Revive Us, Oh Lord!
March 2, 2014 Series: Nehemiah
Passage: Nehemiah 9:1–9:38
What is a revival?
"When they have left when first love, when they find themselves going through the motions, when they are wallowing in sin, perhaps regretting their sins, but unwilling to thoroughly repent of them... When they are neglecting their relationship with Christ... When we are low on zeal and have grown lukewarm" - Derek Gentle
"Revival is a return to spiritual health after a period of decline into sin and broken fellowship with God... Revival is for God's people when they need to be forgiven and restore to life, spiritual health and vitality" - Blackaby and King
Where Have We Been And Where Are We Going?
- Nehemiah is divided into 2 halves: chapters 1-6 and 7-13
- God uses the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem as a start of a spiritual journey of faith in chapters 1-6. The people of Jerusalem were challenged to depend on God and to trust God for what they had to do. God puts us through difficult times so we learn to trust on Him, to lean on Him and to depend on Him.
- Census and Reading of God's Word, chapters 7-8. The census was important because it reminded the people of who they were and where they came from. This was important to remind them of who their ancestors were and the relationship they had with God.
- In chapter 7-8, we also saw the people of God reading God's Word. The people began to get excited and to better understand how God came into their lives. In the same way, do we understand what we are hearing from the Word.
- The feasts of God was given by God for the people to remember specific events of their lives and of Israel.
What happened in chapter 9?
Time of preparation (v. 1-3)
- They began to understand the sins among them and began to worship God more earnestly. They began to understand more clearly who God was and who they were.
- Often God uses different events in our lives to start us on a path of restoration to Him.
Time of prayer (v. 4-38)
- They prayerfully reviewed the past situation (v.4-31). Through this, they recalled the majesty of God (v.4-6), the calling of Abram (v.7-8), the events of exodus (v.9-20)
- They also remembered the provisions and goodness of God in the wilderness (v.21-31).
- Throughout the history of Israel, they often fell back into sin and disobeyed God. This was similar to the situation they were in in Nehemiah 9. This was a time to confess their sins and disobedience again (v.32-36)
Through this, we see that revival comes when people pray and reflect on their past and present!
What is there to learn?
1. Prayer helps you see God
- The people considered God's attributes and were reminded afresh that he is God of creation (v.6), God of grace, (v.7-8), God who answers prayers (v.9) and God of deliverance (v.10-12). This was the God that was faithful to His covenant, providing for the people through the years.
- Titus 3:5-7 reminds us that this is the same God, who saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.
- What do you see God as? Do you see him as a distant God? Or do you think that He is a "bellhop God", one waiting to hear our dreams and desires and grants them to us? Nehemiah 9 reminds us who the God of the Bible is.
2. Prayer helps you see yourself
- It helps us to see ourselves as we really are, in a honest way.
- We, like the people of Israel in Nehemiah 9, see our sin of arrogance & stubbornness (v.16), sin of refusal to listen (v.17), sin of idolatry (v.18), sin of disobedience (v.26).
- Are there sins we need to confess and repent of? Perhaps these questions by Alan Redpath are useful: What about my relationship with others? What about my devotion to God?
- God's people are called to walk in holiness and submission to Him. The battle cry of fallen humanity is "I did it my way", but the anthem of His people is "I did it God's way".