nehemiah 7-9 the people gather (Audio File for download)
Last week we ended the sermon with a point that I didn’t really flesh out, that God is going to keep working on you…
Now the question becomes, how does he keep working on you? How does he show you areas of your life that need repair? What is the primary context for our spiritual growth?
We are going to look at what happened in Jerusalem after the wall was completed. Three chapters worth of action. I am not going to read it all, but I will read some of it so you get the mist of what is happening.
Before we read I want you to think about something for a minute. Why do you come to church on Sundays? Now just like we all do, you probably have two answers to that question. You have the sunday school answer, that is you what you think I want to hear, and there is the actual answer. Now, the actual answer may not be as evident yo you at first take. You may have to analyze yourself to understand the answer to that question. You may need to think about this. How do you evaluate a Sunday service at Emmaus? Do you say, we’ll, I really liked the song, or the music, or the preaching, or the fellowship time afterward? Or maybe you say something like, “I really didn’t like that song, or the sermon, or the fact that this or that didn’t happen, or, if he keeps playing that drum I don’t think I can take it” How you analyze any time of gathering with God’s people will tell you what is most important to you about that gathering. Now I am not saying that you can’t analyze, or think critically about a service. I think we need to do that.
Ok, so back to our text for today. The big idea for today is this: “God gathers His people to worship so that they might be conformed to His word.”
Ok, let’s look at what is happening here. The wall is complete, and then, God puts it on Nehemiah’s heart to gather His people.
The Gathering is crucial: God is from the outset of scripture, all about gathering to Himself a people for His own possession.
Ezekiel 20:34 I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.
Jer. 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.
Deuteronomy 30:3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
God is all about bringing a people to Himself and making them His own. He wants relationship with his people. So what is the context for the relationship? Well certainly there is a context in your heart, but there is something special I scripture about the context of God’s people gathers to worship Him.
So lets look at what their worship looked like:
In these chapters we see many things happening that we do today…
Read the Word (for hours)
Explained the scripture
Acted on the scripture
That is what they did, but what did that flow out of? When they gathered, their activity centered around the Word of God….