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Repair, Rebuild Reinforce

Revd Steve - 15 Apr 2016


 

 






In the 6th century BC, Nebuchadnezzar swept out of Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and pulled down the holy temple built by Solomon and carried most of the Jews off to live in Babylon as prisoners. Many years years later, king Cyrus decided that the Jews should be restored to their land, and that the temple to God should be built again. After a long effort to get the temple rebuilt, Ezra the prophet priest taught the Jews the bible, by re-read to them Moses laws, etc. In God’s strength, Zarubbabbel organised the rebuilding of the temple, Ezra proclaimed the centrality of God’s Word and Nehemiah made possible the rebuilding of the broken walls, and together they reformed a community of renewed believers. 

Nehemiah’s zeal, tenacity, passion and unmatchable leadership skills, and prayerful faithfulness to His God were no match for his enemies. But more besides, he not only organised the rebuilding of the walls and the gates but also instigated one of the most inspiring spiritual renewals in scripture. 

In short, he was an ordinary lay-man with an unordinary plan, supported by an extra ordinary God.  

What was the task? To rebuild the walls and restore the people. It wasn’t just bricks but it was souls that mattered.

We see this in Nehemiah’s prayer which acts like an x-ray into his heart. His plea is for ‘redemption’ 1:10 in the Hebrew the word used is Padah. = ‘release, rescue, deliver, liberate, or cut loose’  This verb occurs some 60 times, the phrase “the ransomed of the Lord” (Isai 35:10) contains the same verb Padah, whether the ransom is effected by means of a payment or a miraculous liberation, it speaks of God’s desire to free his people. Nehemiah has been given God’s heart. 
And so where Moses once cried “let my people go” Nehemiah prays, “Let God’s people grow”!

It is here that we recognise Nehemiah’s zeal and passion for the Word of God, which was shared alongside Ezra (8:9-11) this flowed out from Nehemiah’s knowledge of the OT.

Nehemiah a man of the Word

1.    Nehemiah was shaped by scripture (1:5) ‘you keep your covenant with those who keep yr commandments’

2.    Nehemiah was skilled in scripture (9:13) ‘u gave them just ordinances, true laws, good statutes & yr commandments” Because

3.    Nehemiah was inspired by scripture (13:26) where he tells story of king Solomon.

This knowledge of the scriptures shapes the man, but it takes more than knowledge to be a person of faith, Nehemiah practices what he believes.

Here at ASHP at our AGM Sunday 924th April) my hope and constant prayer is for us to replicate the faith, skill and obedience of Nehemiah. This must be seen in the age we live in and the task for this generation of Kingdom minded people. Our task is threefold:

Repair the walls

We have a mighty task at hand, but we have a mightier God to lend a hand. The global and local church in the west is voiceless, message-less and so powerless. Institutional religion is dead, but God’s not dead. God is very much alive, and where He is is life. The sign of a God centred church is a church who’s life and lives under it’s care are being changed by God, not programmes, systems, series, teaching programmes and conferences. If Jesus isn’t at the very centre leading, guiding, guarding, informing, empowering, then all we have is a club not dynamite. We may not be able to repair the broken walls of the global church but we can here in HP, it begins with allowing the healer builder to have His way in our lives.

Rebuild the people.

It must begin with us, otherwise we cannot offer to others that which we do not possess ourselves. If we are to ‘love others as we love ourselves’ then we better make sure we’re dealing with the brokenness, hurting hearts, splintered spirits, condemning and gossiping and slandering attitudes. To be God’s most Holy people we must be a people who seek to be holy by practising to be holy.

Reinforce the message

The spiritual osmosis within the UK is watering down the message of Jesus by way of upholding the words of men. We must not only learn our scriptures but we must learn how to defend and reinforce them. May we at ASHP be a centre for God's Word and Spirit to teach, sintrust,
 

 reprove, rebuke and rebuild. Amen.

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