Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community: The Reestablishing

August 28th, 2017

The Reestablishing

  1. 1 - 3
  • Read aloud from the book of Moses

    • The word kept them grounded
    • Guide for “right” living
  • No Ammonites or Maobites
    • Numbers 22 – 25, Duet. 23:3 -6
    • Not a racial exclusion
  1. 4 - 9
  • Nehemiah’s time away

    • After acting as governor for 12 years
    • Returns to King Artaxerxes
    • Returns again to Jerusalem
  • Eliashib ( a priest or THE High Priest)
    • Opened up the temple to Tobiah
    • Tobiah was an Ammonite
    • Defiled the temple
    • Removed the tithe for the priests and Levites
    • Nehemiah knew how to deal with him
    • Removed Tobiah’s belongings
    • Had the temple cleansed
  1. 10 - 14
  • Portion for the Levites had not been given to them

    • They returned to their fields to survive
    • Nehemiah reprimanded the officials
    • They made it right
    • He appoints his own people – considered reliable
    • He ends with prayer
  1. 15 - 22
  • They were not keeping the sabbath

    • He again reminded them of the actions of their forefathers
    • Nehemiah again had a solution
    • He locked them out and threatened them
    • Put his own people in charge again
  1. 23 - 31
  • History repeats itself

    • Intermarriage again an issue
    • Referenced Solomon
    • Losing their identity as “God’s people
    • Sworn enemies had found their way in
      • Sanballat’s daughter – married into priestly line
      • Tobiah given quarter in the temple
    • Not by threats but by friendships

 

So What?

  • What do we use to keep us grounded and focused?
  • When we coast, we open ourselves up to bad judgement and then to sin.
    • Friendship with the world
    • Are we willing to provide another option
    • Do we look just the unbelieving world around us?
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Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community: The Dedication Nehemiah 12:1-47

August 21st, 2017

Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community
The Dedication

Nehemiah 12:1-47

 

The Priests & Levites (v. 1-26)

  • A list of the priests & Levites:
    • Under Zerubbabel (v. 1-11) (c. 538 BC)
    • Under Joiakim (v. 12-26) (c. 444 BC)
      • During the time of Ezra & Nehemiah (v. 26)
      • References the Book of Chronicles as a source (v. 23)
    • To show the continuity of the family lines for proper worship

 

The Dedication of the Wall (v. 27-43)

  • Shortly after its completion, all of Israel dedicated the wall
  • They saw it as God’s work
    • And they made no distinction between the “sacred” and the “secular
  • The people marched around the city on top of the wall, which was 9 feet wide
    • Half went clockwise, half went counter-clockwise starting at the Valley Gate
    • They sang praises as they went
    • They met in the Temple
      • Where they offered sacrifices and more praise

 

The Temple Service (v. 44-47)

  • The people committed to take care of the priests & Levites
  • The people dedicated some to serve as professional singers in the Temple
    • And committed to taking care of their needs

 

So What?

  • When the work was done, they praised God
    • And they promised to continue to praise and serve Him
  • Do we see the work of rebuilding our community as God’s work that we get to share in?
    • Making no distinction between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’
  • Do we have a commitment to serve Him as a testimony to those around us?

Meditation Verse: Nehemiah 12:43

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Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community: The Repopulating

August 14th, 2017

The Repopulating            (v. 1-2)

 

  • Chapter 11 begins where Chapter 7 left off

    • City was in need of repopulating
    • Leaders were already in the city
      • Directed by the people, not Nehemiah
    • Need to bring people in from surrounding cities and the countryside
  • Plan to bring 1 out of 10 to the city
    • 10% a common theme – (Neh. 10:37 tithe)
    • Plan was to cast lots
      • Common practice in the OT
      • No mention in the NT after Pentecost except in Acts 1:26 due to the Holy Spirit
    • Jerusalem called the “Holy City”
      • One of only 5 times in the OT
      • A city “set apart” or “made holy”
    • Those chosen by the lots had a choice
      • Stay put and refuse to go
      • Be apart of God’s bigger plan for the city
      • Count the cost*
    • Those that went were commended by the rest

The Background               (v. 3-9)

  • Tribe of Judah

    • 468 able men (brave or valiant)
    • Descendants of Perez
      • Listed in the genealogy of David and Jesus in both Matthew and Luke
    • Tribe of Benjamin
      • 928 men
      • Genealogy include Saul (King) and possibly Saul of Tarsus (Paul)

The Workers                      (v. 10–24)

  • 1192 priests listed

    • 822 “carried on the work of the temple”
    • 242 “heads of families” – (Lay ministers)
    • 128 “brave warriors”
  • 284 Levites listed
    • “Outside work of the temple”
    • Musicians - Asaph
  • Gatekeepers, temple servants, singers

The Cities            (v. 25-36)

  • A listing of cities surrounding Jerusalem

    • Allies in times of trouble
    • Places they turned to when repopulating the city
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Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community, The Covenant: Nehemiah 10:1-39

August 7th, 2017

Nehemiah: Rebuilding A Community
The Covenant

Nehemiah 10:1-39

 

The Sealers & Swearers (v. 1-29)

  • A list of those who sealed the Covenant scrolls is given:

    • Nehemiah, the governor (v. 1)
    • The priests (v. 2-8)
    • The Levites (v. 9-13)
    • The leaders of families (v. 14-27)
  • Everyone swore an oath to obey God’s commands given to Moses (v. 28-29)
    • Including calling down a curse on themselves if they failed to keep the Law

      • See the curses in Deut. 27:15–26; 30:19
    • Following the form of a suzerain covenant between a king and his vassals

 

The Specifics (v. 30-39)

  • Not intermarry with foreigners (v. 30)

    • Not about ethnicity

      • ) Rahab & Ruth
    • About being pulled away to false gods (Ex. 34:11–16; Deut. 7:1–4; 20:10–18)
  • Keep the Sabbath (v. 31)
    • Weekly, by foregoing commerce on that day
    • Every 7 years, by giving the land rest (Ex. 23:10–11) and forgiving debts (Ex. 21:2–6; Deut. 15:1–2)
  • Taking care of the Temple (v. 32-34)
    • By giving money (v. 32-33)

      • 1/3 shekel = $176 today

        • $45 million/year (Neh. 7:66)
      • This was for regular operations
        • Not including other tithes and offerings
      • By providing wood for the offerings (v. 34)
    • Taking care of the Priests & Levites (v. 35-36)
      • Firstfruits= best of everything
      • Levites & priests didn’t have land
        • It was the rest of Israel’s job to take care of them
      • 10% of everything went to the Levites
        • The priests & the Temple were taken care of by the tithe of the Levites (Num. 18:25–32)

The Law’s Role for Us

  • As followers of Jesus, we are under a different covenant than the Israelites were (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Heb 7:22; 8:6, 8-10, 13; 9:15; 10:16; 12:24; 13:20)

    • Thus, the Law does not directly apply to us
    • However, it is still God’s word for us
      • Because it shows us God’s character and concerns
    • Christians are called to not marry non-Christians (1 Cor. 6:14)
      • So that we are not pulled away from our devotion to Christ
    • Christians are called to enter into the Sabbath rest provided by Jesus (Heb. 4:9-11)
      • Which, in practice, means taking time to rest from our work
    • Christians are called to take care of the Temple of God
      • The Church as a people (1 Co 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:21; 1 Pet. 2:5)
      • Including those in full-time ministry (1 Cor. 9:9ff; 1 Tim. 5:17-18)
      • Including giving to fund the ministries of the Church (2 Cor. 9:7)

 

So What?

  • The people committed themselves to obey God fully
  • Are we committed to do the same?
  • Or do we pick and choose how we are obedient?

Meditation Verse: Nehemiah 10:29

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