Nehemiah 8 and 9
Nehemiah 8:1 - "And all the people gathered themselves
together as one man into the street"
There were certain sins prevalent at the time and were
* oppression of rich men - ch. 4
* prevalence of mixed marriages - chps. 6, 10, 12
* desecration of the sabbath - chps. 10, 13
* negligence of tithes and offerings - ch. 10
For us today in America it they are:
* abortion on demand/convenience
* Hollywood mind set/fantasy/non-reality
* lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God
*lying-misrepresentation-deception - John 8:44
But there seems to be no greater provocation today
that the forty million plus abortions in 33 years in
America unless it be homosexuality pushed to the
forefront as if it were some "prima donna" sin.
These are two reasons for a fearful looking for of
These sins seem to permeate society - secular -
religious - to the point of entering the pulpit or the
priesthood - (denominational issues)
Our pastor, Bro. Purcell mentioned something that
I trust was not wasted on me when he referred to
the magnanimity of Abraham in the matter of Lot -
great change was taking place as here - I only wish
that sometime he will teach what the self-will of
Lot, and others like scriptural references, led to -
they also desired change.
I can only say with Lot - "brethren do not so
wickedly" - words of advice in an homosexual
setting - those brethren are among the ashes (the
biblical term is "consumed") of Sodom and
Gomorrah - arkdiscovery.com.
The public library used to promote "what if everyone
read the same book"? They did once upon a time and
it also permeated society - it was the Bible.
Kentucky Explorer magazine - how widespread the
culture - those days can never be recovered - nostalgia -
(a wistful or excessively sentimental sometimes
abnormal yearning for return to or of some past
period or irrecoverable condition - to put in a
biblical setting - "the world that then was" - II Peter 3:6)
the same could and can be experienced if our hearts
were right and America really was unified - THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -
It is not the times - it is "the spirit of the times"
which we covet.
It is not the change in progress - making life better -
that I am talking about - it is the change in people
and their behavior that I mention.
The times can never be recovered - the spirit can!
We have the means through technology for all the
people upon the face of the earth to do this - in the
streets - outside our homes - satellites could pick it
all up and broadcast it simultaneously - we just
don't have the desire or will - tax dollars or the
damning philosophy that is extra-constitutional -
"separation of church state" would forbid BUT
There will come a time when we would gladly do
it but it will be after it is too late!
For example - the rich man in Luke 16
But "today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not
your hearts as in the provocation" - Heb 3
It can be done!
Nehemiah 8:1-4 - contrast those who stand with
Zerubbabel - the governor (concerned with first exiles
Joshua - the priest return and rebuilding the city)
Zerubbabel here with those who opposed him -
Ezra 4:1 - adversaries
2 - let us help
4 - weakened their hands
5 - hired lobbyists
6 - journalists - lies
7-9 - their companions
12 - lies - propaganda - spin doctoring
21 - legislate
23 - censorship - cease and desist
Eighty years later - Nehemiah the governor - Ezra the
priest (concerned with rebuilding the wall and repentance
Ezra 5:1 - work of Haggai and Zechariah
3, 6 - adversaries companions (actual people)
5, 11 -
Neh. 8:1-4 (v. 2 - first day)
7-8 vs. 4 and 7 (actual people)
9-12 - (significance of)
13 (second day)
18 - (day by day for a week)
For seven days, from early morning until midday, Ezra
and his helpers, "opened the Book of the Law, and read
in the Law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, so that
the people understood the reading". This public reading
and exposition of God's Book brought a great wave of
repentance among the people, a "great revival" and a
solemn covenant to keep the Law as in chapters 9 & 10
Neh. 9:1- "with sackclothes, and earth upon them"
(think how hard that would be in this day of obsession with designer clothing)
Isaiah 3:16-24 -
16 - "walk with stretched forth necks & wanton eyes"
(a desire to attract men's attention, shamelessly
17 - "the Lord will discover their secret parts) - (tattoos with arrows pointing in all directions and making unnecessary statements)
18 - "in that day the Lord will take away the bravery of
their ornaments" - bravery - gall????
19 - "chains...bracelets"
20 - "headbands....earrings"
21 - "rings...nose jewels"
22 - "changeable suits of apparel" - clothes make the man -
designer clothing - I Peter 3:3-4
23 - "hoods... vails" - (turbans and scarfs) gang symbols??
24 - "stomacher" -
May God help me not to come on offensively here -
The SYMBOLISM - yesterday I watched over RFD TV
a show taped July 2, 2006 at Jerusalem Ridge in Ohio Co.,
Ky - Bill Monroe connection - Bill Monroe is not the only
thing to come out of Ohio County - the best I remember the
earring in school controversy started there in the late 60's
or early 70's -
Order is essential to learning.
Perhaps obsession with self is detrimental to learning either
in public schools (PRIVATE SCHOOLS RISE) or respect towards one's Maker
Can you see Americans following the example of those in
the days of Ezra and Nehemiah today??
Tossing earrings, change of dress (sack cloth) like Job sitting on a heap and scrapping tattoos off - etc.
Standing for hours at a time???
Well, next Sunday perhaps, you know the Super Bowl is a
special occasion! I see people standing at the State Tournament
every year - I guess it is where the heart is - a "State of the
Heart" address, perhaps.
Neh. 9:2 - "the seed of Israel separated themselves"
3 - "stood in their place"
"read in the book of the Law of the Lord their
God one fourth part of the day and another
fourth part they confessed and worshipped the
Lord their God"
Neh. 10:28-29, 35 (notice not the body - Micah 6:6-8)
39 - "we will not forsake the house of our God"
Whose side are you on??? -
The Lord God of heaven and earth