The Country and the Home

Bible Book: Nehemiah  8
Subject: America; Home; Family
Series: Hope For The Home
[Editor's Note: I did not use everything in this sermon as listed below. You can see that this message contains enough info for two or three sermons. Basically, the material here was used for me to develop a message so much needed in our churches and nation.]

The Country and the Home

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

We are looking today at Nehemiah, chapters 8, 9 and 10. Our thoughts concern our nation and her homes. America the Beautiful has become America the brutal in recent days. Crime has reached epidemic proportions in our cities and now even our villages and rural areas are not immune to the ravages of malfeasance, mayhem and murder. Sin can ravage a nation much more quickly than the sword of a foreign country.

The Bible states ...

"Righteous exalts a nation,

but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 13:34)

I. A Commitment of Time

Nehemiah - 8:16-18

Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:16

You will note that the people committed themselves to return to the practice of observing the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast was an annual event in the life of God's people. During this week, the people were to make outdoor dwellings of tree limbs and brush. They would sleep each night in these temporary dwellings. Why? The people of God had been delivered from Egypt by the hand of Almighty God. In the Wilderness they lived in tents where God met their needs daily. After occupying the land of promise, the Israelites were to annually live for a week in make-shift dwellings to remember how God delivered them, cared for them and gave them the Promised Land.

Note that each family made a temporary tabernacle on their roof. They tabernacled for a week inside that dwelling rather than in their house. This required that each family take the time to build the tabernacles and then the time daily to actually live in this temporary dwellings. The children surely asked why this was being done. As a result, time was taken to explain the nature of God's grace and goodness to the family and the nation.

One of our most serious problems today is the lack of time given to God, and a lack of explaining to children the blessings which God has given us.

II. A Concentration on Scriptures

Nehemiah 8:18; 9:3

Note the time they spent in the Word of God. Daily the family read the Scriptures. Then they gathered where the Word was read for a full quarter of the day. That means six hours was devoted to the Word of God!

There will be no great revival of faith and faithfulness in America apart from the living Word of God. I remember my dad and mom reading the Bible to me. When my father died, mom passed on his Bible to me. It was comforting to flip through the pages and see where he had written or made marks in his Bible. Children need to see and hear their parents read the Bible.

III. A Consciousness of Blessings

Nehemiah 8-10

The people were reminded of their blessings from God. If we forget the One from whom our blessings come, we will take our benefits as coming from our own wisdom. When that happens to a nation, God takes His hand away and allows His people to be reminded of the source of all blessings.

Recently we have been afflicted by Covid - 19. This pandemic has touched the whole world, but it has been especially difficult for us in America. The horror and terror of this disease can be a benefit to us - if it drives us back to God. We take for granted the blessings of each day, the food in our grocery stores, the freedom of movement we have. When we lose some of this, it reminds us of just how weak we really are. We are about 10 days away from facing the danger of starvation in America. If all trucks cease to move on our highways, and electricity is lost to our stores and refrigeration units, most of us would be in trouble in little more than a week. How shameful that we eat our food without thanking God, that we enjoy our airconditioned homes with little thought of the heat just beyond our doors, or we live each day with a heartbeat and never thank for God for that day of life. America, we need to come back to God!

IV. A Confession of Sin

Nehemiah 9:3a

They confessed willingly, their own sins and those of their fathers. There is no substitute for being honest about our sins. Either we confess them openly, or you can be sure our sins will find us out!

How long has it been since you simply fell down before God and were honest about your sins? I'm not just talking about the things you do that are wrong, but the things we leave undone as well.

V. A Celebration of God

Nehemiah 9:3b (8:6)

We do not need a revival of faith in God today. We have plenty of religion in America. We need a revival from the true and living God. The church needs to celebrate God in new and refreshed way. This must be done in our homes!

A. The Position of God 9:5
B. The Power of God 9:6
C. The Plan of God 9:7
D. The Promise of God 9:8
E. The Provision of God 9:9-15
F. The Pardon of God 9:16-38

1. The Readiness of His Pardon

2. The Riches of His Pardon

3. The Requirements of His Pardon

VI. A Consecration of Life

There is so much we could say about this fact. Just think of three areas ...

A. Faithfulness
B. Finances
C. Family
Conclusion

Several years ago Paul Harvey, now deceased, was a nationally known news commentator. On one of his radio shows he reported the following statistics. "Although there are over 116 million churchgoers in the United States‑‑an increase of 30 percent in 10 years‑‑illegitimacy has gone up 300 percent, and pornography has become a 500‑ million‑dollar‑a‑year business. Venereal disease has jumped 72 percent. Our annual crime bill is over 20 billion dollars and is increasing four times faster than our population. What we expend on gambling is more than all the money spent on churches, education, medicine, and cars. Our divorce rate is one in three, and our nation has 5 million alcoholics and 3.5 million problem drinkers. Ours is the most civilized nation on earth, yet 37 million of our children receive absolutely no religious instruction!"

Friends, Harvey shared those statistics over 20 years ago. Look at America today. Worship attendance is no longer increasing, it is drastically decreasing. Children born outside marriage has skyrocketed. Divorce is now 1 out of every 2 marriages, and over 50 million babies have not even been given the right to breathe a single breath of air due to abortion.

We must bring the family back to God. It starts right here, right now. It begins when you and I make a new commitment of our homes to the Lord.