Nehemiah 10-12   Nehemiah Survey


The book of Nehemiah is the follow up to Ezra –

A)Ezra we saw a man named Zerubbabel – who led a group of Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple


B)They started the work – in the middle – 15yr delay

1)Ezra led a 2nd group – finished the work – reestablished worship


C)Problem walls were still broken down – city was destitute – moral was down

1)Job seemed insurmountable


D)God placed a burden on a man name Nehemiah –

1)Living Susha – Persia – assistant to Artx


Nehemiah comes to rebuild the walls – that have been broken down – now for 141yrs

A)Even in the mist of much opposition – Nehemiah & the pp miraculously completed the wall in 52 days


B)At that point Nehemiah sort of steps aside – He has done his role – Builder / Motivator / Leader


C)Passing the Baton to Ezra the Priest / Pastor – the pp gather to hear the word –

1)For a good month they gather daily to worship and pray / confess / hear the word – 6hrs a day


They reinstitute the feast of tabernacles

A)We saw last time in ch.9 – there is a retracing of their history/ of God’s hand / His judgment as well as His Provision.


B)Ch.9 ends with the pp promising to make yet another Covenant to the Lord

1)Their hearts are in the right place – Not vain promises – they sincerely want to do this


Bb) Like being at a retreat – emotions are high the Spirit is moving – Your heart is sincere – you pledge

1)Sometimes you find – back off the MT top or back in the daily grind – it is a little hard to carry out


C)Ch.10 gives us the details of this Covenant

1)V.1-27 Give us the names of the people who signed this Covenant. – They went public with their commitment!


2.) V. 28-39 give us the specifics of the Covenant


D)4 Promises are made to the Lord

1) Those 4 promises  reveal 4 Principles for us to learn from ! That is what we want to consider tonight.


RD V. 28-30





1st Promise: They promise to be separate from the world and walk in the ways of the Lord.  

A)This is a good promise – something that the Lord consistently warned His people of.


B)Call to be separate from the World

1)NT – John 17 IN the world but not of the world


C)Always been the place and purpose of God’s pp to be lights in the world

1)But at the same time to remain separate – distinct


D)What is meant by that is not adopting the Values and goals and mindset of the world.


Romans 12 don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold -  its system.

A)Today: Attach on truth – Postmodernism – truth can’t be defined – it is subjective


B)And Yet Jesus contradicted that – I am the way the truth and the Life …….

1)He who knows the truth shall be set free


C)So we have to be careful that we don’t start adopting the world’s mindset – morality

1)Priorities / ideas about truth –


D)Be separate – that is what they are promising here


And with that they also promise to not let our kids marry unbelievers.

A)They are making a stand against being unequally yoked.


B)Why is that so important? Paul answers that question in 1 Corinthians 6

1)What fellowship has light with darkness

  What does God and the devil have in common


C)Answer is nothing – Listen young pp


When a person gets involved in that kind of relationship here is what they are doing

A)They are taking a created person and elevating them to a place of glory in their life.


B)More important to me than honoring Jesus and following Jesus – is pleasing myself and this person


C)When the romance wears off – when the emotions settle down


D)When you get into the daily grind of marriage

1)Here is what you find – That which is most important to me is not important to him/her at all


E)Miserable way to live! –God wants to save you from that.

1)Parents make a stand: Under your roof – not dating an unbeliever!

Note: They collectively make this Promise

Principle #1 : We will protect our convictions with faithful friends !

A) When you make a commitment and then surround yourself with people who have made that same commitment – your chances of keeping it are greater


B) Example: Every year in Jan – Gym membership rises People make their new Years resolutions – Get in Shape

1) Problem by Feb or early March – That commitment has gone out the window



What is true concerning Physical fitness is equally true of Spiritual fitness – we need the encouragement of each other.

A) 2 Timothy 2:22-23 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


B) Flee youthful lust – and pursue God – but not alone w/ those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


C) You are going to have a better chance of staying pure – when you surround yourself with Partners who are Committed to staying Pure




2nd Promise: V 31 if the peoples of the land brought wares or any grain to sell on the Sabbath day, we would not buy it from them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and we would forego the seventh year's produce and the exacting of every debt.

A)So they Promise to not do business on the Sabbath


B) The Sabbath was a day that the Lord asked his people to set aside for Worship, renewal & Reflection

1) Not a day for Business and work


C) God promised that if they would keep the Sabbath days and years –

1) He would bless them He would cause them to Prosper.


D)But if they failed to keep the Sabbath day and the Sabbath year they would be punished

1)Recall their 70 yrs of captivity was measured out by the fact that for 490yrs they had not kept the Sabbath year – they owed God 70


Principle #2 Godly Priorities are important!

A) It is a good Principle – Here is the idea –  If you want to keep your commitments it is going to require you to set up boundaries for your Business


B) for your walk with the Lord / and for your family!


Now we are not required to keep THE SABBATH – But the concept of keeping a Sabbath is still one that is wise!

A) A day set aside to seek the Lord – a day set aside to relax and reflect with my family.


B) Times that are set aside where we make a decision – nothing is going to impede this.

1) Nothing is going to pull me away from this !{Mondays


C) Why is it important to set up such boundaries ?

1) I think it is easy to get overwhelmed by work – you see there is always something to do { Always behind!


3rd Promise They promise to give support to the work of God.   V.32-34

32 Also we made ordinances for ourselves, to exact from ourselves yearly one-third of a shekel for the service of the house of our God:33 for the showbread, for the regular grain offering, for the regular burnt offering of the Sabbaths, the New Moons, and the set feasts; for the holy things, for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and all the work of the house of our God.34 We cast lots among the priests, the Levites, and the people, for bringing the wood offering into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at the appointed times year by year, to burn on the altar of the LORD our God as it is written in the Law.


Principle #3 – The things that you believe in you will invest in.

A) This is true anything that you truly believe in you will invest in.

B) They believed in the ministry of the temple – and for that reason they were committing themselves to give to support the Ministry.

1) And to take care of the up keep of the Building itself !


C) Now the word of God encourages us who are Christians to make similar commitments - to invest in spiritual things –

1) Because Something happens to us when we do !


Matthew 6:19-21

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Note The bible doesn’t say – where your heart is your treasure will also be !

A) No it says that where your treasure is your heart is going to follow


B) Your heart is going to be in that thing that you have made your treasure


C) We can track your treasure – to know where your heart is at

1) In other words one can watch how you spend your money and see where your heart is at.

2) What are you most passionate about!

Promise #4 Give their First Fruits    RD V.35-39



Principle #4 The things that you are serious about you will Sacrifice for.

A) Their Sacrifice was called in the OT their First fruits


B) What does that mean well a farmer would plant a seed – the seed goes into the soil –

1) the farmer spends yrs cultivating – watering pulling weeds


C) That seed starts to grow and after another couple of yrs it turns into a tree after another year or so – it finally brings forth fruit


D) Here’s what they would do – they would take that first patch of fruit from that tree –

1) the first harvest of their field and give it to the Lord


E) What ? After all that time & hard work – waiting to reap the benefits of their hard work instead of enjoying the fruit – they gave it to the Lord


F) That is what the Lord asked for – This is the reason why


In giving God the first fruits they were saying – two things

#1 Lord we realize that what we have is from you. Your blessing on my life / family

James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.


A) So first of all they were communicating to the Lord – this fact  this blessing is from you.


B) #2 They were saying: Lord I am going to trust you to provide for us in the future.

1) Giving you the first fruits / first crop – trusting that you are going to provide what we lack


C) TEMPTATION: I will give God the left over’s


What does that look like for us today?

A)Time – best part of our day{ Morning


B)Resources – tithing



C)Don’t give God the leftovers –


So they made these promises to the Lord – that unfortunately they would not keep!

A)Again the blessing of the NC – The NC is not based on the promises we make to God – but on the Promises He has made to us.


B)1 Corinthians 1:20 – All the Promises of God are yes and amen in Christ


Ch.11 RD V.1-2 Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities.2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.


A) What we see here is that they are re-populating the city – Draft of those who would live there in

1) 1 out of every 10 families was randomly chosen


B) People preferred the country – grow their own food – more peaceful –

1) but they needed people in the city – so this Draft was

Initiated .


C) But it is here that we are introduced to our first group

1) V.2 Those who came willingly chose to dwell there / Volunteers


D) Yes there was a draft – but in the mist of the draft there were those who said we want to be there

E) Those who just were willing to show up – be a part of what was going on.

1) Those people are special to God !


From V.3-Ch.12 V.26 we essentially have a list of those pp and the 822 Priest who worked in the temple.



Ch.12 V.27  Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.


Dedication service – it is time to dedicate the wall

Love this: These people are into Celebrations


Our Lord is into Celebrations – 1st Miracle – Wedding Feast


D)  First activity after Rapture is going to be a wedding celebration { Not a Funeral


Picture a wedding reception: Party music / dancing / food / fun / fellowship – whole atmosphere is festive

A) I think that Church should resemble that to a certain degree – CELEBRATION


B) Been in Some Churches where they never clap during worship – no Joy

1)Singing durges in His memory instead of Praises in His honor!


C)The Scriptures declare


Psalm 47:1-2 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

2 For the LORD Most High is awesome;



D) Did you know that we are encouraged to sing out

116 times in the scriptures

1) Rejoice 195 times

2) Praise 267 times

3) Gladness 48 times / also shout 48 times


E)They had reason to sing out and be joyful –

1)God was changing lives / changing hearts / He was doing a mighty work in their city


F)When God’s glory is being revealed and His greatness is unveiled

1)We have no other response than to worship


Listen the Lord likes to see his people celebrating!

A) We saw in Ch. 8 – People were exhorted to not weep – conviction – rejoice because the Joy of the Lord was their Strength


B)  Here again in Ch. 12 – Dedication service – Rejoice Celebrate – get loud


C) That is what is happening here in C.12 – pick it up in V.28  Read v.28– 47 make some comments



I want us to note several key ingredients in this worship service !


1st  Before they started they purified themselves! v.30

A) There was a ritual of purification that would have involved the offering up of a Sacrifice !


B) They Purified themselves so that they could worship & rejoice!


C)That is a good practice – a pure heart makes for powerful worship

1)If I come into the Sanctuary – with sin in my life

Know I am not right –


D)The last thing I want to do is worship – don’t feel right –


But here is what is cool – we don’t have to offer up a Sacrifice – because Jesus already did

A)Simply search our hearts – confess / repent – rejoice


B)We can Worship & Rejoice – because we have been purified

1)Our Position before God tonight!


C) It is not by ritual of Sacrifice but by confessing our faults and believing that God has forgiven them.

1) It is that simple.


D)Jesus came to live the life that you cannot live – He died a death that you should have died – He rose to give you salvation & reconcile you to God

1)That is worth Singing about

The 2nd aspect of their Celebration is that it was marked by Joy !

A) In Verse 27, "The Levites were. . .brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully."


B) Note that the emphasis was on joyful praise on the part of all the people.

1) Singing is mentioned eight times in this chapter, thanksgiving six times, rejoicing seven times, and musical instruments three times.


C) One of the primary elements of true celebration is the expression of joy.

1) A general attitude of joy ought to characterize all Christians.

2) But It is amazing to me how many Christians never appear to be joyful.


The German philosopher Nietzsche said, "If the Christians expect me to believe in their Redeemer they have got to look a lot more redeemed!"


C) There are times of sorrow and sadness, of course,

1) but Christians ought frequently to exude a sense of joy because we have something to be joyful about.


D) We have been set free – We are Purified !

1) They were joyful that the wall of the city had been built –


E) We can and should be joyful that the wall of SEPERATION has been brought down !


The 3rd aspect of their celebration was that they marched on and around the wall – v.31-40

A)Two Choirs one led by Ezra / the other by Nehemiah


B) They split up and go in opposite directions singing on the wall – marching – ending up at the Temple


C) By marching on the walls, the people had an opportunity to see the results of their labors

1) They had a Chance to see what God had done –


 Let me suggest another reason for this march around the walls:

A)It was a symbolic act by which they “stepped out by faith” to claim God’s blessing.


B)  In that day, to walk on a piece of property meant to claim it as your own. God said to Abraham, “Arise, walk through the land...for I will give it unto you” (Genesis 13:17);


D) He said to Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” (Joshua 1:3).


E) This joyful march around the walls was their way of saying, “We claim from our God all that He has for us, just as our forebearers claimed this land by faith!”


Worship is a symbolically an act of the same thing! A) In worship we are saying – Lord I trust you I adore you my life belongs to you


B)Life marked by worship – Life that revolves around him

1)Many times we are so far from that


C.S. Lewis once said, “We are halfhearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 

                              C.S. Lewis  “The weight of Glory”


C)Think about it – You cannot have God and your settling to watch something we shouldn’t on the internet   Settle for Video games – have God


Fox news Feb 21 2008

A 5-month-old was dropped off at his parents’ house on Feb. 4, strapped into his car seat. Eight days later, he was found dead in the same position, said Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons


“He died from starvation due to neglect from his parents,” who were busy playing video games Lyons said.


Settle for other relationships we can have God

C) In worship we are saying  I acknowledge your greatness and wonder –

1) I am saying yes to all that you are and want to do in my life !!!


D)I worship you because you are worthy to be worshipped


You log for and desire worship


So the People engaged in this great time of Celebration their hearts were filled with Joy and thanksgiving

A) Thankfulness is always part of true celebration.   

       These people were thankful.


This raises the question: Are we properly thankful? A) Do we give thanks every day to God for the blessings we are enjoying at the moment? 


B) We are so trained by the media to grumble and complain, to insist on something we do not have,

Instead of focusing on all we do have.


C) One of the first signs of a growing, maturing spirit in young Christians is that they begin to give thanks to God for what he has poured into their life;


1) for the opportunities that are before them; and for the present blessings and liberties that they do enjoy.


C) Reasons to rejoice !

1) Purified / Provision / Protection / transformation / Great country / the body of Christ / God’s Patience !


D) Sing


Search hearts


Worship in giving – thanks Lord that we can – our hearts are linked to your Kingdom – Your work


Worship in Song – Celebrate our God – Who is worthy


Celebrate our salvation


Celebrate His goodness –


Focus on what He has done – Is doing – and Has promised to do in our lives!