Part 9 – National Repentance
Series: Nehemiah The Builder
Lesson: Part 9 – National Repentance
Speaker: Dr. Benny M. Abante, Jr.
Passage: Nehemiah 9:38 (KJV)
Service: New Life Bible Class
Date: March 3, 2016
NEHEMIAH THE BUILDER
LESSON NO. 9 NATIONAL REPENTANCE CHAPTER 9
“And because of all this, we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests seal unto it.” —Nehemiah 9:38 (KJV)
REPENTANCE Means REMORSE (a feeling of deep regret) for your sins. In Greek, it is “metanoia” which means a complete change of mind. The subject of repentance is not very popular among many evangelical leaders today. Much emphasis is given to church activities, leadership and training conferences, lectures and many other things that prayer and fasting become less and less popular. Those I mentioned if aimed at the furtherance of the Gospel are all good works but they must be put in the right perspective. As we do God’s work, it is of paramount importance to see that all our hearts and motives are right before God. Any sin that dethrones and offends Him must be confessed immediately that we may find forgiveness and power to do God’s work without any hindrance and guilt on our part (1 John 1:9). True repentance and a firm resolve to never go back to old sinful habits certainly please God and make Him bless and prosper our lives and ministries.
A. Their Repentance
1. National repentance started from the very leaders of the nation of Israel down to the most ordinary people. All together, they approached God with remorse and grief over their sins of unbelief and disobedience and many violations of the laws of God. The whole nation went to fasting, putting on sack-cloths, pouring their heads with dirt or ashes, confessing not only their own sins but also the sins of their fathers (vv.2, 4-5).
2. Repentance also means separating themselves from those who are “strangers” from God (v.2) and spending their time in worship and reading the Word of God (v.3). When we are truly repentant, we develop hatred for those sins that disgrace and displace God in our lives.
3. They remembered and rehearsed what God has done for them from Abraham’s time up to their present predicament (vv.6-37). They remembered—
3.1. The world was God’s creation and how He has preserved the world because of His goodness (v.6).
3.2. The good old faithful Abraham and how his faith and obedience were rewarded (vv.7-8).
3.3. Their sufferings in Egypt and how God delivered them from the hands of Pharaoh (vv.9-10).
3.4. Their lives in the wilderness and how God gave them protection, His laws, food and water and a promise that they will possess the promised land (vv. 11-15).
3.5. That in spite of God’s goodness, they provoked Him in the wilderness, disobeyed Him and rebelled against Him (vv. 16-18).
3.6. That in all those things, the Lord still sustained them through in the wilderness, brought them to the promised land, guided them safely and gave them victories over their enemies (vv.19-25).
3.7. How many times they turned away from God
3.8. That even if they sinned against God repeatedly, His mercies were still abundant toward them. Israel can call upon God by the reason of their afflictions and He would listen, forgive and deliver them (vv.17b, 19a, 27b, 28b, 31). How great are the mercies of our God (Psalms 51:1; 103:8)!
B. Their Covenant (vv.32-38).
1. On the basis of God’s unchanging covenant and mercy (v.32).
2. On sincere confession of their sins and their faith (vv.33-35).
3. Declared themselves as God’s servants (v.36).
4. Testified that because of their disobedience, strange kings have enjoyed the blessings of the land (v.37a).
5. Admitted that they are in great distress (v.37b).
6. Committed their covenant in writing (v.38).
Psalm 63:1-8King James Version (KJV)
63 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
—BMA’s Messages 03.06.16