Sunday School Material 8-18-13: Dedication of the Wall

(Nehemiah 12:27-38, 43; 8/18/13)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is the people had a great celebration for the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to celebrate the great things that God is doing through our lives.

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Read Nehemiah 12:27-30

I. Dedication Preparation. Levites are sought out for the dedication of the wall. In our Sunday School material we see musicians were gathered as well. The priests and Levites purified themselves, the people, the gates, and walls.

Applications -

- Ready for service. Notice in vss. 27-30 that preparations were made for worship. There was a need to find trained and dedicated staff like the Levites, musicians, and priests. And there was the need to purify the staff, people, gates, and the wall.

First, in like manner, we still need trained and dedicated staff to help the people of God do the work of God at a high level of excellence. Second, we still need to work on being purified. This includes making sure we are saved and then seriously working on being who God is calling us to be.

Let’s work on being the people God is calling us to be, so we can do the great work that He is calling us to perform.

Read Nehemiah 12:31-38

II. Dedication Preparation. In our Sunday School material a description is given of two choirs. The choirs were singing songs of thanksgiving. There are two large groups composed of choir members and leaders. The groups go in two different directions.

Applications -

- Following leadership. Notice in vss. 31-38 of our Sunday School material that the people did not simply run out and do what they wanted to do. They were to follow instructions from Nehemiah.

There are too many people who have problems following leadership. On the surface, it looks like a problem following human leadership. But at a deeper level, it may be a problem following God’s leadership, because it is God who tells us to follow humans.

Let’s work on following leadership in doing the work of God. God loves decency and order, not the confusion that comes from everyone doing their own thing.

- Name calling. Notice in vss. 34-36 that some of the people’s names were called and some were not. On one hand, it is good to give honor to whom honor is due.

On the other hand, when people don’t call our names, we should still be faithful. God knows us and our works. There are too many people who complain and even quit because they are not made to feel important enough in serving the Lord. This is sad and hurts the work of the church.

Let’s work on honoring those who deserve it and serving the Lord for His glory, not ours.

Read Nehemiah 12:43

III. Dedication Praise. In our Sunday School material there is very loud rejoicing. Men, women, and children are rejoicing about the goodness of the Lord. They are also making great sacrifices.

Applications -

- Enthusiastic worship. Notice in vs. 43 that everyone was in the enthusiastic worship experience. There are too many people missing our worship experiences today. Worship is for all of the people of God, not just women, children, or just men.

They were so enthusiastic that they could be heard far away. Most of our worship services are far from being like this. Every now and then, the music may get loud. But rarely do the people shout at a volume to be compared to our text.

This is sad in light of how good God has been to us. The better God is to us, the more enthusiastic we should be. Think about how you would respond if you hit the lottery for $10 and then hit for $1,000,000.

In like fashion, when we think about salvation, being indwelt with the Holy Spirit, and all of the blessings that we get every day, we should be obviously excited. Let’s work on being regular and enthusiastic in worship.

- Worshipful giving. Notice in vs. 43 that the people gave during their worship. There are too many who behave as if worship is one thing and giving is another.

In reality, real worship ought to include giving. Where our treasurers are is where our hearts are. Let’s work on giving to God, in proportion to how good He has been to us.

Conclusion: Let’s work on celebrating the great things that God is doing through our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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