Nehemiah 9:1-38 Nehemiah Survey


Intro: As we come to Ch.9 – it is day 24 of a revival that started in the 7th month

A)Walls rebuilt – The Pp call for the word – Ezra reads


Ch.8 V.1-12 They spent their first day hearing the word being taught and explained –  6hrs


D)  Reaction: Wept –Conviction it brought:  But Nehemiah and the Leaders instructed the people to rejoice – For the Joy of the Lord is their strength !


E) The Fact that God was rejoicing over them – that was to carry them –

1) that was to be their sense of confidence and strength


F) SO the people went home and celebrated


On the second day they gathered again – to hear from the word –

A) It was then they discovered that there was a celebration they had been neglecting


B) The feast of Tabernacles – or Booths

[ Explain – reminder of wandering yrs – reminder that their real home is in heaven ]


C)  So they spent the next 7 days celebrating the feast of Tabernacles – 1st time in 1,000yrs

 YET as we come to Ch.9 there is a marked change in the people. It is now the 24th day of the month         

                        They are still going!

A) This is a time of confession / time of prayer and repentance – things that genuinely accompany revival


B)Reform is one thing: You can legislate reform – but that doesn’t mean that you can really change something or someone


C)I would love to see some changes in legislation in this country


D)But if this country is ever really going to be changed it starts with the heart

1)Reform and legislation can’t change the heart


E)Only Regeneration and Revival do that


When something special happens within the nation or the Church – it is deeper than exterior reform

A)There are real tears and real brokenness


B)Real repentance – those are the traits that have always accompanied Real moves of God

1)Throughout the history of the Church


Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, {Serious}

in sackcloth,  {Repentance and mourning} and with dust on their heads.  

2 Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they 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 one-fourth of the day; 6am – 9am and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.


So from 6am-9am Reading – and from 9am – 12 noon Confession – that is some service – 6 hrs of a pretty heavy time.  Into those 6hr services


What follows next is the longest prayer in the OT –

Two side notes that I want you to see as we look at this prayer –


#1 They don’t see themselves as individuals

A)One of the problems in our culture – we are so individualist – {in reality we belong to communities


A)We belong to families – Church families


B)They didn’t see themselves as individuals but as part of a family – a nation

1)A collective body of pp!


C)And by confessing the sins of their families their forefathers – sins that were committed before most of them were even born – they were admitting the natural tendency in their own hearts to go astray


That is such an important thing to realize

A)The longer I walk with God – the more flawed I realize that I am.


B)When I was a younger man – I really thought I had it together – Pretty prideful

1)Older I get the more responsibilities I take – the more I realize – How weak / how flawed


C)So it is note worthy to see they didn’t see themselves as individuals –

1)Collective group of pp – families – history of pp in need of grace


D)The 2nd thing I want you to note about this prayer is that it is really Biblical

1)First it is inspired by their time in the word

And 2nd it is Biblical in its language and content


                             Rehearse their history


I point that out because our time in the word can really be used to help us Pray

A)Learn to pray in{ Ex reading about God’s love and forgiveness –


B)Pause and thank Him for all the times that He has been loving & merciful to you!


C)Reading convicted – deal with it at that moment

1)Lord forgive me – help me –


4 Then Jeshua, and all of his friends  stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God.5 And the Levites, Jeshua, and all of his friends  said: "Stand up and bless the LORD your God

Forever and ever! 


They begin with Praise: they start by acknowledging the greatness of God! "Blessed be Your glorious name,

Which is exalted above all blessing and praise!


The name of God in the OT was revered – know one really knew what it was! – How spelled YHWH

A)Yahweh – not sure – Holy

Even today – orthodox Jews write G-d


B)The Scribes copying scriptures – come to the name name LORD – YAHWEH

1)Lord – Adonai – used of any ruler


C)Come to the name LORD – they would put quill down – wash – write the name and go wash again

1)They held the name in such esteem


V.6 God is praised as the Creator and Maker of everything.

6 You alone are the LORD; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.


A) Our God is an Artist: He created this earth for our enjoyment – As a testimony of His Glory –

But the thing that is so staggering to me is that this God of Glory – waits for me { Interested in me

A)And times I can be so casual in my approach to Him


B)Devos – Lord running late today – lunch – lunch with someone – sorry – afterwork- 

1)Tonight – [tired] – crash and watch – AI  


C)Bed – Lord thanks for the day – see you tomorrow

1)He doesn’t give up on me


D)He deserves every ounce of energy and time and yet he is compassionate with my fragilities

1)Patient with my short comings


See here in V.7 They begin to Rehearse their history – Again I think that is something that happens often in genuine prayer


B)There is a rehearsing of our history

1) Seeing where we have come from and where God has taken us.


C)Sunday night – LG great message on how Big God is – using the Solar system – absolutely amazing


This prayer also reveals the Bigness of God – but in another way. –Bigness of His Power – seen side by side with the Bigness of His grace and mercy.

                     RD V.7-8

Here we see the Sovereignty of God in Election

A)Abram was a pagan living in UR – Idolater – God just chose him


B)I am going to do a work in your life if you let me

1)Abram was looking for God


C)This was the starting point for the nation – always rehearsed back to Abraham and to Egypt


D)It begins with God choosing a man – Making a covenant with that man –

1)Make of that man a great nation –


E)Emphasis is on this is something God was doing !


End of V.8 You have performed Your words,

For You are righteous.

A)They are now standing in the courts of the temple 50,000 strong – just a remnant of what they were


B)But still a testimony to the fact that God was faithful – He was good on His promise


                        RD V.9-11


Liberal Scholars – Reed sea  Winds – swamp – no dry ground


Flanked on the North side easily captured


Ex 14 A wall of water on the right side

A wall of water on the Left side


Wall consistent throughout Scripture: - Walls of Jericho – Walls of Jerusalem –

A)Here thrown into the deep – like a stone that sinks in the mighty waters


B)Quickly vanishes


C)Often when Israel rehearsed their history they went back to this event – Why?


We need a God who can part the mighty waters of the Red Sea – and lead us on dry ground

A)We need a God who is bigger than our enemies


B)So they keep coming back to this  RDV 12


12 Moreover You led them by day with a cloudy pillar,  Now for that cloud to spread out over 2-3 million pp – it would have to have been several sq miles in size - 


So He covered them w/ a cloud to protect them from the hot desert sun


But deserts are cold at night{  And by night with a pillar of fire, To give them light on the road

Which they should travel.                

                                                             RD V.13-15

Now in order to feed 2-3 million pp with manna everyday – talking 4,500 tons or 9 million Lbs of many

A)And water – 11 million gallons for cooking drinking – God did that everyday for 40 yrs


B)Think about the logistics of the military getting food and water to our troops in the desert places

A)Big ordeal – trucks plains packaging –


B)For God this everyday ordeal was effortless – that is how Big He is


C)Miraculous provision every day – and yet they complained – tired of manna

1)Back in Egypt we had Leaks /garlic / onions – and bad breath


D)They grew indifferent to God’s blessings – Human


                         RD V.16-17a                               


Now this flies in the face of the person who says if God would just perform this miracle –

A)If he would just answer this prayer – I will serve and follow Him forever.


B)No you wouldn’t – These pp saw and experienced more miracles than any one group of pp

1)Plagues in Egypt – Red Sea parted – 9million lbs of manna a day – 11 million gallons of water – every day for 40 yrs – and still turned their backs

Note the way v.17 puts it they refused to obey and were not mindful of His wonders

A)If there was ever a passage that screamed – Miracles don’t produce faith – it is this one


B)Show us a sign the Pharisees – said – no sign given – except – sign of Jonah …… 3dys in heart of earth


C)Sign of the Rez – Lazarus and the rich man  - even if one came back from the dead – they would not believe


D)You have Moses and the Prophets – that is enough


E)Pt. Faith is connected to the word – Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God!


So despite all the miracles they rebelled –

V.17b But You are God, Ready to pardon,

Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger,

Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.


In the midst of talking about God in the context of the Bigness of His power and might – He now moves to tell us of the bigness of His grace – ready to pardon – not forsake them


                           RD V.18-19


I am sorry – that is the first thing that I would do take away the cloud – “try some heat for a while”

Pillar of fire – freeze at night –


20 You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,

And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,

And gave them water for their thirst.


Try eating some bugs – drinking Cactus – juice – 40yrs of Survivor – Africa


21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;

They lacked nothing;

Their clothes did not wear out

And their feet did not swell.


Did you catch that: Their clothes did not wear out – same jeans for 40yrs – I would love to stay that size

A)Babies born – Osh Cosh – baby shoes – 40 yrs old

Sustained – big white baby shoes – Osh Kosh


B)Hand me downs – still that is a miracle 


C)He is THE GOD – who takes care of His own!


V.22-25a { See Bible notes


V.25b -27a{ See Bible notes


V.27b-31  See these notes ----------ΰ


This is the pattern that would go on over and over

Provision / followed by Rebellion / … Discipline

Crying out / followed by Grace mercy forgiveness

Restoration { Over and over


Now if we were looking at a parent who was going thru that with their rebellious teenager – we would say – GIVE UP ALREADY –


How many times are you going to let them take advantage of your kindness – your grace


And yet God says “My ways are not …. Your ways

My thoughts not your thoughts …….. so are my ways higher than yours


God basically says to us _ You and I don’t think alike or act alike


But here is the real Kicker – God each time He showed grace mercy – each time He restored – He knew it would only be a matter of time before they rebelled again


And He kept doing it anyway! – That is amazing to me!


The Story of their History is the story of the greatness of God – His Grace



The thing that final breaks the pattern after 2,000 yrs is the NC –

A)It happens when God sends His son Jesus to the earth to be the Sacrificial lamb


B)Jesus goes to the cross – takes on Himself the sin of the nation/ the world – past present and future


C)He endures the wrath of God –


Thru His death and Rez – God says that I am going to establish a new Covenant with you –

A)Covenant based on the shed blood of my son – doesn’t cover but cleanses


B)I am going to place my Spirit in you – and He is going to do a work of transformation in your life

1)Change on the inside


C)Fill you with power to walk in my ways – to keep my statues and do them-


Thru that covenant the pattern is finally broken – Now as believers we are no longer dominated by sin

A)Now if we sin it is because we want to – not because we have to.


B)Jesus sets us free -….. Free indeed

1)Walk in that – Power to say no!


C)Warnings – HS on our hearts – alarm { always a check


D)That is the beauty of the New covenant that we live in now


RDV 32-37

A) Notice that they are no longer talking in the Past tense – they / their / them

                        But now it is the present tense – we / us.


B) They have looked back at the God’s past dealings with the nation of Israel

1) That brought them to this current place –

C) Back in the land – back in a rebuilt city – back in the good graces of God


D) Looking back -  now inspires them to Look FORWARD – v.38 tells us of how they sought to Rededicate themselves to the Lord


38 "And because of all this,

We make a sure covenant and write it;

Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it."


D) That Covenant – involved 4 things – Focus of our study next time  { All sign but don’t keep


Good to rehearse history



Lord been saved a long time now – good times  - Yep


But also a lot of ups and downs – true


Times when I have been pretty flaky – times when I have really messed things up – Yes


I guess my record doesn’t look to good does it?


That is when you will hear- It looks perfect to me


Washed in the blood of the lamb –


Our God is Big – able to do so much – Speak world into existence – part the red sea / give 9 million lbs of bread a day

11million gallons of water –  for 40yrs


Subdue nations


Cloud / Fire


He is great and awesome


He is as gracious and merciful as He is big