Dedicated to the Lord

Dedicated to the Lord

Rise and Rebuild – Personal Relationship with God, Family, City, Church, Nation

Dedicate it to the lord, sometimes we lose sight of who it is for. “Look what I have done, Look what I have created, look how great it is! Look how great I am.  Nehemiah – A city for me. A testament to my greatness”

Nehemiah 12:1-47


The Israelites are under the rule of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.  He Ruled over 2 million square miles.  This was the world’s first great empire, and I want to remind us that Nehemiah, served as cupbearer to this king.  He was surrounded by extraordinary wealth, incredibly important people, and impossibly large decisionsHe was at the center of the world. 

But despite his role, and his centrality to the importance of men, God took Nehemiah to the backwoods, broken down city of Jerusalem, to rebuild what most of mankind considered to be an outpost.  Little did they know, that this city, both then, and now, was far more important a city than Babylon ever was.  Because it was in that broken down dump that God was going to work in the world to advance His Kingdom.

So Nehemiah led the Israelites to rebuild the walls, and fill the city with inhabitants.  And this morning we see that he dedicates the city, and the people to the Lord. 

A Purified People (vs 27-30)

    • Explain
      • “They sought the Levites in all their places” – the priestly system worked like this –
        • 24 divisions of priests -and they served in the temple for 2 weeks at a time.  The rest of the time they stayed home, tended their farms and flocks and families” 
      • Nehemiah brings them all in to purify the city and its people.
        • People places and things can all become unclean
          • Room, car, self, 
        • Externally Clean – Washed themselves, washed their clothes, Washed the city.
          • In a sinful world, everything gets dirty
        • Internally Clean – Sacrifices we don’t know the exact number of sacrifices made at the dedication of this temple, but 2nd Chronicles 7:5 tells us that at the dedication of the first temple, King Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen, and 120,000 sheep. These sacrifices are not wasted, they are used to feed the masses.  That is a lot of food.  Talk about a beast feast!
          • To make holy, To atone for sin.
  • We are made holy differently today. 
  • Prove 
    • 1st John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
      • It is no longer about sacrifices and offerings, Jesus was the final offering for the sin of mankind.  Your sins are forgiven!
    • Hebrews 10:10,14 – And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all… For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
  • Apply
    • In order to be purified, you first have to admit that you need to be purified.  
      • kids – baths – They don’t realize they are dirty!
      • Everybody wants to play the victim card.  We like to ignore our sin to focus more intently on the sins of others
        • This person hurt me, this person verbally assaulted me, this person said something that i could take as a microaggression and so I am a victim.  That person makes more money than I do, so I am a victim. Everyone else has the blame but we never have any.  
        • In fact, we self justify all the time. “I have had a rough day” “I have had a rough life”  “I was abused as a kid, so my actions now are not my fault”  “Its my enneagram number, its just who I am”  “I’m Irish, its just who I am”  “I cant change, I was born this way, so I am going to celebrate and place my identity in my sin”
      • Let me be clear.  You are not innocent.  You may have had moments in your life where you were wronged and wounded by others… Where someone else’s sin has harmed you… But sin does not excuse sin, and your sin is your own.  You are not Innocent. And if you don’t know Jesus Christ, you are not holy.  You are not Clean.  But you can be.
    • You can be made clean! – You don’t have to live in your filth!  
      • We all have things in our life that feel dirty, gross, or wrong. 
      • But you don’t have to ignore it, and you don’t have to live in it!
  • Notice that the Levites purify themselves before they led the city in worship.  This is because they could not effectively lead others in worship unless they walked in purity before the Lord.  
    • We all want revival… Masses of people renouncing their sin and turning to God. Entire cities, states, and nations being changed and dedicated to the Lord.  We put on massive rallies and fly in important speakers, but we fail to realize that true Revival always starts from within.  Purify yourself first. Then go help purify others through the power of Christ.

A Rejoicing People (vs 31-43)

  • Explain
    • The heart of all of this was Joy.  I went through the passage and counted 11 times that it talked about their joyful, grateful response to God. (I did half my education in public school so I may be wrong)
      • They could have been afraid… Fearful of their enemies, they no doubt had people who wanted to destroy them…  God’s people have always had Enemies at every stage throughout history.  But they trusted God and they rejoiced in Him instead
      • Nehemiah 8:10 – “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
    • How did they rejoice? By singing!  They assembled 2 great choirsStarted at the bottom of the city, 1. Led by Ezra 2. Led by Nehemiah, one went left the other went right, on top of the wall, and they met at the temple. 
    • Singing, rejoicing, Celebrating – Great Joy
      • This is an emotional moment! This is a powerful moment!  These people are HAPPY!  Contrast that to today’s world.
  • Apply
    • Since Covid, anxiety, depression, and mental health is up 25%.  But what we see desperately lacking in the world today is a true source of Joy.  When the world falls apart, everyone runs to their idols for security, but they do not and cannot provide true joy.  Only God can give that.  Do you need a measure of joy today?
    • Consider this – Jesus Birth, His miracles, His Resurrection, His second coming
      • Revelation 21:5a – And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
    • We rejoice not because our lives get better, we rejoice because our lives are connected to God.

A Dedicated People (vs 44-47)

  • Explain
    • What does it mean to dedicate something?  
      • To commit it, to set it apart for a purpose, to give it over to.
      • The Israelites were declaring that this city was God’s city.  Where God would be made known, where His law would be followed, where they would worship Him alone.
      • When you dedicate something, It deals with the purpose of a thing. Why does the city of Jerusalem exist?  Why did Nehemiah rebuild the city?  
        • For the glory of God, the people were there for the glory of God! The Walls were there for the glory of God! The Temple was there for the glory of God!  He had promises to fulfill in the city. The city needed to be rebuilt for that to happen.  It is all for God!
      • And for them, to be dedicated to God meant that they were willing to sacrifice of themselves (time, talent, treasures), to accomplish the mission.  They gave to the temple, to the priests, to the work.
  • Apply
    • SO really, it all comes down to this.  Why are we here? – We are here to worship this morning.  To offer to God the praise and the glory that He is due. It is not about getting your weekly dose of Jesus, that is not our goal.  It is not about seeing all your friends in church, it is not about the doughnuts or the coffee, or the music we like,  it is not even about the growth in knowledge and understanding that we may gain.  It is all about Him, and His glory.  And this morning, it is glorifying Him to open His book, and Declare His word, to sing his praises, to follow his commands of the lord’s supper  
    • Why do we exist? Our lives, our futures, our purpose?  You can seek after all the idols this world has. But you will find it empty. No new house, no boat, no new hunting rifle, no amount of money will be able to cleanse you, will be able to offer you joy when the world falls apart. 
      • Saint Augustine ~ “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
        • Find your rest in God.  Dedicate yourself to Him.  Be purified by His blood, and find joy that lasts for all eternity.





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