Ruin, Rebuild, Reform
The people are beginning to return from exile. God had kept his promise: he sent them away because of their rebellion and is now restoring their home. This return was promised to be glorious, yet we'll see that it's nothing close to that. What's wrong with the people, and more importantly how will God keep his word?
The City & People in Ruins
In a time of great trouble for Israel, Nehemiah prays a big prayer with big concerns: confessing sin and hoping that God will keep his word.
Requests to Rebuild
In Nehemiah’s return to rebuild Jerusalem, God’s good hand works to provide and protect. Know that God has always been and will always be at work to sovereignly bring about His purposes, fulfilling His promises, through various means; we see this most clearly in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s good hand continues to be with us as we seek to do the work of the Lord – we can trust Him and press on in service.
Grace When Church is Hard
The grace displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ redirects and reshapes our worship so that it is not focused on ourselves but directed towards God and welcoming of others. Knowing this, Christians are called to respond in praise of God for his mercy in bringing sinners together and celebrate the beautiful messiness that is his glory: the church.
God’s People at Work
God’s diverse people are devoted to the work of the LORD and can deal with difficulties because God is at work to achieve His purpose and provide protection. Being assured of this, God’s people are encouraged to get on with the work of the LORD, knowing that He will achieve His purpose and He has secured our protection.
The Enemy Within
The lack of the fear of God in our hearts ruins the people and work of God. What is needed for us to fear God and not mistreat our brothers and sisters in God’s family is the transformation of heart brought about by the gospel of Jesus Christ. So put your trust in the Lord Jesus, be transformed by His Spirit, and live in love with one another and in united service to God.
Fear Under Fire
Fear threatens the work of God, but fails when God is feared and trusted.
Rollcall to Rebuild
As the wall is finished the remnant are counted, and though small the number represents the future hope of Israel.
Reform: Deep in the Word
As we return to the Book of Nehemiah and pick it up from chapter 8, we see a new phase in the rebuilding process - the focus is now on the reforming of the people. We see that a new year and a new life begins with opening and going deep into the Word of God. For God's people to be spiritually renewed, we need to have the Word of God opened and explained to us, and for us to respond with rejoicing and obedience.
A long history of unfaithfulness is confessed, recognising and owning their guilt, is contrasted to Yahweh’s utterly amazing faithfulness.
Repentance follows being deep in God’s word and confession, acknowledging sin to be turned from, and recommitting to God’s Law and true worship.
Repopulation and Celebration
The city is repopulated and God's people celebrate his covenant faithfulness.
Return to Old Ways
Nehemiah ends on a very low note, with the people of God returning to old ways of unholiness and disobedience. We're led to long for a rescue, restoration, rebuilding and renewal that addresses the heart of the problem. We're then led to rejoice in the gospel of Jesus Christ which not only secures our rescue from sin and death, but also guarantees a restoration, rebuild, and renewal through his presence and inner work in us. Knowing this, and with hope, we strive and fight to live lives of holiness and obedience.