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Revival of the Word of God

INTRODUCTION:  The wall had been completed on the 25th day of the sixth month (Nehemiah 6:15 – Elul was the sixth month of the Jewish calendar). Now, on the first day of the seventh month, they meet in Jerusalem to hear God’s word (Nehemiah 8:2). There had been a famine in hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11; 1 Samuel 3:1). Now there is a revival of the same (compare 2 Kings 22:8-11).

  1. A DAY WITH THE WORD OF GOD (Nehemiah 8:1-12)
    1. The Reading of the Law (Nehemiah 8:1-6)
      1. The request of the people (Nehemiah 8:1)
        1. Their unity (Ezra 3:1; Psalm 133:1); as one man
        2. Their location (Nehemiah 3:26)
          1. In the street; they met publicly
          2. At the water gate; the gate which led to the spring Gihon (2 Chronicles 32:30)
        3. Their desire (Psalm 119:16, 24)
          1. They spoke to Ezra
          2. They asked for the Book (Jeremiah 15:16)
      2. The response of Ezra (Nehemiah 8:2-6)
        1. He brought the law (Nehemiah 8:2)
          1. Before the congregation
            1. Both men and women
            2. All that could hear with understanding (Isaiah 28:9)
          2. On the first day of the seventh month
        2. He read the law (Nehemiah 8:3)
          1. From morning until noon (compare Nehemiah 8:18; Nehemiah 9:3; 1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:3)
          2. The ears of the people being attentive (Mark 12:37; Luke 19:47-48; Acts 17:11)
        3. He stood with the law (Nehemiah 8:4)
          1. On a pulpit of wood
          2. With other beside him
        4. He opened the book of the law (Nehemiah 8:5)
          1. In the sight of the people
          2. All the people stood up (Judges 3:20; 1 Kings 8:14)
        5. He led the people in praise (Nehemiah 8:6)
          1. Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God
          2. The people answered Amen, Amen
            1. They bowed their heads
            2. They worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground
    2. The Understanding of the Law (Nehemiah 8:7-8)
      1. The men who taught (Nehemiah 8:7; 2 Chronicles 35:3)
        1. They caused the people to understand the law (Acts 8:30-31)
        2. The people stood in their place
      2. Their principles of teaching (Nehemiah 8:8)
        1. Careful observation they read in the book in the law of God distinctly (Matthew 22:29)
        2. Grammar and punctuation gave the sense (see Matthew 22:31-32 where Jesus emphasizes the present tense am)
        3. Meaning and explanation caused them to understand the reading (Matthew 22:33)
    3. Their Response to the Law (Nehemiah 8:9-12)
      1. To weep (Nehemiah 8:9)
        1. Their leadership
          1. Nehemiah, the Tirshatha
          2. Ezra, the priest the scribe
          3. The Levites that taught (2 Chronicles 17:8-9; 2 Chronicles 30:22)
        2. The day
          1. A holy day
          2. Not a day of weeping (Isaiah 61:3)
        3. The people
          1. They heard the law
          2. They wept (2 Kings 22:11, 18-19)
      2. To rejoice (Nehemiah 8:10-12)
        1. The strength of joy (Nehemiah 8:10)
          1. Go your way
          2. Eat the fat and drink the sweet
          3. Send portions to those who have nothing prepared
          4. Find strength in the joy of the Lord (Psalm 28:7; Proverbs 17:22)
        2. The strength of holiness (Nehemiah 8:11)
        3. The strength of wisdom (Nehemiah 8:12)
          1. They went to make great mirth
          2. Because they understood the words of the Lord (Jeremiah 15:16)
  2. THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES (Nehemiah 8:13-18)
    1. The Feast Discovered (Nehemiah 8:13-15)
      1. A second day of reading (Nehemiah 8:13)
        1. For the chief of all the people
        2. To understand the words of the law
      2. The law of the feast (Nehemiah 8:14-15)
        1. They discovered the feast of tabernacles (Nehemiah 8:14; Leviticus 23:33-34, 40-44)
        2. They understood the command to make booths (Nehemiah 8:15)
    2. The Feast Observed (Nehemiah 8:16-18)
      1. The obedience of the people (Nehemiah 8:16)
        1. The people gathered the branches
        2. The people made booths
          1. On the roofs
          2. In the courtyards
          3. In the court of the temple
          4. In the street of the water gate
          5. In the street of the gate of Ephraim
      2. The gladness of the people (Nehemiah 8:17)
        1. They sat under the booths
        2. They restored what had been lost since the time of Joshua
        3. They experienced great gladness
      3. The spiritual hunger of the people (Nehemiah 8:18; Psalm 63:1-2)
        1. Their hunger for the word of God
          1. Day by day through the feast
          2. Ezra read in the book of the law of God
        2. Their obedience to the word of God
          1. They kept the feast for seven days
          2. They kept the solemn assembly of the eighth day

CONCLUSION: This is one of the great revivals in the Bible. As usual, it is a revival of the word of God. When God’s people return to the word and obey its teachings, they experience great joy and are greatly blessed by the Lord. From time to time, all of God’s people need a revival of the word; whether individually, or as a church, or as a people. The famine of God’s word destroys God’s people (Amos 8:11). Revival starts when that word is rediscovered (2 Kings 22:8-11).

Memory Verses:

Nehemiah 8:8 – So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
Jeremiah 15:16 – Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Nehemiah 8:5 – And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: