibly including bagpipes.

We can see that it was an orchestra that was upon that wall this day of dedication.

Music should always be a part of our own dedication to the Lord!

It was Ezra, the Priest and Scribe, who led this group of musicians.

This group climb onto the wall at the house of David.

*****Neh 12:37 And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward.

We know that Jerusalem is built upon a hill with the Temple upon a hill of Mount Moriah, so certainly there would be many steps in the city.

By dedicating the walls of Jerusalem in such a manner, Nehemiah was hoping that the people would be encouraged to complete the reconstruction of the City of Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem was under the control of Persia for more than 200 years and then about another 150 years, a part of the Greek empire.

Then came Herod and the Roman Empire.

It will be the Lord, when He returns, who will build the city of Jerusalem to His specifications, and then about 1000 years later or a bit more we that love the Lord will see the New Jerusalem.

In this world it seems all we see is destruction and rebuilding then rebuilding walls for protection.

It amazes me, that many of the well to do, will build walls around their own homes, but deny that we need walls to secure our nation.

They will have armed guards, but try to deny all other the right to defend their homes and families.

They will confine others to limited health care, while they legislate themselves a total free healthcare system.

They will confine many to small wages, while they insist on grand monies while they work and a grand retirement.

We do not live free as our forefathers planned, we are ruled by reprobates who reject the Word of God, and seek only power and prestige.

Shame on us for allowing this to happen in our nation!

The other half of this company after giving thanks to the Lord God Jehovah, went in the opposite direction.

*****Neh 12:38 And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;
Neh 12:39 And from above the gate of Ephraim, and above the old gate, and above the fish gate, and the tower of Hananeel, and the tower of Meah, even unto the sheep gate: and they stood still in the prison gate.

We have Nehemiah who represented the Government of Israel, and Ezra representing God’s people, speaking in one voice this day in Israel.

These people realized what could happen when they all worked together and according to the Word of God.

When we have been thru the valley of contention and made it to the crest of truth again, we should take a moment to look back where we came from and how the power of God had brought us again to the hill top.

We need to remove all negativity from our minds, and just trust the Lord to lead us.

Look back and see how history could have been changed, had the tiny nation of Israel remained true to the Word of God.

We could also say the same thing for our own nation!

One day we will live in a world where no one will be against the Word of God, and it will be a perfect world!

There will be no fish gate, and certainly no prison gate, no sheep gate and no old gate.

They will all be gates of pearl!

Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

In the New Jerusalem there be 12 foundations and each name had inscribed with the names of the 12 Apostles.

Those 12 men who obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ, and did cause the Gospel to begin its trip to all the world!

*****Neh 12:40 So stood the two companies of them that gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me:
Neh 12:41 And the priests; Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;
Neh 12:42 And Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

What do we know? We know that the work that God has given us to do is not druggery. It is a very satisfying thing to lead someone to the Lord.

It is a joyous thing to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that God wants all things done decently and in order.

What do all evolutionist miss along with most people of this world? They miss the fact that every living creature, every landscape, and every plant, every solar system and every process in God’s Creation are done decently and in order.

The truth of our universe is that it is orderly going about what God intended it to do.

The only thing where problems come is mankind!

These two groups in one voice gave thanks to God, not because they had returned to the Promised Land, but because they knew the Word of God was true and it will always be true!

God will fulfill every promise He has ever made to the Church and to the nation of Israel and its people.

We can open the Word of God and see a loving God who will do exactly what He says He will do.

Some will say that a loving God would never send anyone to Hell, but they have not understood the Word of God which teaches us how to avoid Hell, so if we end up in Hell then the blame is entirely on ourselves!

To be a Christian is a serious thing, because our goal is to be like Jesus Christ. He is our example and He teaches us, we cannot be perfect while we remain on this earth. This is still or goal and it is a happy and peaceful thing to accomplish.

There is still time for all the things concerning mankind to be accomplished!

Ecc_3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

This time grows shorter each day and God does not do things on our schedule but only on His schedule and His schedule will never change.

We can rejoice in the Lord and in our salvation, or we can give up on the Lord and be failures as Christians.

We see the failures of Christians in our nation every day. There are enough Christian in our nation to put good and righteous people in our government, but we sit at home and refuse to vote!

Either way, God’s plan moves along at His pace and we know the Lord will return when we lease expect it, and He will still be right on time no matter what is going on in this world.

Are we in a severe climate change? The Lord promised we would have the four seasons until He returns.

Will this world end drastically? The Church will be in Heaven well before this thing could ever take place!

God says to quit worrying about these things, and get busy serving the Lord.

Then stand upon your own personal wall, and give God the praise and worship that we should give Him every day!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Reviving A Nation

Revival and Renewal

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 8

The title of this lesson could have been, “The Revival of a Nation”!

We should clearly understand that walls can only do so much. What kept Israel safe was a relationship with God the Father, as a nation.

What will keep America safe? When the majority of people have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

I believe there was a time in America that this was true, but now the Church has become lazy, and even worse the Church has allowed the world to get inside the Church and the walls of the Church are crumbling and falling down.

What worked in the day of Nehemiah and Ezra will work again today, to revive God’s Church and get back to the business of redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Isaiah said send me.
As Ezra said send me.
As Nehemiah said send me.

We of the Church have got to take a stand and say Lord send us!!!!!

The Word of God already teaches us God’s blessings and it is only by the Word of God that we can bring revival back to the United States of America and only by the revival of God’s people.

If we want to see change in America, then we have to get back to the truth of God’s Word and live by God’s standards!

We do not need those books that have eliminated the truth of God, we must have the old standards and truths of the Scriptures. There are no new interpretations of the Scriptures. What God said the Jews He is saying to us, rightly divided.

What God has said about sin is the same for today!

Let’s see how Nehemiah describes what happened:

*****Neh 8:1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.

How do we revive our nation?

We must have a desire to live according to the Word of God!!!!!!

With all the things that had happened since Zerubbabel brought that first group back to Jerusalem from the captivity caused by Nebuchadnezzar, these people had seen that Jehovah God had been the key to success.

God’s Word had proven to be true over and over again!

The men who would stand up and speak the Word of God would not be charlatans, but they would be scholars of the Word of God.

A scholar is anyone to takes the Word of God as the truth, and teaches the fundamentals and the doctrines of the Scriptures.

We should all be scholars of God’s Word!!!!!

We notice immediately is was the people who demanded to hear what God has said and they spoke with one voice.

Ezr 3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together “as one man to Jerusalem”.

They had lived under the pagan laws of the world and there was not much truth in those things.

Most of them had not heard the Word of God at all.

Some had preserved what God had said, and taught as many as they could while in captivity.

It is hard to believe anything when you are a slave in a foreign country!!!!!

They went straight to the one man they trusted with the truth, which was Ezra and said to him, “teach us the laws of Moses”.

These were the laws that God had given to Moses for the Children of Israel, after the escape from Egypt.

They did not want some modern version, they wanted the truth of God, because they were tired of lies, they hungered for the truth!

*****Neh 8:2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

For those who do not know, the Jews had 613 laws that concerned their daily lives. Much more that the 10 Commandments that we usually think of.

The very first law is the one broke most often by us all!!!!!

Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

If we loved the Lord as we claim, then we would obey Him in all things!

The truth is, the Lord proves over and over that He is worthy of worship and praise. As Christians we owe the Lord our lives and our freedom.

So many have forgotten the truth of God, and are twisted in their thought patterns. by unscrupulous men who intend to see them fail.

God has blessed His Word as the instrument of the Church!!!!!

It is Bible truth that has changed the lives of so many and not the world which only teaches lies!!!!!!!!

Ezra had remained loyal to God all his days. He had made sure the Word of God, (by the Holy Spirit) had been preserved in its purity all his days and on this day, he had gotten the opportunity to preach, read, instruct, deliver the pure Word of God, to all those who had gathered in the city square of Jerusalem, the city of God.

These people had a renewed trust in their God Jehovah, who had done everything He said He would about their captivity and their freedom.

When you are on the receiving end of God’s truth, you never forget what God has done for you!!!!!!

Many of these people had never heard the Word of God, they had only heard the stories that others had said about it.

So all these people gathered for one thing and that was to hear the laws concerning their way of life.

We can be fools if we want to, but we all need directions in the purity of life and the thoughts of our Creator!!!!!

The Words of the Bible teach us the ways of our Creator and His character, and He simply ask us to be more like Him and He teaches us how we can do that.

As Christians we may not have those 613 laws, but we certainly are to be obedient to the Ten Commandments and again we may ask ourselves why, but it shows we are willing to trust God!!!!!!!

Again the greatest of those laws is to love our Creator, who is Jehovah God to the Jews and the Lord Jesus Christ to all Christians.

They are One and the same person!!!!!!!

Ezra had been in Jerusalem for possibly 13 years or more. He had set up the worship in the Temple and installed the priests to their functions and the Nethinims to their functions and he had beautified the inner parts of the Temple.

The people had never gathered in the way they had gathered this day!

It was the walls being rebuilt that had given them security that had caused them to gather in such a quantity on this day.

Nehemiah was a worthy “Governor” and “Ezra” was a worthy man of God. People they could trust.

We have many similarities in the USA today. We have a worthy President. We have the pure Word of God. We just do not that feeling of security because so many fought against the building a wall for security but have built the many walls of sin to surround us.

The Bible says that Ezra read from daylight until noon and still this congregation was inspired by what he read.

There is only One other who we know that read the Word of God and explained it better than Ezra and it was the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

We might ask ourselves, when were pulpits first used?

*****Neh 8:4 And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Matthias, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Neh 8:5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

This may not be the time of the first pulpit, but it tells of the need for the pulpit.

We know that radio has its special place, but most people would rather see who is doing the talking.

In reality, Ezra was obedient to the Lord by being bold enough to stand before these people and give the Word of God.

This is a great example for every Preacher and also for every Christian.

We can also see that the government endorsed this event as Nehemiah was now the Governor of Israel.

This platform was built large enough to hold 14 men.

The first thing we notice is that when Ezra open the Book (scrolls) these people showed reverence to the Word of God by standing.

No one told them to stand, they just stood in reverence to the Word of God.

I’m sure they did not stand for the entire 6 hours. It is also to be expected that these other 13 men would assist Ezra in the reading of the Word of God.

From this time on, the Jewish nation stood for the reading of the Word of God, a practice we observe in my church, named Gethsemane.

Another thing Ezra and these 13 men did was to “make sense of the Word”.

They preached the message of God and how to apply it to their daily lives!

You see, if we do reverence the Word of God for what it is, the inerrant, infallible, non-changing, perfect, Word of God, then we are not true believers.

The Word of God is not only true, but it is the truth. There is no higher authority than the written Word of God!

2Pe_1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

For those who sit quietly in their pews, we see it is OK to say Amen when we hear the true Word of God and its meaning!

We should never sit quietly to hear any twisted version or a false preacher, they need to be run out of our assemblies.

We must remember it is the people who are the Church, the Bride of Christ!

We can also see the lifting up of the hands as a form of worship. To worship is to celebrate the Truth of God, without being ridiculous.

We do these things in reverence to our Savior.

When we raise up our hands, they need to be “Holy Hands”!

A proper appreciation of God’s Word is necessary for spiritual success!!!!!!

Our worship service should not only be joyous, and unselfish, but be as God demands, “in Spirit and Truth!

Joh_4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh_4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

You see, now after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, at His first coming, now is the time to worship our Father in Heaven, by the means of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, whichever way you want to say it!

We must humble ourselves before our mighty God, and there is only One, His name is Jehovah and the Lord Jesus Christ!

For those who had trouble understanding, these men were provided to help them understand.

This is the way of making disciples!

***** Neh 8:7 Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

You see there is no one who should walk away from the house of God, that does not understand the truth of the Sermon, nor the application of the Word of God.

The Word of God is intended to be applied to our lives and by this, will those who are lost see a great change in us!

Psa 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Psa 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

The key to understanding is to realize that the entire Bible is about our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Joh 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Joh 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

As we can see by the destruction of the Temple, the synagogue and the church how hold the importance for understanding the Word of God!

There was no one in this assembly was not informed of the truth of God!!!!!!

Remember once we hear the Word of God, we must make our decision to believe or to not believe!

Reminds us that day of Pentecost with the Apostles.

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Act 2:6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Just so we know, every man in this assembly heard the Word of God in his own tongue. That word tongues, has the meaning of language.

Each one in their assembly heard the Word of God in his own language.

This was the gift of tongues and not something heard that even God did not hear, not some mumbling of the Holy Spirit.

We see again that Nehemiah was indeed the Governor of Israel.

*****Neh 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.

Tirshatha means Nehemiah was Persian Governor of Judea, Ezra was now the recognized High Priest and remained a Scribe all his days.

The Levites, the descendants of Aaron, were the teachers and they taught the people according to the truth of God.

This day was not to be a day of sadness but a day of rejoicing.

The Word of God never brings sadness. It is sad only to those who desire to keep their sin and refuse to give it up!!!!!!

Giving up your sin is not a requirement for salvation, but once you love the Lord Jesus you will want to be more like Him, and Jesus our Savior had no sin at all, and this is to be our own goal!

Jesus Christ will help you to do away with your, sin just as He did me and many others by taking the “I Want To” out of your life.

I do not have a desire to sin, in fact I hate sin and every true believer will think along these same lines.

To be Christian is to be “Like Jesus Christ”!

The day of these things was most probable a new-moon day.

These people were sad because they felt the guilt of not knowing the Word of God as they should have and they felt a danger that God would once again send them into captivity, but if we will do as His Word says, and He will never go against His own Words!

There is a great need for the Christian community to study the Word of God!!!!!!

You cannot study the Scriptures unless you choose a Bible that is translated from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.

Be very selective when choosing your Bible!!!!!

The Bible is its own best commentary, but you can get some help and thoughts from some of the commentaries, but again be very selective in choosing those commentaries!!!!!!

You will also need at least one dictionary and there are good biblical dictionaries.

We must keep in mind that these Scriptures were written in a time different from our own time, yet the Scriptures are just as relevant today as they were then, but we must consider these things.

It is most important that we know that the pure Word of God is the truth of God!!!!!!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

It was now time to go back to their homes and meditate on what they had learned this day.

You see it was decision time!

*****Neh 8:10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Neh 8:11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

Every day we spend time in the Scriptures is a holy day!

We get alone with God when we pray, and we also get alone with God when we spend time with God’s Word.

We must treat the Scriptures as the very Word of God because this is the truth!!!!!!

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God the Holy Spirit inspired all the Word of God in many ways to those 40 or more men who actually penned those words for us!

When Ezra gave these words to the people he was saying, this was a joyful day and not one of fasting and grief.

Sure the Word of God convicted them of their sin, but it also showed them the means of redemption.

They need only repent and return to the Lord!!!!!!!!!

This day was probably the opening day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.

Lev 23:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.
Lev 23:3 Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

Lev 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
Lev 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.
Lev 23:41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
Lev 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
Lev 23:43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Lev 23:44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

Surely it was a time to help those who could not help themselves!!!!!!!

It was a holy day so there should be no signs of mourning, but a day of remembering all the good things God had for them.

It was by their own disobedience that they had suffered but those days would be over, if they remained obedient to the Lord.

Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Zep 1:7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

It will be the same when the Lord returns:

Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
Zec 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
Zec 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

It was a day of peaceful celebration because they had heard the Word of God and they had understood it!

*****Neh 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

We must understand all the great revivals in our history began with a hunger for the truth of God!!!!!

This comes only by His Words and those who preach God’s Words and not their own words!!!!!!

There is truly a sweetness in God’s Peace!!!!!!

There is a dire need today within all societies for all Christian believers to study the Word of God, and awaken those who do not know the truth of God!

The Word of God does not only teach the commandments of God, but it teaches us how to be obedient to those commandments!

Here in the Bible belt of America many have become insensitive to the Word of God because it is heard so often, so we treat our Bibles like we treat other books and we need to get back the joy of the truth of God and avoid the miseries of this world.

We can still have the peace of God!!!!!

Php_4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is the wondrous Word of God that keeps us motivated, in the immoral society of today.

We know the truth and it is not our truth to keep from others, it is indeed the truth that needs to be heard by all others and explained to all others!

The Word of God will also arouse us to show compassion to those who are without and those who are abused by the world today.

You want to make your life better!

Get into the Word of God and study and believe!!!!!!

Ask the Holy Spirit for His help!!!!!

We must understand that God has no secrets that He is trying to hide from us!

These people had seen the Temple rebuilt and so what, that it was not as glorious as the first Temple. Most had not seen the Temple of Solomon.

These people had seen the city of Israel restored and so what, that there were still signs of destruction.

These people had seen the walls of the city restored so they could have that sense of security that comes with walls.

The Word of God that also contained much of the history of their nation was again restored as the Words of Life.

God had met their needs, so it was not a time to grieve, it was a time to celebrate!

What do we have to complain about today?

It is still a time to study the Word of God to know the truth of God.

Jesus Christ is the God of the Bible.

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

We already have the pure Word of Life. Read it and understand the Love of God!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Opposed By Our Enemies

Opposition from Enemies

Book of Nehemiah Chapters 4 thru 6

The one thing we will always see as we are involved in the work of the Lord is, we will always be opposed by those in the world! Persecution is a fact of life for those who are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

Most of the younger generation have never heard of the Ten Commandments but that does not mean they are free to live as they want to.

This next generation has been led to be against anything that is good, because it carries with it a high price and they are only interested in things that are free, when nothing in this life is free!

None of these things change what the Lord has given His followers to do!

Nehemiah had returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Artaxerxes but the king was 900 miles away and did not realize how the enemies of Israel would act.

The spirit of antisemitism flowed heavily through those nations that surrounded Israel just as it does today!

This comes because these Jews served Jehovah God, who requires obedience and who rejects sin!

God was beginning again to show favoritism to the Hebrew children and the neighboring nations wanted to stop anything they did!

*****Neh 4:1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Before we see who this Sanballat is lets see who Eliashib is.

Eliashib was the high priest at that time, he did assist in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem but only that portion that connected to his house.

The truth is he and his family sided with the enemies of Israel.

Neh_13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:

Neh_13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

Neh_13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

Tobiah was an Ammonite and a Gentile and a partner to Sanballat but married into the Jewish family of the High Priest.

Sanballat was a Moabite but his daughter was married to the son of Eliashib and would also be a priest of Israel, and what did God say?

Neh_13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God “for ever”;

We should remember Gentiles could not enter into the Temple grounds.

Sanballat was a high ranking official of Samaria and would have been much better off trying to make Samaria a proud nation but he wasted his time seeking the destruction of Israel.

*****Neh 4:2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

When we see those who have a sickening hatred of the Jews today, we can know it is hereditary and is from a long history.

These that have hated the Jews have seen what Jehovah has done for this tiny nation, but they have also seen how God has loved them and the prophecies of them, yet they have no fear of God and it will cost them dearly in the end.

Gen_12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

This world of today is just like the those of the day of Nehemiah, and should be trying to get the blessings of God instead of the cursing of God!

Those who hate Israel will see complete destruction less they repent!

It had taken many years by great kings for the walls of Jerusalem to be built, no one could believe that these ordinary people could accomplish what Nehemiah had encouraged them to do.

When we seek God’s blessings, we can accomplish great things because He is always willing to help!

Now we see that Tobiah was also an enemy of Israel even though he was also in the family of the high priest.

*****Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

One of the first things people filled with hatred will do is to mock those they hate!

Tobiah was an enemy of the Jews but was married into a Jewish priestly family.

He actually had a room in the Temple that was reserved for the priest. This went against the Laws of Moses.

It was a mockery to the laws of God!

Remember the Jews wanted Titus stoned to death because they thought Paul had allowed him into the Temple

His son Johanan was married to Meshullam the daughter of another high-ranking Jew. They were also linked to Sanballat in causing problems for Nehemiah in rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

These two Jews and their families did not approve of what Nehemiah was trying to do.

The Samaritans and the Jews were already enemies, and these things just made the Jews hate them even more, so that by the time of our Lord Jesus, the Jews would not even walk through the nation of Samaria.

They mock and threatened the people of Jerusalem trying to stop the construction of the walls of the city.

Neh 13:4 And before this, Eliashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah:
Neh 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.
Neh 13:6 But in all this time was not I at Jerusalem: for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and after certain days obtained I leave of the king:
Neh 13:7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.
Neh 13:8 And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.
Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.
Neh 13:10 And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.
Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

Nehemiah prayed to the Lord against these evil men.

*****Neh 4:4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
Neh 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

What is the strategy of the devil? Mockery, Scorn, Insult, Making fun of, Taunting, Ridicule, among other things in an attempt to cause us to give up the work of the Lord.

So many who begin a work for the Lord, fall into this trap and become dishearten and will just quit on the Lord.

So, what is an imprecatory prayer? It is a prayer that is prayed for some evil to fall upon an enemy.

Psa 5:10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

This prayer is for those who are wicked, reap exactly what they sow!

Without repentance this is exactly what will happen because this is truth of the Word of God for us all!

Job_4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

We must understand that God will execute justice on all those who reject Him.

This one thing is hated by all those who are lost! They cannot stand anyone who will not allow them to do as they please!

Those who reject us, as we seek to do the work of the Lord, are not rejecting us they are rejecting God!

Nehemiah was not praying for emotional vengeance, Nehemiah was praying for God to deliver His people from these wicked people!

This is the only way this prayer should ever be prayed, for our deliverance from evil!

Jesus Christ gave us this example.

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, “but deliver us from evil”: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen

What is perseverance?

1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Perseverance is when we know we are kept by the power of God till He takes us home, and we just need to keep going with the work God has given us to do, no matter what opposition we face!

What did Nehemiah and those with him do? They continued to build the wall ignoring the threats of this enemy.

*****Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

What does it take to do a work for the Lord?

We need a mind for the work!

What is earnestness? We could say that earnestness is an intense desire to please the Lord.

Earnestness is a zeal to accomplish what we set out to do for the Lord!

What is the truth of this world? Our world is full of Sanballats!

All the Sanballats are not dead yet, in fact there may be more now than there have ever been!

When we criticize the work of the Lord, we have become a Sanballat ourselves!

Sanballats stand up and say, “we as Christians are not able”.
Sanballats offer active opposition even when the work of the Lord is going on.
Sanballats even cause despair to their friends who are involved in a work of the Lord.
Sanballats refuse to pray for certain works of the Lord to succeed!

How are we to react to Sanballats?

We are to work together to succeed.
We must be willing to strive for success.
We must pray to the lord for His help.
We must set our minds to the work.
We must have a courageous trust in the Lord!

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

When the Sanballats of the world have been ignored and that work is near completion, then we as Christians must be prepared for a frontal attack!

*****Neh 4:10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.
Neh 4:11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

The truth is, the more we know about our enemies, the better we can resist them.

What does the Holy Spirit say?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We must always understand, we will never have the strength to stand against this evil world alone, we must have with us, the Power of God!

Praying and standing guard are the very first things we must do to protect against the enemy’s attack!

We must understand that the enemy cannot take away our salvation, so we should know that our enemies want to ruin our testimony, and stop or hinder any progress we may have in our ministry for the Lord.

Knowing these things, then we know what to prepare for!

Satan is a persistent foe, but he is also already a loser, so we must understand a wounded lion is still a very dangerous enemy.

1Pe_5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

We must never forget we are in a war!

*****Neh 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Neh 4:15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

We should get one thing very clear as we approach the Rapture and the Second Coming of the Lord.

We will have to fight for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will have to fight for our sons and daughters.
We will have to fight for our spouses.
We will have to fight for our homes.
We will even have to fight to keep our nation, remembering our true home is in Heaven.

The war with Satan and his followers is getting closer every day. In fact it has been going on since the time of Christ!

When these things are firm in our minds, then we can continue on with the work of the Lord because He wants us to succeed!

If we are too scared to fight then that fear did not come from the Lord!

2Ti_1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We cannot allow the works of Satan and those rulers in high places, to cause us to fear for our lives because our lives are already in the hand of the Lord!

It is well that we should know our enemies then we can better resist them!

We must understand that some of our greatest enemies are already inside the Church!

Neh 6:10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
Neh 6:11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
Neh 6:12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

There was only one answer then, and there is only one answer now!

*****Neh 4:16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Neh 4:17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

How did Nehemiah counter the enemy?

Nehemiah placed people to work whose sole job was to look out for the enemy, and be prepared to fight to preserve the Children of God!

Every working soul was also given a weapon to keep near him or her.

We must be very clear. our God is much mightier than all the foes of the Church and if we will make our stand on the Word of God and not give in to the world, God will show His might to our enemies!

Confidence and faith go hand in hand!

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

We must clearly understand that as far as life is concerned. salvation is much stronger than anything our enemies can throw at us!

Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Php 1:28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

What is the truth of our world?

*****Neh 4:18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Throughout history life has been to work and life has been warfare.

Most of these things are because of the curse of Adam.

Gen 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Gen 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

These things will not change until after the Rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of the Lord.

As Christians we will face these things every day, but we will find that our greatest enemy is ourself.

Our internal wars are our most severe battles and the most painful.

If we overcome this our greatest enemy, we will be ready for the Lord. If we cannot overcome these things, then all our lives we will be subject to the fear of this world.

Our enemies of the world are all those who oppose the Word of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ even though some of those we may call our friends and even our family.

The one thing we need to remember when the trumpet sounds, we will be going home.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Our strength will always be the Lord!

*****Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
Neh 6:16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

There are things that happen today that when the world observes them, they can only say that it had to come from God.

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to hold back the evil in this world and He cannot do that when the children of God are either too lazy to do the work or the church has quit on God.

We can say what we will, but both these things are happening in our Church today.

There is in reality a great falling away from the Church.

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

There should be no doubt that we are in the day of that “falling away”.

Since this is true, then we could see the “man of sin”, the Antichrist come onto the scene at any time and he might already be here and has gone unnoticed.

The enemies of Israel in the day of Nehemiah had missed a great opportunity to cause harm to God’s people, not because they were afraid of Israel, but because they were afraid of the King of Persia.

Today the Children of Israel are safe from a true attack because they are allies of the United States of America.

If America ever withdraws the help to this tiny nation, or if America becomes too weak to help defend Israel, we will see that Israel will be attacked and then we will see that the prophesies of God will become a reality.

The job of the Church, at least here in America is more important now than ever, because we need to place our watchmen and gird up our loins, for we are in a war with the evil in our own nation.

We are foolish if we do not let our voice be heard.

God does not need any of us nor does He need our nation, His plan is going forward every day, but if we are on the Lord’s side, then we need to get busy!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Rebuilding The Walls of Jerusalem

Rebuilding the Walls

Book of Nehemiah Chapter 2:9-20

In last week’s lesson we met a Jewish man named Nehemiah who was born in captivity in Babylon. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar had taken most of the Jews of Jerusalem to Babylon after he had destroyed the city.

Nehemiah had never seen the city of Jerusalem but there can be little doubt that his parents had told him of God’s city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had great concern for those who had returned to Israel because God had softened the hearts of King Cyrus and King Darius and they had helped financed the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon that had been destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Nehemiah was just a cupbearer for King Artaxerxes, who was now the King of Persia and he had learned of the turmoil of those who had returned to Jerusalem and he approached this king to release him long enough to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem so his people could be safe from the neighboring enemies.

King Artaxerxes gave permission Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem as long as he would return to his job as his personal cupbearer. A cupbearer could be considered today as a butler.

Nehemiah was given documents of proof of his mission, access to the king’s forest and an armed escort for the trip to Jerusalem a 900-mile trip that would have taken at least 3 months.

So let’s pick up our story where we left off:

*****Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Many good things had not taken place in Jerusalem because of a lack of leadership. Ezra had done what he had set out to do. The work on the Temple was completed and worship and the festivals where being observed but the city lived in fear of the neighboring enemies.

As things improved in Israel and the land began to blossom, the enemy began to take notice and began to hinder the lives of the Jewish people.

We must understand that the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem would not be something that would be allowed by most conquering nations because, if rebellion came again it would take much time to regain control of Jerusalem, but King Artexerxes allowed this to take place because he knew the enemies of Israel and refused to allow these things in his kingdom. Again another type!

The name Jerusalem means the city of peace but there will be no true peace in Jerusalem until the return of the Messiah.

We can think of those enemies now as Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon who still cause problems for Israel.

They did not want Israel to remain a nation then, and they do not now.

They were pained to see someone come to seek the welfare of these Hebrew Jews. They did not know at that time that Nehemiah had come to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

We have no recording of the trip of Nehemiah, so we know it was without incident.

What we do know is, that King Artaxerxes cared for his cupbearer so much, for the safety of Nehemiah that it would have been foolish to confront this armed escort that was with him.

These governors were no more that puppet rulers who could have been quickly removed and replaced had they caused them harm.

So Nehemiah came to Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
Neh 2:12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

After three day’s rest Nehemiah secretly looked at the task that needed to be done in secret, at night by the light of the moon.

He could not make plans until he evaluated the job that had to be done.

Nehemiah did not bring a large workforce, he would have to present his plan to God’s people to get this work done.

This is the same thing God does today. God does not have a work force, He presents His plan to God’s people.

Nehemiah was in love with Jerusalem and he had never even been there.

This is the way the church should be today!

We may never see this Jerusalem but as Christians we will see God’s New Jerusalem!

What does God say about these things?

Psa 51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Psa 51:19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

The walls of Jerusalem are as much about the city as the city of Jerusalem itself!

The walls would be built, and the gates would be repaired.

All those who reject safety and security of their nation, are no more than ambassadors for the enemy.

*****Neh 2:13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

Let’s look at these gates:

1) Gate of the Valley was the gate that opened to the Valley of Hinnon. In the days of King Solomon this gate led to where children were sacrificed to the false gods Molech. No Jew would enter at this gate because it was considered to be unclean.

It was King Josiah who finally broke down these false gods!

2Ch 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
2Ch 34:5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

No one seems to know exactly where the “Dragon Well” was located though most of them believe it was the well that fed the “Upper Pool of Gihon”. Maybe the same as the “Serpents Pool” mentioned by Josephus.

2) The Dung Port was the gate where all the trash and the filth of the city was taken out of the city. It was located about 1500 feet from the Gate of the Valley.

*****Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

The Gate of the Fountain was the gate nearest to the Pool of Siloam which is also called the King’s Pool, some say this was the only true well in Jerusalem, others say it was probably the aqueduct built by King Hezekiah to bring the waters of Gihon into the city. This Gihon was a fountain near the city of Jerusalem.

Nehemiah had to walk for a time because of the rubbish that was gathering where this gate once stood, his horse could not pass for that rubbish.

*****Neh 2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
Neh 2:16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

The brook would be the brook Kidron, which carried the filth of Jerusalem to the Dead Sea when the rains came, but from there Nehemiah could see the Eastern wall and then he returned to get his horse.

When Nehemiah had gotten to Jerusalem, there was no sign of anyone being in authority and he did not try to contact anyone to see who might be in charge.

It was possible that there was a sort of town council.

It was only after Nehemiah had surveyed all the walls that he confronted the residents of Jerusalem.

*****Neh 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

As Jerusalem had begun to grow into a city, they were at the mercy of their enemies who lived around them.

We know that as always, the rich survive but the poor are always at risk!

These words of Nehemiah brought assurance to these people and they went to work building the walls of the city.

Building the walls just seemed like an impossible task, but when you take a great big job and break it down into many small jobs then it no longer seems so impossible.

Jeremiah had described these things for us:

Lam 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lam 2:6 And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
Lam 2:7 The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.
Lam 2:8 The LORD hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: he hath stretched out a line, he hath not withdrawn his hand from destroying: therefore he made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the LORD.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast up dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city.

All these things that Nehemiah described were the things that God had allowed to happen to Jerusalem and the Temple, because these people had gone against the commands of God!

Eze 5:14 Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
Eze 5:16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
Eze 5:17 So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

These people did not need a reminder of the conditions they had to live with.

What they needed was encouragement and “faith” in God that they could change things if they would become obedient to the Lord!

The one thing that we so easily do is to forget we serve an almighty God, who is able to provide our needs and keep us safe from our enemies.

What are we supposed to do?

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

What will God then do?

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Php 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

*****Neh 2:18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

When we witness to others, we need not tell them how great we are because we are a Christian, we need to brag on God.

We do not brag on God near enough today, yet God still loves us!

It is because we are obedient to God that things that most all things are better for us!

If these people would trust the Lord God of Israel, then they would be unstoppable in this world.

The hand of God was good on Nehemiah or how else could he have gotten favor with this Persian King.

We understand that the Lord works upon the hearts of people and just hearing again, “How Great Thou Art”, they quit being lazy believers and became obedient working believers.

All in all, God does not ask much of any of us! He asked us to believe Him and to do that we must accept that (all), (every word) of God is true!

Deu_8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Pro_30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Mat_4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luk_4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

When we say we trust God, then we are saying that we believe what He says, each and every word!

We should remember that caution in the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!

Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Ezra had made sure these people had the true Word of God and it was time for them to get busy for the Lord.

Again, God will not do for us things we can do for ourselves and there is no need asking.

If we are too lazy to do things that we are physically and mentally able to do ourselves then God will not help with those things.

God does the things that are impossible for man to do!

These people were in jeopardy for their lives because they were too lazy to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.

God sent a man of God, Nehemiah, to remind them of these things.

And of course, the enemy is always watching what God’s people are doing!

*****Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

A Horonite was known for their anger and fury and Sanballat had those qualities. These are some of the things that God says will cause us to sin.

Tobiah was a descendant of Lot and they have always hated the children of Israel, because they still thought that Lot should also receive the blessings of Abraham, but God does what God does and God says what God says, none of these things kept them from being blessed of God, but hatred and anger will never be qualities approved of God.

At this time this Geshem was the Chief of all the Arab nations, and through today the Arabs hate all the things of the Jews and would see the tiny nation of Israel disappear from the face of the earth, but God will not allow this to happen and those that defy God are foolish!

These Hebrews were not going against the King, in fact they were doing things that the King of Persia had already approved, so this time these Hebrews ignored them as they should have all along.

Nehemiah assured God’s people that if they were obedient to God, they did not have to worry about the King of Persia and in fact it was these trouble makers who had better worry about what the King of Persia might do to them.

We need some more men like Nehemiah today to challenge the Church to be obedient to the Lord!

As true believers, we also must challenge and exhort all others to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and join the family of God.

To be honest, God is not impressed with lazy Christians!

When we live self-centered lives instead of God-centered lives, we are most always in jeopardy of getting caught up in the sins of this world!

What are we to do?

1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

We are all to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Tit 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Tit 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

We are all to to be present in the House of God when the time comes to do so!

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

This is the truth of God, and it is the truth of our salvation, because we are in the family of God and it is still time for us to take a stand on God’s Word without worrying about what the enemy will do!

Our wall is the Lord Jesus Christ and He opens one gate and that is the gate of “FAITH”!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

God Prepares Some Man

God Prepares a Man

Nehemiah 1:2-10; 2:2-8

So far, we have seen that Zerubbabel had been sent by King Cyrus back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the House of God.

We know that once the foundation of the Temple was laid, the work of the Temple stopped for about 18 years and God sent the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (the government) and the High Priest (the religious leader) who had been beautifying their own homes and left off the work on the Temple.

After Haggai told them “Thus sayeth the Lord”, the work began again.

We know Ezra had come to rebuild the city and help with the Temple.

By this time there was over 100,000 people who had returned to Jerusalem and Judah.

All these people were at the mercy of their enemy and things were hard to accomplish.

It seems like Israel is always being attacked one way or another.

God sees all these things and God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, for the King of Persia to build the walls of Jerusalem.

Those who think God does not see what is going on in this world are foolish, God sees everything, and prayer is still the best way to get things done that we cannot do. God still expects us to do what we can do. He may not help us with those things!

Let’s begin at Nehemiah Chapter 1 and verse 1:

*****Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
Neh 1:2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

King Artaxerxes had been on the throne for 20 years and history tells us he reigned for 20 more years.

The ninth month Chisleu would correspond to our November and sometimes part of December. The Winter months so this King was in Shushan which was the location of his winter palace. The Summer palace was located at Ecbatana. Nehemiah would have traveled with the king no matter where he traveled.

Today this location once a magnificent city is now only a place of ruins. This is also the city where the events of the Book of Esther took place.

The event that we will learn is things that happen after a conversation and then a serious prayer to the Lord and not just one prayer but a continuous prayer.

Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem, but we know that he had been taught the Word of God by his parents.

Nehemiah had a deep concern about his fellow Jews which in that day, may have been called the Hebrew people by the world.

Nehemiah had compassion for his people, and this is a great lesson for us here today.

In fact the entire first chapter will show us the compassion he had for his people.

As we go through this lesson, we will see the Nehemiah is in typology another type of Christ.

Mar_6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Fourteen times in the books of the Gospel the word compassion is used about our Lord and Master.

If we are to be like Christ, we are to have compassion, especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

What was the message Nehemiah had learned?

*****Neh 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

As we know from last week, these Jews were suffering because God had brought a drought.

They were suffering economically.
They were suffering spiritually.
They were suffering because of the greed of those who had control, the government
They were suffering because they feared the neighboring nations.
They were suffering because they had no fear of God!

Yes antisemitism existed even in that day!

When Nehemiah heard all these things he wept for his homeland and those who were trying to live without God!

Nehemiah knew that two groups of his people had been back in Jerusalem for many years now and he was not expecting such bad news.

Psa 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

These things caused Nehemiah to weep for his homeland.

Nehemiah had such a great job in captivity he had given no thought of returning to Israel and Jerusalem, but that would now change.

*****Neh 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Neh 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

These things broke the heart off Nehemiah, and we can watch as God immediately had plans for Nehemiah all along.

Nehemiah could feel the suffering of others in his own heart!

Nehemiah knew that Jerusalem was the most holy city in all the world, until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and the Temple.

He was hoping with all those who had returned, that things would have been much better.

God expects us to feel in our heart the needs of others! It is called compassion.

God expects us, when we are able, to help those with needs and we can do this through the Church if all the other needs of the Church are met.

Not many of us partake of fasting but sometimes fasting can clear our minds so we can see the needs of others, and the clear will of God

The greatest need of all is still salvation!

Salvation will open our eyes to the needs of others because to be saved is to trust the Lord and then try to be like Him!

Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

What we have seen is God had first placed the government back in Jerusalem along with the High Priest.

Next God sent Ezra to establish the Church.

Now God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, who had no great skills, to restore security to the city of Jerusalem.

God loves to use ordinary people with not many skills, because they know that they must trust in the Lord God to meet their needs!

And, Every step we take must be bathed with prayer!

*****Neh 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Nehemiah had not returned to Jerusalem because of his position in the court of the Persian King. So God would test him to see if he was sincere.

If our prayers are not sincere and bathed in faith, God will hear, but He may not answer until Nehemiah had enough faith to see these things take place.

God always knows what He is going to do, and God knew that Nehemiah was the man He would use.

While Nehemiah was only a cupbearer, he could learn the workings of government being so close to the King of Persia.

We should understand that God places us in places not only to witness to the lost, but to learn a skill that can benefit the Church, even if it is just a high paying job so our tithes and offerings, will be a great benefit

Some people are prayer warriors, some people keep the church going with those tithes and offerings, and some people give of themselves to keep the church going.

There is a place for every member to the church!

Al these things are to work with the commands of Jesus Christ!

The main thing is that when God calls us for His use, then we need to say yes. Self-sacrifice is the great test of faith!

By being obedient to the Lord, we step into the wonders of the plan of God!

We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His supreme power over all His creation.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His majesty, and His goodness, along with His greatness.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His faithfulness to those who love Him.

Nehemiah was an intercessor for his people, and he did not know it as of yet.

Nehemiah realized that it was actually a sin that was holding up the progress in Jerusalem.

We will find out that it is a great sin not to pray for the peace in Jerusalem and be commited to Israel as much as we are commited to our own nation also realizing that we are ambassadors for Christ to all nations.

It is always sin that interferes with progress made in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.

*****Neh 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

By not keeping the commandments of the Lord we show the Lord that we do not love Him!

Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

This not just for the Jews.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When we are not keeping the commandments of the Lord, rightly divided, we are also very corrupt against the Lord!

*****Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Neh 1:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah realized why he was in captivity, it was because as a nation, Israel and Judah had forsaken the Lord.

Nehemiah also realized that God had allowed room for repentance and a great promise that God had made.

If they would repent, then God would gather these Jews no matter where they had been scattered.

Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
Deu 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

We know from all these things written for us to see, that God did not break a promise then and God will not break a promise today.

How do we make America great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

How will Israel be made great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is the same for every nation where Christians are located!

Who was God talking to this day?

*****Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

We know that God has made certain promises to the Children of Israel and God will keep all His promises.

We also know that God’s timing is in His control.

When God’s makes a promise we cannot dictate when that promises will be fulfilled, but we can be sure that God will fulfill our needs until that time comes.

God did not need to be reminded that this was the same people He had redeemed from Egypt, but He tells us to study the Scriptures, so we know these things and it was OK for Nehemiah to mention this fact to show his own trust in the Word of God.

Isa 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

We also know God has made many promises to the Church and God will fulfill these promises also, again in His own time.

God has not forgotten any of these things, for it is impossible for God to forget about His children.

The good fathers always remember their children! Jehovah God is the “Greatest” Father

Nehemiah needed to see the king and God made a way for him to do so.

*****Neh 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. It was Nehemiah’s job to taste the wine to make sure it was safe to drink. If Nehemiah looked sick, then it could have been caused by the wine.

Certainly this king would have his eyes on Nehemiah to make sure he was healthy.

We should be able to see how God arranges things for our best interest.

Nehemiah was just some Jew who just happened to become the cupbearer for the King.

I’m sure the he was not to thrilled to be the one to make sure the King’s wine was not poisoned or spoiled.

In the end, Nehemiah had a great job but in reality, he was placed in that job just for the time that was coming now.

God always has a man in position for His plan to move forward, and I am sure He has some women in places also, just so His plan moves along as it should.

Nehemiah was not sick, he was brokenhearted, and it showed.

We will see how the plan of God is worked out with the utmost precision.

It took a lot of nerve for Nehemiah to address this king, but God had touched the heart of this king, so Nehemiah was treated more like a son than a stranger.

We can see all sorts of types in these passages!

The beginning of these things was the fact the Nehemiah had first prayed, in fact he had fasted and prayed because he had a true concern for his people.

Do we have that much concern for our children or our grandchildren that we would not fast and pray for our people just as Nehemiah?

We should pray first at the sign of trouble, we should pray often, and pray much, and sometimes we need to fast and pray and then we need to listen for God to answer. Remembering if it is according to the plan of God, He will never say no.

Salvation of our children and our families are in the will of God and part of His plan!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nehemiah stood in the gap and interceded for his people. We know of another, the Lord Jesus did so on a much grander scale.

As a father for his dear son, he asked, just what is it that you need?

And what did God say about our prayers?

Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

While this king was listening, Nehemiah wanted to be sure he asked for the right things and no one knew that better than God so Nehemiah made a real quick silent prayer.

*****Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

Before we go too far, we must understand, there was no benefit for this king to allow the wall to be restored around the city of Jerusalem.

If Jerusalem rebelled again it would be costly to lay siege and wait on them to starve to death again.

Two groups had already been financed by Persia to rebuild the Temple so that to should not be asked again, but to keep the city secure, not from Persia, but from the locals such as Samaria, was a thing the king may consider, especially since God, Himself would put these things in the heart of this king.

Know this, that at any time this king could have refuse any or all the request of the Jews, but he did so willingly and gladly!

So Nehemiah requested and secured a royal commission to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls.

We should remember it was dangerous for Nehemiah to show a sad countenance in front of the king.

The kings in this day were always aware of plots to over throw the king or assassination.

When God touches a ruler’s heart, it is never about over throwing that ruler.

Nehemiah had prayed and he would speak the words God had given to him, and remember God’s Word never comes back void.

God’s Word will do what He sent it to do!

We must also remember prayers that are prayed out of an emergency, out of an immediate need, many times God will answer that prayer as soon as He receives it.

It was important that the things Nehemiah asked, to be pleasing to this king!

Here again we see another “type” to help us in our prayer life. We should never pray to the Father for things that are not pleasing our King, King Jesus!

Here again we see that Jehovah God was considered to be the Creator even by this pagan king and valued for this reason.

As far as Nehemiah was concerned, this matter needed to be settled this very day.

God answered and to Him be the Glory, and because God answered, this king gave Nehemiah much more than he asked for!

*****Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
Neh 2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

The truth is we seldom consider and study on what we need in our prayers. I’m not talking about those needs we all have that God supplies without asking.

I’m talking about that special need! Nehemiah had been making plans on what it would take to do these things, he would now ask the king for, but only after he had made his request to the Lord.

A true lesson is that God loves details! God loves for us to consider those things we pray for and then give Him the reasons those things are important to us, and most important we must have the faith that says to God, “I know you have the power to do this thing I’m asking”.

As Preacher Sam said, “God is Able”!

Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

God, in answer to prayer, is ever ready to bestow what is best for us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

This was a silent prayer that Nehemiah prayed between the time he made his request to this king, and the answer he would give.

Another lesson we learn God is always listening. Nehemiah did not have to wait on God to finish what He was doing with someone else!

This shows us the “omnipresence” of the Lord God Jehovah!

Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path

We see that this king had grown affectionate for Nehemiah, not in any kind of sexual way, but as a friend and he wanted to know how long he would be gone.

*****Neh 2:7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
Neh 2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Nehemiah knew that if he did not have proof of the things this king had promised, others in the government would deny him of any request because, Nehemiah was still just Jew, but the world forgets the Jews are still the apple in God’s eyes.

Zec_2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

What is the secret of our success as Christians? We must have God with us!

We do not need the machines of this world.

We do not need the methods of this world.

We just need to be obedient to God, so we know our prayers reach into Heaven.

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psa 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

We just need more God!!!!!!!!

We cannot believe we have the power to do the things such as Nehemiah requested, without God!

What did Jesus say?

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Amen

Let’s Pray