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April 20, 2021 8:00 am
He was not a prophet or a teacher, but Nehemiah the businessman has much to teach us from God's Encouraging Word today. This is The Encouraging Word featuring the Bible-based preaching of Dr. Don Wilton well-known author evangelist seminary professor Pastor these next few moments I forget, allow him to be your teacher pastor as we gain insight from the book of Nehemiah. While we do so no that were available for you. Would love to connect with you on our website tewonline.org G's a great place to sign up for the day The Encouraging Word email from Dr. Don to discover more resources even here this program again her shirt with friends online at T. E.
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Now, today's teaching would Dr. Don Wilton please turn with me this morning in your Bibles to the Old Testament book of Nehemiah Nehemiah chapter 1 we going to begin a new series this morning. Some of you might say to me, will foster how long are we going to be in Nehemiah 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 15 weeks, I don't know but we going to let the Lord take control of their overriding see during the study is building on a faithful foundation building on a faithful foundation and subject this morning is simply this, God of the Bible and the people of God, the God of the Bible and the people of God.
Now my friends before I even begin to read Scripture this morning.
I want you to know that as we begin to study Scripture and as we have done so many years we going to find some truths to be self-evident. We going to find some in in alienable truths we going to find some absolute truths that God's word sets before us. One of those is that the God of the Bible and the people of God are inextricably linked together in God's sovereign grace we going to discover some wonderful things about the life of God's servant. Nehemiah we gain to discover just how special God's people are to God. There is a wonderful relationship. A wonderful relationship. I want to read just the first four verses here in Nehemiah chapter 1 and if you would follow along with me. I hope that every person you harass got access to the word of God.
If you don't have a Bible there's one in the pew rack right in front of you going to be in Nehemiah and some of you come to me and say to me. Foster. I've already read through Nehemiah. I want to encourage you to do so. I'd encourage you every week to read through Nehemiah because it is going to intensify your own personal understanding of what God would have us to learn about this mighty servant of the Lord.
Nehemiah chapter 1 the words of Nehemiah in the month of kids live in the 20th year. Now let me just say to you that kids live is the month of December. The latter part of the month of November going into December. So we need to put this into its rightful perspective. I don't know if it was a blizzard month when Nehemiah was, but it could've been. But any right that it was around about December.
This was around Christmas time, if you please, and it's very important because later on when we get into the text and we begin to understand some things about Nehemiah. It's important to to see how God's timetable kicks into gear. You know I've had people say to me from time to time. God is is not in a rush. God is not in a hurry. He doesn't belong to the instant coffee generation, a God does things in God's time and that is so true we're the ones you who are in a hurry where the ones you want everything to be done right now exactly the way we want. Well let's see what God's word says words of Nehemiah in the month of kids live in the 20th year while I was in the Citadel of Susan and Mandy or Hannah, my one of my brothers came from Judah with some other men and I questioned them about the Jewish agreement that survive the exile, and also about Jerusalem, let me pause here again, there are two things that Nehemiah is concerned with and I think these two issues are very important one is about the Jewish remnant and I'm going to tell you about them in just a moment. Nehemiah was concerned about a group of people flesh and blood just like you and me, but the second thing that he was concerned about was where they live.
He was concerned about the city of Jerusalem. He was concerned about the, the place where in these people lived and operated, so I questioned them about the Jewish remnant and about that survive the exile, and also by Jerusalem. They said to me in verse three.
Those who survived the exile back in the province and are in great trouble and disgrace the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things, I sat down and whipped for some days I mourned and fostered and prayed before the God of heaven.
May the Lord righties word upon our hearts.
Now some people say that these on Nehemiah's memoir. It's kind of an autobiography, if you please.
You going to find that it's written in the first verse. This is Nehemiah under the inspiration of the spirit of God re-calling and telling us about what God was able to accomplish through Nehemiah's life and it's going to find its focus into mirrors going to find its focus in the people of God and it's going to find its focus in who God is. That's why the message this morning is entitled the God of the Bible and the people of God will permit me to give you. Just perhaps a little bit of a thumbnail sketch little background put the sender context we need to be reminded this morning that God is the God of covenant. God promises his people, and then God stands by his promise. God never reneges on what he tells us he never turns back. He never allow something to slip by that he has written down and said to us as Christian people, and as the people of God. He made many promises to Israel. He did the same thing to Solomon and the remarkable thing is that when we begin to discover the sovereign work of God coming together with the people of God we going to find the consistency of God.
On one hand, and the absolute failure of the people of God on the other hand, we cannot help but come to that conclusion right throughout Scripture, beginning in Genesis 1 we going to find the sovereign work of God, always there, never trade the same yesterday and today and forever, but we going to find the people of God through sovereign God works, but the people of God constantly and continually let God down. Solomon was an example. Solomon was the faithful King and yet we know that he began to get mixed up with foreign ladies and he began to worship foreign gods and he began to destroy everything that God was and is and yet when we come to the end of Solomon's life. I remarkable thing happens because Solomon aims his career as the faithful King despite the fact that Solomon had disgraced the name of God.
You see, there's the sovereign work of God. This is the covenant relationship with God. There's the fact that God never changes. God stands by his word, when you come to read at the end of Kings and the end of Chronicles about Solomon gone all reference to foreign wives gone all references to foreign gods gone all references to the anger of Jehovah going all references to the desecration of the temple. It is as though God had come down any sovereign grace. And he restored Solomon to his original status of being the faithful King water message and what a word of hope.
I wonder if there's anyone here today whose master wonder if there's anyone here today who would say to me pasta, but I've done this and I've messed up and I broken that and I blip God down. Is there any hope for me my friends when we begin to understand the God of the Bible and the people of God we going to come to understand God's sovereign grace.
And so what happened well in 951 BC. The kingdom of Israel split there was the northern kingdom which comprised of 10 tribes and they became moved by a man by the name of Jeroboam the southern tribes which were taken over into exile by Babylon. They were rude by Rehoboam, but both the northern tribes in the Syria and the southern tribes in Babylon continued to displease God. They gave themselves over not only to idolatry but to gross immorality and they used to understand that the God of the Bible says there is only one God and you will worship alone, your God with all of your heart and with your soul and with all your mind and they refused to understand that God would never settle for second-best God's not willing to take a backseat.
God's not willing to step back for anybody. He is Jehovah God and these people in the northern tribes who fell to Assyria in the southern tribes refilled Babylon, they continued to disgraced the name of God while the northern tribes became assimilated. They just became amalgamated and assimilated with the Assyrian tribes and became one with the almost to the point. Historians tell us that it was hard to distinguish anything different about the Jewish tribes that had become assimilated in the Assyrian people, but the southern tribes. It was not so.
There were two southern tribes. Benjamin and Judah and use years and years later infecting 539 BC the Medes and the Persians conquered the Babylonian Empire and they liberated the southern tribes against what the southern people do.
Like all good Southerners. They went home. I mean they needed some good grips.
I guess they needed something. Reuse of these southern tribes.
Benjamin and Judah. They made a beeline straight back to Jerusalem and they went back into group that you can read about that in Israel.
By the way Ezra is the book that precedes Nehemiah is was also a prophet but the first group that went back went under the leadership of a man by the name of Zerubbabel. Imagine having a mind like that Zerubbabel with apologies to anyone who's cold. Zerubbabel, they went back with Zerubbabel and they went back with him. You can read about it in Ezra chapter 1.
This this was the group. By the way, that rebuilt the temple that God had promised to Solomon and so back there in 5515 BC the temple of God was reboot. You see, there was tremendous significance that surrounded the temple of God. The second group that went back was the group that was led by Ezra.
The first group I Zerubbabel the second group by Ezra the prophet often room this one book is mine and they went back on the Ezra but they continued to live in sin Bible says in Ezra chapter 7 that there were two things that they were guilty of Festival spiritual and moral degradation, and secondly, pagan worship pagan practices.
These were the people on the Ezra who gave themselves over unapologetically bowing down the foreign God. They disdained and discarded everything that they knew to be true. They literally positively openly and unapologetically began to worship the very antithesis of Almighty God Jehovah Zerubbabel's group answers group and so it is in 444 BC 14 years off the Ezra and he's group of southern Israelites and come back to Jerusalem. Off to the rebuilding of the temple that Nehemiah arrives on the scene.
Nehemiah arrives on the scene we going to discover some things about Nehemiah we going to look at what he saw. We going to look at how he responded. We going to look at who he walls how he did what he knew what his relationship was with God, what he believed about God what God did through his servant. Nehemiah we going to begin to understand somewhat of what God's word would teach to each one of us, and there are two basic principles that we going to discover number one that the God of the Bible is sovereign in his purpose for his people and number two, that the God of the Bible always. I love this one. The God of the Bible always has his people for the times in which they live. Well, let's look at it. First of all just brief.
The first principle we going to discover in general terms, is that the God of the Bible is sovereign in his purpose for his people.
You see friends. God desires to reveal himself to us the same way in which he revealed himself to Nehemiah and to the remnant of exiles that returned to a devastated Jerusalem, I had the privilege of being in the hospital again. At one place in the hospital. I saw some people that were were very bereaved and I began to think about these people. I began to think about about full gamut of emotions that come upon us as human beings. I began to think about some of the most penetrating questions that we ever ask of ourselves. And sometimes when we read our worst point does God desire to reveal himself to us. Are you telling me that God actually wants us to know him and to do what he wants us to do.
We going to discover absolutely yes God desires to reveal his will to his people.
Consider the situation you're in Nehemiah that we going to get to know over the next couple of weeks, humanly speaking, their predicament was impossible. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down that had no means to defend themselves that had no place to worship. They were scattered all over the universe. The people were torn apart. They had given themselves to ungodly pagan practices. They had drifted away from the sanctity of everything that God is in everything that God was and everything that God does for us, and yet God did something for Nehemiah through Nehemiah and for these people that boggle the mind.
Why did he do that. Simply stated, because he tells us in act all power is given unto me in heaven and upon earth, and that would power their means dynamite. It means because I am God. I am the God of dynamite. I'm so explosive that nobody can touch me and I have a habit of rearranging everything that I do touch because I am dynamite I am gone. I am power and grace. I am sovereign and there is nothing that is out side of the reach of the gross of any terminal and holy goal you're listening to Dr. Don Wilton our teacher here on The Encouraging Word. Don't go away who back with more of today's message from Nehemiah in just a moment, but Dr. Dunn wants me to remind you that we are here for you. Connecting keyboard keyboard on our website 24 hours a firstname.lastname@example.org if you haven't been mind lately. The website has been redesigned TEW online.org is filled with resources that perhaps will be just what you need to either share with a friend to encourage them or gain encouragement yourself. So many are asking about the brand-new book Saturdays with Billy about Dr. Wilson's relationship with Dr. Billy Graham, the pastor had the joy of being his pastor for the last 25 years and some of the memories they have shared together or just priceless. It's all in the book that's available now on our email@example.com that's TW online.org. Now back to today's great teaching with Dr. Don Wilton. This is clearly seen in the Old Testament, you can go back with me if you lack go back in your own private time and study about Abraham and Isaac you going to understand that the God of the Bible is sovereign in his purpose for his feet. You can go back to Joseph and Jacob. I mean can you imagine the audacity of Joseph being turfed into that and being sold into slavery by his brothers. I wonder how many wives Joseph must've lost while one of my doing here.
What have I done you, not Joseph. Added to that do not ease father called input if he could, that's just a rough translation of the Hebrew text. It means that he was his father's favorite son he never did anything wrong. He was the one who washed the dishes off to the meal he was the one that was always there to serve his mother and father. He was the one always was the mortal child. He's father love them so much and yet, my friend. The Bible says that he's brothers in the jealousy claimant cost him away and sold them into slavery.
What conclusion can we come to well amidst all the wise my friends, we come to the conclusion that the God of the Bible is sovereign in East purpose for his people, so it is with Moses. This is not any clear clearly seen in the Old Testament. It's clearly clearly taught in the New Testament. I don't have time this morning to go back to Ephesians chapter 2 and see how that we were once lost heading out trespasses and sins, but now because of Christ and the purpose of God in Christ we have now been found in Romans chapter 8 verse 28 all things work together for the good of those that love God and to those who all the cold. According to what his purpose. But there's a second truth, second principal Garrett is the God of the Bible always has his people, for the time in which they live, and so we come to Nehemiah Nehemiah one incredible person I want to introduce you just briefly today and perhaps somewhat raw the scantily to this man whose name was Nehemiah. An incredible person he was. He came right out of the court of Artaxerxes the king, and there is so much that God wants to teach us about this man called Nehemiah he was a remarkable person.
He was someone upon this spirit of the living God descended this man by the name of Nehemiah.
No different from you and no different from me did most extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances, all because he had a relationship with an extraordinary God. Someone who loved him. Someone who gave to him. Someone who poured out he sold upon him. But there are three things that I believe that we learn about the God of the Bible who always has these people for the times in which they live. First of all, God implements his eternal purposes through people.
I folks I don't understand but it's marvelous is not. I love to read autobiographies and biographies and all these kinds God implements his eternal purposes through people. I preached on Luke chapter 15 entity in Luke chapter 16.
At the end of Luke chapter 16 the rich man hood gone to hell there for Abraham to send someone back from the dead, so that he could convince these brothers that they needed to accept God as their Savior. And what of the Bible say the Bible said they have Moses they have Nehemiah, they have the prophets. They have the preachers they have the treacherous they have the Sunday school teachers you know why my friends sending somebody back from the dead is not God's chosen method of evangelism you not God's chosen method of evangelism is it's the word of God, the Spirit of God and the man of God.
It's the most reasonably exciting thing to know that God any sovereign has chosen the word of God through the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Through the heart of the man of God totally given over to the grace of God to bring about all the riches of God's grace. Consider this man. Nehemiah, he was one of the greatest man that ever lived.
According to historians.
He was a captive in Babylon just like all the others.
He was chosen to fill a respectable office in the court of Artaxerxes the king, he lived in ease and comfort, but he couldn't continuing comfort because of the news that he received attractive in those first four verse you see this man had everything everything that open and shut per se because he came to occupy even as an exile. A privilege in the king's court and yet he couldn't find any peace in his own heart. He couldn't just sit there and watch the world go by. He had to get into action. He had to keep the main thing the main thing. What had he seen. He saw that his people were distressed. According to Nehemiah chapter 1 the sepulchers of these fathers had been trodden. All because of these guarded being overturned the worship of God being corrupted and so he sought, he prayed and he whipped for Jerusalem. Look at verse four with me when I heard these things, I sat down and I went. The Bible goes on and says for some days I mourned and fostered and I prayed before the God of heaven. This man, we have a picture of someone here who is absolutely pouring his heart before the only one who could do anything about the unbelievable predicament in which they found themselves using Nehemiah was willing to be that instrument. Willingness is an important part of who we are as we strive to serve Christ Dr. Don's been teaching a Nehemiah and there's more to come tomorrow I hope you join us but the sense of being willing to step out as Nehemiah wise to be that instrument in God's hands, which starts with being a part of God's family before Dr. Don preaching his last few moments.
Open your heart what he wants to share with you next as he comes in the studio. Are you ready to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Why don't you pray this prayer right now.
Dear God, I know that Iversen and I know that Jesus died for me today.
I repainted my sin and life faith I receive you into my in Jesus name, my friend. I welcome you today into the family of God.
This is exciting news.
If you just gave your life to Christ praying along with Dr. you need to let somebody know that Dr. Don would love for you to let him know you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and only would love to read your story here about what God's doing that he will pray for you. Just recently we had 147 people give their lives to Christ. On one single day and ever since that day. Dr. Don's been going and literally out loud, praying for each of those people by name.
He would love to pray for you as well call and let us know what's going on in your life and how he can pray at 866899 word 866-899-WORD 9673 or email it Don deal email@example.com that you haven't signed up for the daily Encouraging Word email. Here's Liz with all the details daily Encouraging Word devotional need available in a quarterly booklet delivered each morning in your email if you would like to request history devotional. Please call 866899 where our website at The Encouraging Word and IG are confident it will be up and continue the Encouraging Word is a newer listener supported ministry. Thanks you for listening today are times Dr. David be sure and join us tomorrow for more from the book of Nehemiah on this, the God of the Bible and the principle of God that's coming up with this conclusion tomorrow on the Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton ~stay connected on our firstname.lastname@example.org