The Country and the Home

Bible Book: Nehemiah  8
Subject: America; Home; Family
Series: Hope For The Home

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! Crime has reached epidemic proportions in our cities and now even our villages and rural areas are not immune to the ravages of malfeasance. 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 had a tabernacle on their roof. They tabernacled for a week. This required that each family take the time to build the tabernacles and them 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.

One of our most serious problems today is the lack of time given to God.

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.

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.

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!

V. A Celebration of God - Nehemiah 9:3b (8:6)

We do not need a revival of religion. We have plenty of religion in America. We need a revival from God. The church needs to celebrate God. 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 Carefulness of Obedience

VII. A Consecration of Life

A. Faithfulness
B. Finances
C. Family

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.