Info Bar

Message Notes

Rebuilding: Rebuilding on God’s Word

Pastor Bill West
July 18, 2021

We Must Understand the Word
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 
(Nehemiah 8:1–3)

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. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” 
(Nehemiah 8:7–8)

Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.” 
(Nehemiah 8:12)

We Must Embrace the Word

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” 
(Nehemiah 8:5–6)

We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.” 
(1 Thessalonians 2:13)

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” 
(Nehemiah 8:9–12)

Two Things:  Repent and Rejoice

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

We Must Apply the Word

They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.” 
(Nehemiah 8:14–15)

The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great. 
(Nehemiah 8:17)

The Spirit of God Uses the Word of God to Revive the People of God.

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” 
(John 5:39)

Small Groups Talk About It

Watch the Message Summary:

  1. How many “physical” Bibles do you own?  How many “digital” ones? What do you think it would be like to live in a time or place where you did not have access to the Bible on your own?
  2. .What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to reading it on a regular basis?  Share things that help you to read it regularly.
  3. Read Nehemiah 8:1-6: What stands out to you here? What is the significance of involving men, women, and children in the reading of God’s word? Why did the people stand and then bow down as the word was read?
  4. Read Nehemiah 8:9-12: Why were the people weeping? Why did Nehemiah discourage them from weeping? What is the “joy of the Lord”? (Read Luke 10:7 to help you understand). How is the joy of the Lord our strength?
  5. Share a time when God’s word moved you to tears.  Share a time when God’s word caused you to celebrate.
  6. Read Nehemiah 8:13-18: How did the people respond when they found out about the festival?  What was the result?
  7. Read and discuss James 1:22.
  8. Discuss this statement: “The Spirit of God Uses the Word of God to Revive the People of God”.  How has God used his word in your life recently to help point you to Jesus? How will you get God’s word into your life more consistently?
  9. Pray for each other.