Sermon Notes: The God Behind Door # 2

Here are my notes from today's message at Hesston MB Church.  I have removed my introduction on our views of God.  Those will post tomorrow. 

Nehemiah 9:5b-15
Introduction: A.W. Tozer writes, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. And the second is what we think God thinks of us.”

Our view of God needs to be Biblical not based on our favorite author, teacher, speaker or even what we were taught.  We should ask ourselves, is our view of God based on the Bible or someone else’s opinion?

Last week: Pastor Jared shared from Nehemiah 8 about Ezra reading the Law. After the “joy of the Lord is our strength & celebrating the feast of booths, the Law leads them to fast & confess because of their unfaithfulness (vs. 1-4) but leads them to praise God in Nehemiah 9:5b-15 which is the longest recorded prayer in the Bible. (Gospel Transformation Bible)

·         This prayer is not about specific persons in the past, but is about what God was doing with the Jews at that time. The emphasis throughout the prayer is on what God has done. It recounts God’s actions in and for his people. He is, in fact, the subject of every sentence in vv. 6–15.[1]
God Creates (vs. 5b-6)

·         Vs. 5-Blessed be your glorious name & may it be exalted—Our names reveal something about us.  God’s names throughout Scripture point us to not just to what He does but also to who He is.  On my blog weekly, I post a different name of God.  Here are a few: El Shaddai (almighty, most powerful); Elohim (one true God-Genesis 1:1); Yahweh Shalom, Jireh, Rapha, Rohi, Shammah, Tsuri (Rock)

·         Vs. 6-You alone-there is only one God.  From Nehemiah till today, there are many who worship multiple gods.

o   An example from Guatemala (pictures)-many options-making sure they were appeasing all of the gods

§  Mayan sacrificial groud-polytheism-god of corn, rain, fire, sun.

§  Catholic church-Chi Xim-named after corn god

·         Jesus

·         Idols

o   Nehemiah praises the one God. He is LORD (Yahweh-I AM)

·         Vs. 6-God creates heavens, stars, earth, all that is in it, seas, life

o   Hebrew word for heavens-heavens, sky, visible universe, where God abodes

God Keeps His Promises (vs. 7-8)

·         Vs. 7-You are the Lord God (Yahweh, Elohim)

·         Vs. 7-Who chose Abram

o   Vs. 8-Faithful (20x) to you-Hebrew “aman”

§  Also translated believe (44x), trust (5x)

o   Vs. 8-Covenant-to give land, made with God himself (Genesis 15:17-18)

§  17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, … (ESV)

·         Vs. 8-Kept your promise-because God is righteous. Kept means not still to be determined. It is completed and finished based on who God is not based on people’s righteousness

God Rescues (vs. 9-12)

·         Vs.9-You saw the suffering (Egypt), you heard their cry (Red Sea)

o   are you going through suffering or a difficult time? cry out to God. He hears your request, You are never alone

·         VS. 10-11-Makes a name for himself them through miracles

o   Signs & wonders (10 plagues)-kids in Go Deeper-you just talked about this a few weeks ago

o   Parted the Red Sea

·         Vs. 12-Leads them by pillar of cloud (day) & pillar of fire (night)-way to go

God Provides (vs. 13-15)

·         Vs. 13-God provides Law-spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai

o   Regulations, laws, decrees, commands-just, right, good

§  This entire chapter emphasizes all that God has given to his people. The Hebrew word nātan (“give”) is used fifteen times.[2] The Jews did not see the laws as a burden or something negative but as a gift of God to guide his people in forming a just and good society[3]

§  God’s way is best

§  Purpose of the law-Points to end of ourself (we can’t keep it-we need a Savior-Christ)

·         The law proves that we need God’s grace.[4]

·         Vs. 15-God provides bread & water

o   Bread-manna (what is it?)

o   Water-from a rock

·         Vs. 15-God provides land

Closing: (Tozer Quote)-How do you view God?

·         I return back to where we started this morning about the views of God. Does your view of God line up with what we see in Nehemiah 9 and throughout Scripture? If not, let the Holy Spirit begin working on your heart, mind, and hands. Why did God create, keep His promises, rescue, provide? For his glory alone.  This is who God is! And because He loves and cares for YOU. Nehemiah’s prayer reminds us of our God who is worthy of our worship and praise.

What does God think of you?

·         He loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus who was present and involved in creation, who all of the promises are “yes in Christ”, rescued us from sin, death, and Satan, provided life for us today and forever.  Because Christ was the perfect sacrifice for our sin, there is no condemnation left for those who are in Christ.  Because Jesus was our substitute, He took all of the judgment, wrath that we deserved upon Himself on the cross.  Because Jesus lived the perfect life and obeyed perfectly on our behalf, we are made right with God.  Jesus took our sin and He gives us his righteousness.  So, what does God think of you?  He sees someone created in the image of God who is pleasing to God, fully acceptable to Him, holy, blameless and righteous not based on what we DO but because of what Christ has DONE.

[1] Breneman, M. (1993). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (electronic ed., Vol. 10, p. 236). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
[2] Breneman, M. (1993). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (electronic ed., Vol. 10, p. 238). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
[3] Breneman, M. (1993). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (electronic ed., Vol. 10, p. 238). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
[4] Breneman, M. (1993). Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (electronic ed., Vol. 10, p. 238). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.


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