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Current prayer focus. The trapped miners in Chile Those returning to school Prayer for the safety of those in our church who work potentially dangerous areas Our President and government Pastor Randy Heckert from Malone Our lost friends and relatives. The joy of the Lord Nehemiah 8.1-10.

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Current prayer focus
Current prayer focus

  • The trapped miners in Chile

  • Those returning to school

  • Prayer for the safety of those in our church who work potentially dangerous areas

  • Our President and government

  • Pastor Randy Heckert from Malone

  • Our lost friends and relatives

The joy of the lord nehemiah 8 1 10

The joy of the LordNehemiah 8.1-10

Pastor Shane L. Johnson, D.Min.

8/29/10New Life Church

Neh 8 1 10
Neh 8.1-10

  • 1 all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. 5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 The Levites--Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah--instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our LORD. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

An overview of chaps 1 7
An overview of chaps 1-7

  • Nehemiah learns that the walls of Jerusalem had been torn down and the gates burned with fire, which he mourned; he reminds God of His covenant, confesses sin; he asks God for the king’s favor

  • The king enquires of N’s sadness, which he answers, and then asks to return to Jerusalem; the king provides timber and an escort; N inspects the walls and calls the Jews to action; Sanballat and Tobiah opposes N and the Jews


3- involves the systematic repair of the 7 various gates giving entrance to Jerusalem

4- Sanballat and Tobiah oppose the rebuilding of the gates and walls, mocking the Jews; N responds with prayer, hard work, and posting men as guards; N tells them not to fear, to fight for their families and homes; all men are armed; half the men work, the other half stand guard, so much so that they did not change clothes


5- in the midst of all this rebuilding, N also ministers to the needs of the poor; angry, he speaks out against high interest rates and slavery by Jews against their own countryman, and makes them pledge to renounce this; he shakes out his robe as reminder of what God will do to those who don’t keep the oath; he also refuses food due him by the governor; he eats what the rest of the Jews eat

6- Sanballat and Tobiah plot more opposition; N prays for the Lord to strengthen his hands; N completes the wall in 52 days


7- N put Hanani in charge of Jerusalem “because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.”; N listed all the exiles that returned; Ezra prepares to read the Law

8- Ezra gathers the people before the water gate and reads the law from daybreak to noon; all the people listened attentively;

The joy of the lord is your strength
“The joy of the Lord is your strength”

  • Joy, Chedvah- gladness

  • The Lord, Yhwh- “the I am” the eternally pre-existant one

  • Strength, Ma`owz- place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold, harbor, stronghold, refuge (of God) (fig.), human protection (fig.)

The joy of the lord
The joy of the Lord…

1- Is not a denial of your current, negative reality- N was saddened by the news of his homeland- Josephus states that the wall was 33 stadia, or about 4.5m, so this was a large project- it was done during external opposition, and internal infighting- the denial of negative reality is foolish

2- Is a decision to draw strength from remembering the provision of a loving and wise Lord who has your times in His hands; He is your source for everything- N started the day with the Law, praise and worship; - they made the meaning of the law clear so people could understand- it is a decision to not focus on the negative (“do not grieve,” v 9-10) but celebrate what the Lord has done- it is decision to depend on the Lord, more than anything

The joy of the lord1
…the joy of the Lord

3- what they N and the people did was marked by prayer, opposition, hard work, justice, and a regard for the law

4- so the joy of the Lord, is a willful focus on the Lord and good in the midst of both good and bad

5- we are called to be the people of God regardless of circumstances- ex, the Cuban church

And so
And so…

  • What is your source of strength?

  • What are you focusing on?

  • What effect is it having on you?