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Repairing The Breech Part 2

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REPAIRING THE BREECH PART 2

We said in part 1 of our sermon for those of us who weren’t there that Nehemiah a cupbearer to the Persian King who wasn’t a priest heard the call of God and wanted to do something He wanted to be involved.

We will touch on more of that theme today.

We said last week that not the whole wall was broken down in Jerusalem just parts.  Parts of the wall needed total restructuring and other parts needed minor repairs.  The same thing was true of the gates.  Not all the gates were broken down.

We said that the city wall and its gates are much like our Christian experiences because in some areas we are sound and strong in others we are weak and broken down then in others there needs just a little adjustment.

The problem is with many of us that we focus only on the built up and strong parts of the walls and gates of our Christian experiences and forget about the broken down parts. 

Forgetting that if any part of a wall or gate that is not structurally sound the city within is not safe.  We must remember while we may be structurally sound on some things and weak on others the enemy (devil and his angels) can still attack and if the enemy is stealthy they will not attack the strong areas of our Christian life.

We said another problem was that many Christians like to focus not only on the strong parts of their own walls and gates but on the weak parts of other walls and gates of fellow Christian soldiers.

You know that when people say after sermons I hope Bro and Sis so and so got it!

All of us have breeches that need repairing and God has different ways of revealing those breeches.

In order for me to be saved I’ve got to make sure the first order of my life is to check with Jesus about my soul first thing in the morning and stick with Him throughout the day.  When it’s all said and done whether or not those breeches are repaired will depend upon my faithfulness to following Him.

Let us pray as we venture into part 2 of “Repairing the Breeches!”

Now I want you to notice some of the outstanding qualities of this man Nehemiah.

The name Nehemiah means “Yahweh has comforted”

A cupbearer was more than our modern butler according to scholars.  It was a position of prestige and power.  At every meal the cupbearer tasted the King’s wine to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.

In order to be in the king’s presence he had to a handsome man, an intelligent man, well cultured, personable character, knowledgeable in government procedures,  and if asked for advise he had to be wise enough to give sensible answers.

The fact that Nehemiah was a Jew and held this position speaks volumes of his own personal character and ability.

Because he had much access to the King a cupbearer had great influence which could be used for either evil or good.

The Bible says that he served the King in (‘shoe shan)  or Susa

In 1851 and in 1884 excavations were carried out unearthed beautifully colored Persian decorated tiled walls.

So Nehemiah was living large in luxury!

The Bible says that one of his brothers (Ha nay Nigh)

was visiting him from Judah where the city of Jerusalem was.  Let’s read verses 1 and 2

In the month of Kisleva in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,b 2Hanani,c one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnantd that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.[1]

Nehemiah .    .    .

Why would Nehemiah care about what was happening to a few struggling remains of people in Judah.  He was living large!

He was the King’s cupbearer, was secure, hooked up, financially well off!

He had a nice split level condo home on sugar hill.  He had his Mercedes Benz fully equipped with GPS, BMW and Lexus parked in His garage!

He had Donovan his Xbox 360, PS3 and Ninetendo WII all at the same time!

And all the latest games!

It wasn’t his fault that the people of Jerusalem had sinned.  He himself was not straddling the fence, halting between two opinions he was living a righteous man’s life!

It wasn’t his fault that his ancestors had sinned against the Lord and brought judgment down upon Judah and the city of Jerusalem.

But the Bible says Nehemiah asked!

A century and a half ago the Prophet Jeremiah had asked the question which was a word from the Lord to the people of Judah.

“For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing?” (Jer. 15:5, NKJV)

But Nehemiah was the man God had chosen to ask those questions!

Some people prefer not to ask any questions because along with questions comes responsibility.  Along with information comes obligation.  So, so some folk just prefer being ignorant not knowing anything.

Some folk when it comes to church they don’t want any information but they love to criticize.

If I were in charge of the afternoon program I wouldn’t run it like that!

Sit back and do nothing not lift one finger to help but just criticize!

The Bible says Nehemiah asked!

I believe he asked because he cared!

and I questioned them about the Jewish remnantd that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.e

4When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.

[2]

Not only did he ask but when he heard what was going down the Bible said he couldn’t take it standing he had to sit down and cry.

There are many people when they see the plight of God’s church sit back and say “oh well it’s not my problem”

To those folk I say is it in you?

Is the same spirit that controlled Nehemiah in you?

The Bible said that when Jesus looked upon the crowds in his day the Word of God says

aSeeing the 1people, He felt compassion for them, bbecause they were 2distressed and 3dispirited like sheep 4without a shepherd. [3]

When you have God’s spirit you just can’t keep still there is a passion, a desire, a need to do something for God.  To fill a need, to help the cause, to care!

There is another challenge in this society that is preaching the gospel to this now generation.

(TOJ)

Because of the Christian right and what happened years ago with Televangelist people today don’t trust Christianity or the Christian regilion

They think Christians are a bunch of self-righteous, rich, snobby, political seeking president, American government controlling hypocrites.  Their leaders who say one thing and do another.  Their only interest is to control the world.  Religious people want control.

What God needed in Noah’s day He needs today.  What He needed in Moses’ day He needs today.  What He needed in Gideons’ day He needs today.  What He needed in Nehemiah’s day He needs today.  God needs a people who will witness for Him and rightly represent His character!

Like Nehemiah who was not a priest God calls everyone who has given their heart to Him to make a difference.

You never know when God will call you.

Someone has said.

Like large doors, great life-changing events can swing on very small hinges. It was just another day when Moses went out to care for his sheep, but on that day he heard the Lord’s call and became a prophet (Ex. 3). It was an ordinary day when David was called home from shepherding his flock; but on that day, he was anointed king (1 Sam. 16). It was an ordinary day when Peter, Andrew, James, and John were mending their nets after a night of failure; but that was the day Jesus called them to become fishers of men (Luke 5:1–11). You never know what God has in store, even in a commonplace conversation with a friend or relative; so keep your heart open to God’s providential leading.

Verse 4

For some days I mourned and fastedg and prayed before the God of heaven.[4]

Fasting, though not a requirement of the Law except on the annual Day of Atonement, often evidenced one’s distraught condition (cf. 2 Sam. 12:16; 1 Kings 21:27; Ezra 8:23).[5]

Prayer

Opened up a sea so that the c of I could walk on dry land. Prayer—brought down an  imposing army of a million soldiers.  Prayer jump started the heart beats of the dead.

Prayer – made the sun stand still.  Prayer – stop a funeral procession.  Prayer—turned fresh waters into blood. 

Prayer --  converts the sin sick soul

Prayer – turned a sack lunch into a banquet feast

Prayer—turned Danasi into welch’s

Prayer – can still work miracles today.

Adventist Pioneer said

“Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character.”

We, too, must have times set apart for meditation and prayer and for receiving spiritual refreshing. We do not value the power and efficacy of prayer as we should. Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish. We are seldom, in all respects, placed in the same position twice. We continually have new scenes and new trials to pass through, where past experience cannot be a sufficient guide. We must have the continual light that comes from God. {MH 509.2}

"We must be much in prayer if we would make progress in the divine life. When the message of truth was first proclaimed, how much we prayed. How often was the voice of intercession heard in the chamber, in the barn, in the orchard, or the grove. Frequently we spent hours in earnest prayer, two or three together claiming the promise; often the sound of weeping was heard and then the voice of thanksgiving and the song of praise. Now the day of God is nearer than when we first believed, and we should be more earnest, more zealous, and fervent than in those early days. Our perils are greater now than then. Souls are more hardened. We need now to be imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and we should not rest until we receive it." {ML 17.4}

Verse 5

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God,h who keeps his covenant of lovei with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hearj the prayerk your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confessl the sins we Israelites, including myself and my ancestral family, have committed against you. 7We have acted very wickedlym toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

8“Remembern the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scattero you among the nations, 9but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gatherp them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’q

10“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.r 11Lord, let your ear be attentives to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favort in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbeareru to the king.

[6]

Claim the promises of God

Not easy – need a church

Like Nehemiah claim a promise!

Trial, Temptation, Relationship, Education, job, friends or family claim a promise today. 

Like Nehemiah of old be involved be caring dedicate yourself to making a change.  Give support do not complain or murmur

Do all things without agrumbling or disputing;

     15     so that you will 1prove yourselves to be ablameless and innocent, bchildren of God above reproach in the midst of a ccrooked and perverse generation, among whom you 2dappear as 3lights in the world,

     16     holding 1fast the word of life, so that in athe day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not brun in vain nor ctoil in vain.

[7]

Phil 2:14

Prayer changes things -  We will Fast with a goal and purpose in mind

Decide inspite of what you see in people make a decision to ask God to forgive all. We are all together (at least Nehemiah thought so) we get too easily discouraged.  Pray for everybody!  Pray for change then ask God to initiate it in you!


----

a Zec 7:1

b S Ezr 4:9; S Est 2:8

c Ne 7:2

d S 2Ki 21:14; Ne 7:6; Jer 52:28

[1]The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ne 1:1). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

d S 2Ki 21:14; Ne 7:6; Jer 52:28

e S Lev 26:31; 2Ki 25:10; Ne 2:3,13,17; Isa 22:9; Jer 39:8; 52:14; La 2:9

[2]The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ne 1:2). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

a Matt 14:14; 15:32; Mark 6:34; 8:2

1 Lit crowds

b Num 27:17; Ezek 34:5; Zech 10:2; Mark 6:34

2 Or harassed

3 Lit thrown down

4 Lit not having

[3]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 9:36). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

g S 2Ch 20:3; S Ezr 9:4; Da 9:3

[4]The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ne 1:4). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

h S Dt 7:21; Ne 4:14

i S Dt 7:9; S 1Ki 8:23; Da 9:4

j S 1Ki 8:29; S 2Ch 7:15

k S 1Ki 8:30

l S 1Ki 8:47

m Ps 106:6

n S Ge 8:1; S 2Ki 20:3; Ne 4:14; 5:19; 6:14; 13:22,29,31

o S Lev 26:33

p S Dt 30:4; Ps 106:47; 107:3; Isa 11:12; 56:8; Jer 42:12; Eze 11:17

q S 1Ki 8:48; Jer 29:14; Eze 11:17; 20:34–38; 36:24–38; Mic 2:12

r S Ex 32:11; Isa 51:9–11

s S 2Ch 6:40

t S Ex 3:21

u S Ge 40:1

[6]The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ne 1:5). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

a 1 Cor 10:10; 1 Pet 4:9

1 Or become

a Luke 1:6; Phil 3:6

b Matt 5:45; Eph 5:1

c Deut 32:5; Acts 2:40

2 Or shine

d Matt 5:14–16

3 Or luminaries, stars

1 Or forth

a Phil 1:6

b Gal 2:2

c Is 49:4; Gal 4:11; 1 Thess 3:5

[7]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Php 2:14). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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