Can Revival Happen Here? Sermon Blog Day 2 - Nehemiah
In Days of Discouraging Times: 7:4-5
Now the city was large and spacious, but the people in it were few, and the houses were not rebuilt. Then my God put it into my heart to gather the nobles, the rulers, and the people, that they might be registered by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of those who had come up in the first return, and found written in it:
The setting of Jerusalem after the rebuilding of the walls was both encouraging and discouraging at the same time. Having walls was an enormous boost, and yet as many of the wall workers traveled back to their homes in the countryside, many of the city dwellers realized just how empty it was.
Also, with so few people actually living inside the city walls, Jerusalem remained vulnerable. Even with walls, the city needed more people inside its walls for security. Nehemiah explained that the city was large, spacious, and wide. There were a handful of people living inside the walls. There were still many houses sitting in ruins and unbuilt.
This was a setting for discouragement and fear. And yet, how often do we see God do some of His best work in some of the most discouraging times? What does life look like for you right now? Does it seem desolate? Does it seem uncertain? Does life seem fearful to you? Look up child of God! Our Savior specializes in doing great things amidst the discouragement.
By Dedication to Delivering Truth: 8:1-6
“Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate [u]from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen!’ while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
After taking a census of all those present in Judah. Nehemiah would have assigned some of the country dwellers to reside in the city. God’s people needed more security and more people to help with that inside the city walls.
Once the security personnel was addressed, it was time to move forward beyond the rebuild for Nehemiah. His first, most essential act, after the rebuild was worship. This said a lot about the heart of Nehemiah. Ezra stood to read the Word, and opened the book. This would have been the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible. As he opened it, people stood. As they stood, he blessed God. As Ezra blessed God, this was the response of the people:
1- They answered, “Amen, Amen!”
2- Lifted up their hands.
3- Bowed their heads
4- Worshiped the Lord w/ faces to the ground
The importance and emphasis of the Word here is clear. One simply CANNOT find revival and renewal happening among God’s people apart from a dedication to teaching and preaching His Word accurately and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have a book on my shelf called Why Revival Tarries. It is a classic book by a man named Leonard Ravenhill. His desire was to see revival in the church. Many called him a specialist in revivalism. His writings and preaching were bent toward this.
Out of 20 chapters, his conclusion on why revival tarries (or waits) for the church relates to either prayer or preaching and teaching the Word.
What is your personal involvement in God’s Word?
Daily what is your involvement in God’s Word?
Weekly what is your involvement in God’s Word?
Your involvement in God’s Word can say a lot about how truly prepared you are for revival – personal and corporate.