Nehemiah 9:32-37 - How To View God's Judgment

Steve Viars December 7, 1996 Nehemiah 9:32-37

- This morning, we're going to finish up our study of Nehemiah chapter 9 in preparation for a study of the joint commitment the people make to the Lord in chapter 10.
- Remember that this chapter records the events that occurred on the 24th day of the 7th month.
- The Bible tells us in the opening verses that the people come together...
1) They separated themselves from those who did not believe in God
2) They read from the book of the law for a fourth of the day
3) They confessed and worshipped the Lord for a fourth of the day

- Then some of the Levites came in verse 5, and led the people in a prayer of confession.
- We've been looking at this prayer the least couple of weeks for two different purposes:
1) To see how godly people view sin and confess sin.
- The conditions under which they and their forefathers had lived, having been exiled to Babylon and having their city destroyed, was a result of the work of God.
- The question was --- How were they going to respond to what happened to them?
- Who were they going to blame?
- What were they going to think, and what were they going to do, now?

2) To benefit from the overview of OT history that is given here.
- Many folks struggle "putting the pieces of the OT together"
- A prayer like this is very helpful because it allows us to think through the "high spots" of OT history.

- This morning, we intend to work on both of those purposes in a new way.
1) We'd like to have a "creative review" to see how well you can match the OT events that are mentioned in the passage to the time period in which they occurred.
2) We're going to study verses 32-37 of chapter 9 where the people summarize their view of what has happened to them.

- Let's begin with the summary.
- Brian's going to come and divide you into groups.

- This group exercise might take a little longer than the normal ones we do, but we hope that it benefits each person.


- The overall idea is this:
- These verses break down into a neat, five-fold historical division, from literally the beginning of time through the Babylonian captivity.
- The sheet we've passed out has the five main divisions already listed for you.

- The we have the way a number of different historical events are described in the passage, but they're all mixed up.
- Your groups' mission is to put the statements in chronological order.

- We've chosen to use the terminology that is used in the text.
- However, your group will receive extra credit if you write in the margin a historical reference from another book in the OT that goes along with what is being described in the chapter.
- For example, at the end of verse 17, the statement is made -- "They appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt"
- that event is recorded in Numbers 14:4
- I know that many (if not most) of you have study Bibles, and as you're working through this, the reference notes in your study Bibles should prove to be very helpful.

- The main outline looks like this:

I. Introductory Truths About God - 9:5-6
II. God's Establishment of Israel and Care for Her in the Wilderness - 9:7-15
III. The People's Response to God's Blessing in the Wilderness - 9:16-17
IV. God's Response to the People's Sin in the Wilderness - 9:17 - 25
V. The People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:26-29
VI. God's Response to the People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:27-31

- Here's the challenge:
- As I said, Brian is going to divide you up into groups.
- On your sheet, you have a number of different events that are mentioned in the text under these historical headings, but they are all mixed up.
- Your mission is to arrange the statements chronologically in an outline....(this statement goes with this time period)....and then make some biblical references to where you could read about those events in other places in the OT.

- Questions?

- Brian - Divide and oversee.

 

 


Organizing Key OT Events From Nehemiah Nine

The events on the back of this page are taken from Nehemiah chapter 9.  However, they are all mixed up. Your group's mission is twofold:
1) Unscramble the events on the back of this page and put them into a chronological outline under the main headings found below.  When you are finished, your chronological progression should match the one found in Nehemiah 9.
2) From the notes in your study Bible or your knowledge of the OT, jot down references in the margin of this outline that tell other places in the Bible where these historical events are also discussed.
I. Introductory Truths About God - 9:5-6
______________ A.
__Genesis 1____ B. You are the Creator - v. 6
II. God's Establishment of Israel and Care for Her in the Wilderness - 9:7-15
______________ A.
______________ B.
______________ C.
______________ D.
______________ E.
______________ F.
III. The People's Response to God's Blessing in the Wilderness - 9:16-17
______________ A.
______________ B.
______________ C.
______________ D.
______________ E.
_Numbers 14:4_ F. They appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery in Egypt - v. 17
______________ G.
IV. God's Response to the People's Sin in the Wilderness - 9:17 - 25
______________ A.
______________ B.
______________ C.
______________ D.
V. The People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:26-29
______________ A.
______________ B.
______________ C.
______________ D.
______________ E.
______________ F.
VI. God's Response to the People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:27-31
______________ A.
______________ B.
______________ C.
______________ D.
______________ E.
______________ F.
______________ G.
______________ H.

Key OT Events From Nehemiah Nine
(Out of Sequence)

1. Gave them manna and water.
2. Made a molten calf.
3. Admonished them by thy Spirit through the prophets.
4. Cast His law behind their backs.
5. Chose Abraham and made a covenant with him.
6. Appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.
7. Did not forsake them in the wilderness.
8. After being delivered (and having rest) they did evil again.
9. Led them with the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire.
10. Would not listen to God's commands.
11. Continued to provide manna and water.
12. Gave them into the hands of the people of the land.
13. Turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck.
14. Gave them the law.
15. Multiplied their seed.
16. Saw her affliction in Egypt.
17. You are the only true God.
18. Failed to remember God's wondrous deeds.
19. Acted arrogantly.
20. Abandoned them into the hands of their enemies.
21. Killed the prophets.
22. Did not make an end of them.
23. Parted the Red Sea.
24. Became stubborn.
25. Gave them the promised land.
26. Rescued them many times according to thy compassion.
27. Rebelled against God.
28. Gave them deliverers to rescue them from their oppressors.
29. You are the Creator.
30. Admonished them and tried to turn them back to thy law.
31. Committed great blasphemies
32. Delivered them into the hands of oppressors (to judge them).


Teachers - Here's a copy of the completed outline.  I plan to encourage our class members to begin by sorting the events into the six different Roman numerals, and then reading the verses from Nehemiah 9 and trying to put the statements with each Roman numeral in chronological order based on the way they are referenced in the text.  The blanks on the left regarding other cross references could be completed with a number of possibilities.

I. Introductory Truths About God - 9:5-6
______________ A. You are the only true God - v. 6
__Genesis 1____ B. You are the Creator - v. 6

II. God's Establishment of Israel and Care for Her in the Wilderness - 9:7-15
______________ A. Chose Abraham and made a covenant with him - v. 7
______________ B. Saw her affliction in Egypt - v. 9
______________ C. Parted the Red Sea - v. 11
______________ D. Led them with the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire - v. 12
______________ E. Gave them the law - v. 13-14
______________ F. Gave them manna and water - v. 15

III. The People's Response to God's Blessing in the Wilderness - 9:16-17
______________ A. Acted arrogantly - v. 16
______________ B. Became stubborn - v. 16
______________ C. Would not listen to God's commands - v. 16
______________ D. Failed to remember God's wondrous deeds - v. 17
_Numbers 14:4_ E. They appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery in Egypt - v. 17
______________ F. Made a molten calf - v. 18

IV. God's Response to the People's Sin in the Wilderness - 9:17 - 25
______________ A. Did not forsake them in the wilderness - v. 19
______________ B. Continued to provide manna and water - v. 20
______________ C. Gave them the promised land - v. 22-25
______________ D. Multiplied their seed - v. 23

V. The People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:26-29
______________ A. Rebelled against God - v. 26
______________ B. Cast His law behind their backs - v. 26
______________ C. Killed the prophets - v. 26
______________ D. Committed great blasphemies - v. 26
______________ E. After being delivered (and having rest), they did evil again - v. 28
______________ F. Turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck - v. 29

VI. God's Response to the People's Sin During the Period of the Judges and the Kings - 9:27-31
______________ A. Delivered them into the hands of oppressors (to judge them) - v. 27
______________ B. Gave them deliverers to rescue them from their oppressors - v. 27
______________ C. Abandoned them to the hand of their enemies - v. 28
______________ D. Rescued them many times according to thy compassion - v. 28
______________ E. Admonished them and tried to turn them back to thy law - v. 29
______________ F. Admonished them by thy Spirit through the prophets - v. 30
______________ G. Gave them into the hands of the peoples of the land - v. 30
______________ H. Did not make an end of them - v. 31
- Get back together - Brian - Give them the right answers with the transparency.


- I trust that working through this exercise this morning has helped to put some key OT events  in place.
- with the time we have left, let's look at verses 32-37 - READ

- remember, the idea is -- clearly they (and those who went before them) have experienced the  judgment of God.
- the question now is --- How are they going to view that fact?

I. Acknowledge God's Justice

- In verses 32-33 - The Levites lead the nation to a very important point.

- Even though they have been experiencing great hardship as a result of the deportations and destruction of Jerusalem, they settle the matter in their mind that God is just.

- Of the worst things they could have done at this point is gotten angry with God over what had happened to the nation.

INPUT - How might a believer respond to a difficulty wrongly today and in so doing give the impression that he/she does not believe God is just?


II. Acknowledge the Sin that Resulted in God's Judgment

- verses 33-35

- we're not saying that every time a person has a difficulty, that automatically means that he sinned (DEVELOP)

- Nor are we saying that a person will always know exactly why God has chosen to bring something into his life.

- But we can always use difficulties as an opportunity to do a spiritual evaluation.
- cf. Hebrews 12:5 ff

- This has some real application to the way mercy ministry is conducted.
- DEVELOP


III. Honestly Face the Situation and the Reasons that Brought It About

- verses 36-37

- the Levites end this portion of their prayer by speaking to God honestly about the condition they are in.
- they are not sugar coating their situation, nor are they blaming it on Him or someone else.
- that puts them now in a position to be able to make a firm commitment to Him.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video