SPOTLIGHT ON OUR GOD
Pastor Sherri Drury
We’ve seen a lot over the last six weeks in the book of Nehemiah.
We’ve been inspired by Nehmiah: his courage, wisdom and great leadership skills; his reliance on the spiritual disciplines of fasting and especially prayer; and his devoted shepherding of his people throughout the build . . . and after.
We’ve learned alot from the people: how they overcame their disgrace and defeat, rallied to rebuild, united to guard against enemy threats, worked with all their hearts, mourned over their sins and willingly repented when rebuked.
We even paused to take note of the oppressors, the enemy nations and the benefactors in this account.
But let’s end our study with this question: What do we rediscover about God by reading the account of Nehemiah?
Here are some of my thoughts:
God is holy and just. He allows his children to experience discipline when they go astray. He establishes stabilizing laws to help His people, and then reminds them over and over again how they are meant to live. He holds His people to His high standards both for their best as well as for the best of the surrounding nations.
God is forgiving and does not forsake his people. He is a God of second, seventh and twelfth chances. He expects repentance but meets every turn with presence, peace and purity. God holds his people in his heart and sets his gracious hand upon them. There is no way for them to wander out of his sight or fall too far out of His reach. His gaze does not waver — he constantly and consistently acts to bring them back to Himself and to bring them back to security, identity, purpose and strength.
God is the Architect, Inspector and Rebuilder of all Restoration projects. He knows every crack, hole, vulnerability in our histories, our families, our churches, our communities and in our lives. He knows what the project will exact from the workers but also believes in each and every person who puts the time, effort, sweat, blood and tears to cooperate with God’s mighty work.
God is wise and knows the best leaders to call, the best plan to enact, and the best timeline to set into place. And He doesn’t hesitate to ask all the hard “asks” that have to be asked.
God is My God and Our God. Because He not only rescues and restores an individual prodigal son or daughter, he also acts to restore an entire nation of people. He understands the power of intentional connection, accountability, teamwork and generosity.
God is sovereign and powerful. His will trumps any earthly king; every obstacle or difficulty; any act of self-sabotage; every whisper of ridicule, plot or threat; the sight of amassing enemy armies on the horizon, and every discouragement. He gives vision. And He calls, equips and empowers his people.
And . . . God loves to celebrate. After rebuke is spoken and discipline is meted out . . . . after weary people return home . . . .after all rubble is removed and the streets are swept free of dust . . . . . after every true tear of confession has fallen . . . . after every beam is in place and every bolt is tightened . . . . after disgrace is replaced by delight . . . . . . . . .God sets out the invitations, puts up the large table, lights the candles and lays out a feast. With Him, there is eating and drinking and laughing and telling stories, singing and dancing. And it goes on until the early hours of the morning.
Wow, I really love Our God. This is why I read the Bible. I don’t necessarily need another point to strengthen my position. I don’t need a handbook that directs every decision. And I don’t really need a textbook of history, philosophy or theology. What draws me, thrills me and holds me together is seeing over and over again WHO God is and HOW He responds to his people.
Thank you God! Keep revealing yourself to us!