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January 14, 2021 2:00 am
After Nehemiah gathered his people back in the land after their captivity, he prayed on their behalf. In the message "We've Failed...but God," Skip shares some lessons from Nehemiah's prayer about the human condition and the divine solution.
This teaching is from the series ...but God.Links:
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We been infected with the sin nature.
Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know so our problem is failure. This prayer brings that grand truth is a second lesson that is that maybe true failure is our problem, but forgiveness is our provision. We've all messed up. At some point we are sinners and failures a part of the package today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip explains that failure isn't the end of your story and you can have a brighter future and God's grace want to tell you about a resource that will help you build your knowledge of who God is and inspire you to follow him more faithful. The best biographies make you feel like you personally intimately know the person you've read about from Mozart to Mother Teresa Sojourner Truth to Steve Jobs. It's exciting to learn the details of influential people, but one biography stands out above the rest. Biography of God hears the author skip. I think there's nothing more elevating to mankind than the study of God himself.
Discover the omnipotence paradox is an mystery central to God's being and remove the limits you may have placed on who God is.
I've noticed that almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate skip's new book is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air, call 800-922-1888, or get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer Nehemiah chapter 1, Skip Heitzig starts today stuck morning is a sign of maturity or something about acknowledging failure that demonstrates spiritual progress. Jesus said of this. What blessed are those who mourn.
They will be comforted when I first read that it sounded to me like a contradiction almost adjusted makes sense. Blessed are those who mourn because blessed I found out means all how happy and so it does sound like a contradiction. Happy are the unhappy, but there is something greatly comforting when you make a concession in Proverbs 28. Solomon said he who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy something comforting, even cathartic about admitting that you need and admitting guilt in order to be cleansed from that's what confession essentially is as a man was dying and he brought his wife to the bedside to situate our undying, but I need to confess something to you. I have not been as faithful to you in this marriage, as I should've been, and through her tears. She said I know. That's why poisoned you.
Kinda serves him right you should confess that years before he could've seen forgiveness and restoration but he didn't. Nehemiah chapter 9 is essentially a worship service. It is very typical of a worship service. First of all, it's very long. It's probably Wanda would not be tolerated today very long. You'll see in a moment, and it is filled with confession essentially it is a record of fasting repentance and prayer, followed by a covenant. That covenant is made in chapter 10. This is the first few verses to get the setting.
Nehemiah chapter 9 verse one says now on the 24th day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting in sackcloth with dust on their heads. Verse three and they stood in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord our God, watch this for one fourth of the day, and for another sort. They can fast and they worshiped their God. Just try to imagine this standing three hours as the word of God is being read, and after the Scriptures are reds, another third of the day confessing sin and worshiping God. By the way, this is the longest recorded prayer and all of the Bible. There are many recorded prayers, but all of them.
This is the longest it may have even been longer, but this is what is recorded. I counted the words 1177 words in this prayer you can thank the Lord that will only get a look at a few it's a long prayer, but this prayer illustrates a truth found in second Corinthians 7 were Paul said godly sorrow produces repentance godly sorrow produces repentance. Here the godly sorrow that fills the voice of the one who utters this prayer that is brought repentance to the nation when my wife was at the stage of conversion. She grew up in a atheistic home did know anything about God is never told about God and so when she was coming to faith. She came across a tract that showed that you put God on the throne of your life and the way she read it. Everything sort of falls in the place so she assumed if I asked God to sit on the throne of my life, to get what I always wanted.
That's about all she knew conversion was so she prayed the simple prayer really not knowing what she was doing about a week or so later, she was in a church service and the whole time she felt convicted she felt something wasn't right. Something was desperately wrong. So at the end of the service you brought forward to the prayer room of that particular church and said to a pastor like I said this thing and I guess I believe, but I'm very confused and pastor who was in the prayer room at the time buddy of mine from England said to her that great English accent.
Have you repented of your sins and she said have a right of my right. She never would. He would never hurt what is repent. I never even repented let alone repented. She met her that so we explain what repentance and faith is all about that morning over sin that recognition that faith is turning from something to someone that is the salvation process. Leonard Ravenhill once said the self-sufficient do not pray the self satisfied will not pray the self-righteous cannot pray this prayer is the opposite of all of those things. It is filled with remorse, humility and hope all at the same time and we learn something from this prayer to were going to lightly examine in the main lesson is that failure doesn't have to be the end of your story. This prayer shows us that you can have a bright future.
In spite of the dark failure, or to put it in the television commercial language you fallen, but you can get up this prayer shows us that God meets our failures with his forgiveness and his faithfulness and so there are several words that have emerged from this prayers I studied them that I want to share with you as they take us to the stages of the human condition and the divine solution and those words are failure, forgiveness, faithfulness, and then following, which is our response.
We begin with the first and that is a recurrent theme in this prayer and that a simple failure is our problem. Failure is our problem. We don't have time to go through it all. If you look at verse 15 oh and by the way, we don't know who's praying this prayer. The text does not say, but there is one translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint version which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew into Greek, and in that version, it says Ezra said these words. So that's the only clue we may have sought to take take it that Ezra wrote this or said it in the them. I wrote it down so I'm happy to get verse 15 as her speaking perhaps you gave them God you gave them them being his own people, the Jews you gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and you brought the water out of the rock for their thirst. You told them to go in and possess the land which you have sworn to get them something not working. As Ezra is making this prayer he was praying historically.
He essentially covers just about every period of history up to that point from creation to captivity and he's obviously speaking here about the wilderness wanderings for 40 years in the desert so you provided for them.
During that time were 16 but they and our fathers acted proudly hardened their necks and did not keep your commandments. They refused to obey and they were not mindful of your wonders that you did among them, but they hardened their necks and in the rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. Verse 26 pics and do another period of their history.
Nevertheless, they were disobedient and rebelled against you cast your lot behind their backs and killed your prophets, who testified against them and turn them to yourself to turn them to yourself and they work great provocations with the 28 verse. This is after there now in the land of Canaan, but after they have rest, they again did evil before you. Therefore you left them in the hand of their enemies so that they had dominion over them. Yet when they returned and cried out to you. You heard from heaven, and many times you delivered them according to your mercy over and over again and are minimal versus the point this out. This theme is the same as for in his prayer is saying there's one thing we been really good at God and that is sinning. We are really good centers over and over and over again. We keep blowing well when he mentions here happens to be the problem of all generations of all human beings. The human landscape is littered scarred by marked by failure summed up in one little verse in Romans three verse 23 for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
All have sinned, not so that if you all have sent that is our problem. Our problem is failure or as the Bible calls it sin.
All of sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Some of you even know that in the New Testament that word sin is the Greek word harmonic tea which means to miss a mark or a standard was a term, among other things used in archery for missing the target so think of it this way, you got €20.
I got 20 years you fire off those arrows in 19 of them. You're such a good shot 19 of them the right liberals, but the 20th error and I'm looking at somebody who's a hunter with barracks the 20th line goes into the bushes. Guess what your center you missed the mark you missed the mark. I have €20. I fire 19 of them in all directions because I can aim very well but I happen to hit the last one. The 20th error right. Liberals are I to have missed the mark.
I too am a sinner.
I'm a better sinner than you are is a missing mark more times and you have bought all have sin missed the mark missed the standard fallen short of the glory of God. That's the history of humanity. The history of humanity is the history of sin. The Bible records sin entering and then spreading out in all directions.
In fact, though your Bible. If you have a real Bible probably says holy Bible on it could just as easily say the history of sin. Sin that begins in Genesis and then culminates in Revelation. The Bible is essentially a Journal of human failure.
All he's good at something, these great themes in Romans five said by one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all have sinned. In other words, sin entered through Adam and it's been hanging around ever since Adam is like the kid who can't help himself when he goes up to a pristine lake in the mountains showing that perfect reflection of the mountains, on the other side. He can't help himself. I did this once he took the rock and he throws it on there to Skip the stone and the images marred on the surface of the mirrored like Adam was the kid in history who through the first rock and ever since that moment the image of God became distorted in every single human being. If you try to avoid the concept of sin. If you really want to avoid that concept are, you must never read your Bible. I know people don't like the word they try to marginalize the idea of sin is not popular in too many circles but you cannot read the Bible without coming across the word. In fact, the word sin in all its forms, sin and sinners sending Cindy's shows up no less than 629 times in the pages of Scripture because the Bible knows the reality that is our history.
We have an nature of sin. Paul put it in Ephesians 3 we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others or we all have a sinful nature, you may have heard of the tail of the scorpion and the turtle scorpions can't swim one very clever scorpion was wanting to get across the pond so he found a very unsuspecting turtle said Mr. turtle, would you give me a ride across the pond.
The turtle said you gotta be kidding right. Your scorpion to be on my back on the make it part way across an interesting man on the ground.and that the scorpion said well there's not much logic in that if I were to sting you and kill you and you drown.
I'm under back I'm going down with you and the turtle said you got a point there hop on so the turtle started venturing across the pond.
About halfway across the scorpion reared that tail and zap the turtle light in the neck is a turtle started losing muscular control and felt the poison going through its body started sinking down into the pond drowning reared its head back and said myofascial question scorpion said that he said didn't you just say that there is no logic in stinging me. So why did you do it in the scorpion said it has nothing to do with logic dear turtle it's just my nature.
This is the nature of humanity. We were by nature the children of wrath were the objects of God's wrath, even as others we were born with an evil nature, it's important to grasp that.
I know it's a basic truth. If we don't grasp that the world doesn't make sense to us. Once we grasp that the world makes more sense. Why is it that after thousands of years. We still have so many of the same problems plaguing the human race outcome with all of our advancements in technology and education. We haven't been able to solve basic problems on her.
We blame for that. We blame the liberal media or the Democratic Party or the Republican Party or we all like to do that. But the real problem is all of us are to blame.
We been infected with the sin nature. Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked who can know so our problem is failure. This prayer brings that grand truth to the surface as a second lesson and that is that maybe true failure is our problem, but forgiveness is our provision God is a solution for that wicked verse 17 as Rick praying again says of his people and their failure. They refuse to obey. They were not mindful of your wonders that you did among them, but they hardened their necks and in the rebellion they appointed a leader to return back to the bondage, but you are God, there's the pivot there's… Moment, but because it's in the first person but you are God ready to pardon gracious and merciful, slow to anger abundant in kindness and did not forsake now.
Now our failure meets God's forgiveness. And that's with a solution. It's our failure meets God's forgiveness. Our tension for sin meets his pardon for sin. But you are God.
We are failures.
But you are God we have sin but you are God.
We brought it over and over and over again in all of our history, but you are God and ask God he is so much bigger than your failure if I get this, he anticipated. Your failure, you know, God has never once stood in heaven with his hand over his mouth when he sees people on earth do something.
I can't believe what I just saw that you know that he expected and anticipated that his own people would fail the times they did is I know that years before this.
When Moses gave the law from Mount Sinai. He gave a list of blessings and cursing.
There's a two chapters. Deuteronomy 28 and 29 filled with things like if you obey me, says the Lord hears all the blessings of them follow but if you disobey me is the cursing the fall and the cursing is by the way our chapter and 1/2 of those two chapters. There's more bad things are going to happen if you blow it and disobey him than the good thing that's what it looks like so blessings and cursing at the end of that little section on the cursing's God says this when all these things come upon you when what things all the curses that if when choices if you are baby.
This will happen if you disobey me that'll happen and when all these things come upon you and you return I will bring you back.
So God knew from the beginning, but there were limited not only to have to fast-forward some years when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. And he also has a public prayer with the people gathered around first Kings chapter 8 Ellison what he says and when they sin against you. For there is no one who does not sin. And you become angry with them and get them over to the enemy who takes them captive into his own land far away, or near, then from heaven, your dwelling place here there prayer in their plea and uphold their cause and forgive your people who have sinned against C. God knew, even Solomon knew, and in this prayer reflects that knowledge when they blow it now. They won't and now they're back from the captivity that was predicted and Ezra standing there in this prayer all about to say this, your sin in your failure never surprises God is ready for his ready for in this verse but you are God, look at the description ready to pardon or forgive gracious and merciful, slow to anger, we covered that last week in another passage abundant in kindness and it did not forsake them the very first words uttered by Jesus when he was put on the cross, father forgive them know what they're doing all the things he could've said why those words is forgiveness is our greatest need that Skip the message from the series but God not want to tell you about a unique opportunity to take your knowledge of Scripture to a new level. Calvary College is now open for registration. Calvary College is offering select online classes as an opportunity for individuals to take their lives calling to a whole new level with an educational emphasis in biblical studies with our unique partnership with Veritas international University and Calvary Chapel University. You will have the opportunity to obtain your bachelors or Masters degree with complete online program. Whether you're looking to obtain an accredited online degree or take individual courses to become better equipped in your knowledge of God's unchangeable truth. Calvary College has you covered with a range of opportunities for updates on classes and registration information for Calvary College.
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