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Nehemiah 9

Nehemiah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:16
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Covenant Keeping

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Quick Recap::
Report and Response
Journey to Judah
List of Wall Workers
Opposition to Opperation
Economic Exercise
Conspiracy, Completion,
& Congregation
Listening to the Law and Religious Ritual
Ch 1-6 = Restoring a Wall
Ch 7-12 = Restoring a People

Covenant Keeping

Psalm 111.
Nehemiah 9:1–3 (ESV)
1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2 And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.

The long list of names in Nehemiah 7 accounted for all the people who belonged to the covenant they were renewing. Then in chapter 8, on the first day of the seventh month, they read the Torah. They reviewed the people to establish who was in the covenant, then they read the Torah to instruct the people in the covenant, and in 8:9–10 they began to mourn and weep about the way that they had fallen short of the Torah, fallen short of the stipulations of the covenant.

Because of the time of year, because the first day of the seventh month was a holy day (8:2), they were told not to weep that day. They postponed the weeping and went forward with the Festivals of the seventh month:

• The first day of the seventh month is a holy convocation, the Festival of Trumpets (Lev 23:24).

• The tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement (Lev 23:26–28).

• Beginning on the fifteenth day of the seventh month they celebrate the Festival of Booths for seven days (Lev 23:33–36).

The events of the Festival of Booths continue to the twenty-second day of the seventh month. Then the eighth day of the Festival of Booths is another holy convocation—that would be the twenty-third day of the month—and now in Nehemiah 9:1 we arrive at the twenty-fourth day of the month. So they have completed the Festivals, and now they are here on the twenty-fourth day to finish what they started when the law was read on the first day and they began to weep and mourn in response to it (8:2, 9–10).


Creation and Character

Neh 9.5-8

Nehemiah 9:5–8 (ESV)
5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.
Who is God
Begin with God… Who or what is it?
creator / sustainer
everlasting / powerful
above all ! = worshiped
God Makes a Promise
Sovergine / Omnipotent
chose Abraham
gave a promise

Compassion and Commandments

Neh 9.9-21

Nehemiah 9:9–21 (ESV)
9 “And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, 10 and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. 11 And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. 12 By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. 13 You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14 and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. 15 You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. 16 “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. 17 They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. 18 Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, 19 you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. 21 Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.
God is Faithful to His Promise
Faithful to promises to Abraham
heard their affliction
performed wonders and signs
wrought justice upon Egypt
led them out of captivity
gave them the commandments
good law
provided for their needs
People Unfaithful to God
stiff necked and disobedient
dismissive of provision / protection
created idols and blasphemous worship
God continued to be faithful
40 years

Conquest and Consequence

Neh 9.22-31

Nehemiah 9:22–31 (ESV)
22 “And you gave them kingdoms and peoples and allotted to them every corner. So they took possession of the land of Sihon king of Heshbon and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 You multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and you brought them into the land that you had told their fathers to enter and possess. 24 So the descendants went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hand, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great goodness. 26 “Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you and cast your law behind their back and killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you, and they committed great blasphemies. 27 Therefore you gave them into the hand of their enemies, who made them suffer. And in the time of their suffering they cried out to you and you heard them from heaven, and according to your great mercies you gave them saviors who saved them from the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest they did evil again before you, and you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies, so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they turned and cried to you, you heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercies. 29 And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your rules, which if a person does them, he shall live by them, and they turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. 30 Many years you bore with them and warned them by your Spirit through your prophets. Yet they would not give ear. Therefore you gave them into the hand of the peoples of the lands. 31 Nevertheless, in your great mercies you did not make an end of them or forsake them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
God is Faithful to His Promise
gave land
multiplied a people
protected & provided
People Unfaithful to God
fat and happy
warnings / deliverance
God continued to be faithful

Confession and Covenant

Neh 9.32-38

Nehemiah 9:32–38 (ESV)
32 “Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. 33 Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our princes, our priests, and our fathers have not kept your law or paid attention to your commandments and your warnings that you gave them. 35 Even in their own kingdom, and amid your great goodness that you gave them, and in the large and rich land that you set before them, they did not serve you or turn from their wicked works. 36 Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. 37 And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress. 38 “Because of all this we make a firm covenant in writing; on the sealed document are the names of our princes, our Levites, and our priests.
Who is God
End with God… who and what He does
righteous judge
patient, gracious and merciful
observes hardships
God Keeps His Promise
Our response ??


God’s people have rehearsed God’s goodness, their sin, and God’s mercy, and now they desire to renew their commitment to repent of sin and walk in obedience [make a covenant to keep His Covenant]… do you?
Jeremiah 31:31 ESV
31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
Hebrews 8:6–13 ESV
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 9:13–15 ESV
13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. 15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Isa 53.5; 1 Pet 2.24; Eph 2.8;
Jer.31.31; Heb 8:6–13, 9:13–15
Group Questions
What is the value in contemplating the seriousness and immensity of your accumulated sins?
What is the danger in doing so? What is the danger in never doing so?
Can you think of any other chapters in the Bible summarize and interpret large portions of biblical history?
If you were going to summarize the whole Old Testament using 10 or fewer topical headings, what would they be?
Why do you think this prayer of confession begin with creation?
How/why might doing the same make your own prayers more meaningful?
Does the Sabbath seem to you more like a gift or an imposition?
What stands in the way of your enjoyment of the Sabbath?
How does going over the history of Israel help us to ponder our own sinfulness? Do we sometimes blame Israel for their stubborn sinfulness while overlooking the fact that we are the same?
When you consider how often God blessed Israel, Israel sinned against God, and God showed mercy to Israel, what aspects of that cycle do you find discouraging? What is encouraging?
Do you think God is pleased or offended when we appeal to Him for mercy?
Can you think of a human metaphor or example that expresses similar love and mercy?
How would you use Nehemiah 9 in a children’s Sunday school class to teach about the sinfulness of man and the mercy of God?
How are a history of Israel, a synopsis of the Old Testament, and biblical theology related?
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