Nehemiah 11, Community Comes With Duties To Fulfill
1. Community Comes With Authorities To Obey (v1)
2. Community Comes With Necessary Sacrifices (v1)
3. Community Comes With Opportunities To Serve (v2)
Nehemiah 11, Community Comes With Duties To Fulfill
Nehemiah 11, Community Comes With Duties To Fulfill
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As we look at Nehemiah Chapter 11 this evening, it's a little bit different kind of a passage than we would typically study, and this happens to us from time to time on Wednesday evenings because on Wednesdays I like to teach from the passage that is today's reading in.
Are scheduled to go through the.
Bible in three years.
And it's not a law.
I leave it open for the Lord if he wants to redirect, but in this case as he has in the past, hit one of those chapters.
That is a little bit different, and so instead of teaching something different, what the Lord, really?
Spoke to me about and moved my heart towards is well when you are facing a different kind of passage then teach a different kind of message so not necessarily our typical type of message this evening and that's our typical kind of passage.
And so we'll be thinking about things a little bit.
Differently and considering some of these things that the Lord wants us to spend time in, and so the reason why this is a little bit different.
Kind of a passage is because it's a list of names.
And we hit these from time to time as we work our way through the Bible.
And so I thought I would take some time this evening to kind of share with you and perhaps do a little demonstration for how to read a list of names when you come to the Bible and you hit a genealogy or you hit, you know one of those long lists of names.
How do you do that?
What do you do when you hit those?
How do you spend time with the Lord Devotionally in those passages of the scripture?
And so let's dig into Nehemiah Chapter 11.
I'm going to start in verse one and kind of read through the chapter.
Let's see how this goes.
Nehemiah Chapter 11 verse one says.
Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem, the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of 10 to dwell in Jerusalem, the Holy City and 9/10 were to dwell in other cities.
And the people, blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
These are the heads of the province who dwelt in Jerusalem, but in the cities of Judah everyone dwelt in his own possession, in their cities, Israelites, priests, Levites, Nethinim and descendants of Solomon's servants.
Also in Jerusalem dwelt some of the children of Judah and the children of Benjamin.
The children of Judah.
FIA, the son of a somebody in the son of somebody in the son of somebody. OK verse 5 and Messiah the son of Baruch and the son of these other guys.
#6 all the sons of Perez, who dwelt in Jerusalem, where 480 or 60.
8 valiant men
Verse seven and these are the sons of Benjamin Salu the Sun.
Of Meshulam, the son of other people.
Verse 8 and after him, Gabby.
And sallye 928.
Joel, the son of Zachary, was their overseer, and Judah, the son of Senua, was second over the city. Verse 10 of the priest Jediah the son of OK these guys. Verse 11 Soraya, son of Hilkia and these other guys verse 12, their brethren who did the work of the house were 822 and a diet. The son of Jehoram.
The son of these other guys, verse 13 and his brethren, the heads of the father houses were 242.
And Amache, the son of Azariah, the son of these other guys, verse 14 and their brethren, mighty men of valor, were 128.
There overseer with Zabdiel, the son of one of the great men. Verse 15. Also, the Levite's Shemaiah, the son of some people.
16 Sheba, Thea and Joseph had the heads of the Levite's had oversight of the business outside of the House of God.
Not tonight. The son of Micaiah, the son of these other guys, began the Thanksgiving with prayer back. Bukuya, and these other guys. Verse 18. All the levite's in the holy city were 284. Verse 19 were over the gatekeepers. Ocube talmon, their brethren who kept the gates were 100 and.
72 and the rest of Israel of the priests, the Levite's, and all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance. But the Nethinim dwelt in Ophel and Jean Gish PO were over the Nathan.
Also, the overseer of the Levite said Jerusalem was Uzi the son of Ben I, son of these other guys, sons of Ace.
At least half the singer in charge of the service of the House of God for was the King's command concerning them that a certain portion should be for the singers.
A quota day by day.
Path higher the son of.
These other people was the King's deputy.
And all matters concerning the people.
And As for the villages with their field, some of the children of Judah dwelt in Kirjath, Arba, and its villages be bonnets, villages, other villages, other villages, more villages, other villages they dwelt from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom. Verse 31 also the children of Benjamin, from Gibberd Walton, Michmash other.
Villages, other villages, other villages, verse 36. Some of the Judean divisions of Levite's were in Benjamin.
So they have it.
A simple, practical demonstration of how to read a list of names.
How do you do it?
Well, I would say you kind of skim through it.
And it's a little bit weird for people, but I'm going to actually encourage you to think about it in that way, and perhaps consider this is how the Lord would have you to read through these kinds of passages and chapters when you encounter them here.
Here's a few things to think about in regards to how to read a list of names.
Skim through the names.
And then go back and consider why God wanted the names recorded.
The the issue here is not so much that you memorize all these names that you know all these names that you can pronounce all these names correctly.
Like why did God want this in the Bible? Why did God want Nehemiah Chapter 11 recorded so that on Wednesday evening, March 2nd, 2022 that you and I together would spend time in this passage? Why did God orchestrate all of?
Time and humanity and the Bible for us to have this moment.
In this occasion, why did he want this recorded?
What's what's so important about what's happening here?
Hear that God said this deserves a chapter.
A portion in the.
Word of God itself.
You think about that for a while.
You considered that and then I would encourage you to go back and meditate on what it meant for one of the people that is listed in this list.
As you think about what what the purpose was that God had for it now kind of put yourself in the shoes of as right Cam in verse 15 and and think about what what does this mean for him?
Why is this significant for him and what kind of impact would it have?
On him, and so there's some kind of practical things that we're not going to go through in great detail.
All of those things, but skim through the names.
I understand that may feel wrong and there's like a completionist type of thing in us.
Or maybe it feels like sacrilegious but but God is not including this so that you know you would agonize over.
Name by name and just boil yourself to death.
That's not really the intention, right?
But but you want to get the sense you want to get the grasp of it.
And of course there's a place to study names in great depths and go through these lists in great depths and map out all the villages listed and you know, trace all the genealogy's back and and there is room and opportunity for that.
But at the same time as you're working through the word of God devotionally and seeking to spend time with him.
All of these details in the lists of names.
It's OK to kind of kind of skim through them kind of browse through them.
Let sure I kind of catch the.
The difference is sometimes you know there's a little nugget of some statement that is found in these geneologies or lists and and there's some.
Things that God wants to speak to you through that and.
So you kind of work your.
Way through it.
Get the sense of it and then not just OK.
Well now I did that.
I moved on and I'm going on with my day but but consider.
Why did God?
Want their names recorded?
As we look at Nehemiah, Chapter 11, we're looking at Nehemiah as he has been involved in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and there was great desolation and destruction of Jerusalem for many years now.
It's sat, you know, in rubble even when they rebuilt the temple.
The city itself was.
Still in great disrepair for a long time, and the people were in distress, and they were in great trouble because they had no walls, they had no protection.
Their homes weren't really built that the only real structure of Jerusalem was the temple itself.
And so after Nehemiah has completed the walls, now we're getting into the latter parts of Nehemiah.
Some of the other things that were sets in place, and one of those things recorded here in Chapter 11 is the population of Jerusalem.
Now that the walls have been rebuilt, now that it is an established city and secure once again.
There was a need for people to live in Jerusalem.
God didn't send Nehemiah back to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to just let it sit empty, and if it was gonna sit empty, well there was going to be some problems.
You know, with the City of Jerusalem and it wouldn't last very long if there were not people.
Inhabiting the city and so verses one through 23 here of Chapter 11, record the people dwelling in Jerusalem.
And of course, Jerusalem is a city of great significance because it's the place that God has chosen to place his name.
He told the Children of Israel.
When you get into the promised land, find that place that I've chosen to put my name.
There's a special place, go find it and David sought it out and he discovered.
Jerusalem was the police there on Mount Zion and Mount Moriah.
God has chosen to put his name there.
That's why the location of the temple is there.
That's why the capital of Israel is there.
And so it was a special place that God had chosen for him to meet with his people in that place, and he wanted it rebuilt.
Although his people had rebelled and there was great destruction as a result, the land had, you know, been fallow and and just lead in destruction.
For 70 years, God God wanted it rebuilt.
He wanted it to become once again the center of the nation.
But it could not be.
The center of the nation.
It could not have that place of prominence that God wanted it to have amongst the people of Israel.
If it was not.
Populated and so there was a a great need for people to live there and and so.
Here is the record.
Of the people who now move into Jerusalem and populate.
Jerusalem and and begin to help Jerusalem fulfill the the plan that God has for it in becoming the city of prominence, the central place for the people of Israel and their worship of God.
But also verses 25 through 36 talk about the people dwelling in the villages around Jerusalem because although Jerusalem was important and and essential as part of what God wanted to do in his plans and purposes for his people, it wasn't as if everybody should just live in Jerusalem. That wasn't God plan either.
Right, all of the other.
Cities and towns around Jerusalem.
And and the inheritance that God had given to all the different tribes, the different families of the Nation of Israel.
Those were still important.
Those places needed to be inhabited, and so there needed to be this distribution.
Those who were spending time living in Jerusalem but also those who were devoted to their hometown, their inheritance, and living in the places that God had established for them.
And so why record this list of names?
Of these things.
Were important to God, it was important.
Certain people, some people, a group of people live within Jerusalem, and it was important to God that the children of Israel as they come back, that they claim their inheritance and live in the land that he had given to their families many years before.
And so consider why God wanted the names recorded and then spend some time and.
Think about what what?
Would it mean for one of these people?
To fulfill the call of God.
To fulfill the plan of God, God says, look, I want to make Jerusalem important.
Once again, the central place of Israel that cannot happen without people populating the city and so Messiah the son of Baruch your chosen.
Go live in the city and Messiah.
God chose me.
He wants to work out something with the City of Jerusalem.
He has chosen to put his name there to make it the center of the nation and and he's called me then to be part of that.
To contribute towards that to be part of the record to be part of the story to be part of the work that he wants to do in.
Jerusalem and so God lists out this list of names.
This list of people who moved their families into Jerusalem and in many ways you can look at this list and understand God is saying look at all these people.
They did a good job they did.
They did well.
In fulfilling what I had called them to do, and so God says.
Sons of Perez.
I'm going to write your.
Names down 'cause you did good.
Doing what I desired, doing what brought pleasure to me in populating the City of Jerusalem and helping to bring Jerusalem to that place that I have called it to be and chosen it.
But not to neglect those outside of Jerusalem, not that everybody outside of Jerusalem you know is apostate and rebellious.
No, no, no.
Let's record their names too.
Let's let's let's make mention of them.
'cause hey, you did good.
Also you who went back to your inheritance and plowed your fields and harvested your lands and you know held that place in that village in that town like.
You did get also, so I'm going to put.
Your names down also.
Good job, well done.
That this is the Lord's kind of stamp of approval and encouragement to these who were faithful in the role that God had given to them.
Reminds me of Malachi Chapter 3.
In verse 16 it talks about those who feared the Lord and how those who feared the Lord spoke to one another.
And the Lord was listening and heard their conversations.
And so he said, let's bring out.
Let's write a book of remembrance.
About all these conversations about all these people who are talking about me and who are interacting about me and meditating on my name like let's keep a record of that.
Let's write their names down.
Let's write their conversations down because they're doing what is good and is pleasing to me.
And So what an honor for any of these people now we might kind of struggle with the pronunciation pronunciation of their names.
We may kind of like kind of go.
OK, I don't care about azzams.
Ian is an interesting name, but you know, OK moving on, I don't.
He's never mentioned again.
I don't know anything about him.
For amcy, he's like, whoa.
God just recognized.
That I answered the call and did what he called.
Me to do.
I feared the Lord and followed him and.
Here, God says well done, good and faithful servants.
And so some cool things and interesting things to consider as you look at even a list of names.
In the Bible, yes.
Skim through the names.
You don't necessarily have to agonize over every one over every detail you can.
If you want to, I'm not saying you you.
Know it's forbidden.
But I also don't feel like so obligated and bogged down so that you get to the end of the chapter and you're like I don't even care about anything else anymore.
I guess I'll just go to work 'cause I got through my list.
The names for today, and that's enough, right?
No, like, just work your way through it, skim through it, try to kind of let your eye catch those things that.
And out but.
But take some time.
And think about consider what?
Why did God record this?
Why is this important to God?
Why did he?
Want this here and and what's significant about.
It because there's some things.
There God recorded it for a reason and there's some things there that then can apply to you and speak to you about what God wants to do in your life and and as you spend some time further meditating.
On an individual, it will help you to kind of put yourself in their sandals and understand a little bit more about what God perhaps wants to speak to you in like manner and.
As we continue on this evening, I want to apply this passage to us.
A little bit.
And not necessarily in the exact format I just described, but spending some time in the first couple verses here to consider and meditate on some things that are found here that would help us kind of relate to the the children of Israel at this time, but also.
Reflect on and consider some things that God might be speaking to us.
About our own.
Lives and some things that he wants to do in us.
And so I've titled the message for tonight, here in Nehemiah Chapter 11 community comes with duties to fulfill.
Community comes with duties too.
We're looking at the nation of Israel here as they're trying to re populate the land, come back and re establish as a nation.
Re establish the center of worship, they're not quite a nation, but they are definitely a community.
There's still a people.
They're still the people of Israel, but as they come together as a community.
There's some certain things that are expected of them.
There's some certain blessings that come with it, but but there is this expectation.
These duties that they have.
In front of them, because the the very fact that they've gathered together again as the people of God to carry on God call in their life.
Now for you and I today, our community isn't necessarily the city of Jerusalem, but you can consider our community as the body of Christ.
You could also narrow that.
That down a little bit to our community is the local church, the the, the part of the body of Christ that God has attached us to and and in that we can understand there are huge benefits that come from being part of.
The the church, being part of the body of Christ and being connected to in our locality in our near binus.
You know other members of the body of Christ.
And you can really see that unfold as you work your way through the New Testament.
If you'll follow along with all of the verses that have the phrase one another in them, it's a it's a good study.
It's a fun study to go through all of the verses that talk about one another because there you have that together relationship and the type of activities.
And type of actions that.
Should take place that can take place that.
Are really important and vital for us as believers and so looking at those, some of those one another verses we can get a sense of the benefits of being in a community of believers.
And I'm not going to try to teach them all or walk through them all, but here's a.
Short list of some of the benefits that we might consider as a part of being involved in a community of believers.
And the first thing I would add to that list is you're not alone.
One of the great benefits.
Of getting connected to the body of Christ and being engaged with other believers is you're not alone.
One of the things that you'll see repeated if if you follow along those one another verses is to greet one another.
And and it is very clear as you look at that there is to be this togetherness.
This greetings of one another.
This fellowship together that is intended and you know there are so many times in our lives where we can feel isolated and alone and and and feel you know such struggle and the things that we're facing.
But one of the great benefits is that we never as a believer in Jesus.
We never have to face those things alone.
Number one, of course, because God is with us.
But secondly, God has placed people around us so that we don't have to face any situation.
We don't have to face any circumstance.
We never have to be alone again.
Because we have been plugged into and part.
Of the body of Christ.
Another benefit of the community that that we are connected to as believers is that you have people.
To weep with you.
In Romans chapter 12, verse 15, Paul tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, that that as we are connected together, it's not just a casual acquaintance or casual friendship, but but that we experience to some degree.
Of course not completely, but we experience to some degree.
The things that are happening in the lives of the.
People that got us placed around us.
And so we rejoice with others who are rejoicing, and we weep with others who are weeping.
That again, we're not alone.
We have people to weep with us.
We also have people to celebrate with us.
Put another way, Paul, in first Corinthians chapter 12 says if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, or if one member is honored all the Members rejoice with.
As we receive prayer requests, our hearts are tide to one another and we pray with anguish.
We suffer alongside and and pray for one another, but but then as we hear praise reports, then our hearts are lifted and we rejoice.
And and we rejoice with those who are honored and those who experience the.
The blessings and goodness that God has poured out and, and so there is this togetherness that comes from this community that God establishes for his people here in.
The body of Christ.
You're not alone.
You have people to weep with you.
You have people to celebrate with you.
As a member of the Community here in the body of Christ.
You are also regularly encouraged.
Regularly encouraged, and we all need that right.
It's like we all kind of run out of gas and we need our buddy to come and, you know, bring that.
That two gallon tank and and and fill this up again.
Help us to kind of get down the path a little bit further to to the next gas station you're.
You're regularly encouraged.
Hebrews chapter 10 talks about the need for us to consider.
One another to stir up love and good works to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but exhorting one another and so much the more.
As you see the day approaching.
That there is this ongoing, this encouragement, this exhortation, this strengthening and building that happens in us as we engage with the Community of the body of Christ.
And so there is this great benefit that we have to be encouraged to be strengthened, that we are helped in the mission and in the walk that.
Got us called us to.
James Chapter 5 talks about confessing our sins to one another and praying for one another.
The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Here's another benefit.
You have per partners.
For righteous people praying for you that is praying effective, fervent prayer that accomplishes much in the Kingdom of God and in your life.
You have comforters.
Paul talks about in Second Corinthians, chapter one, how we comfort one another with the comfort that God has given to us and and so there is comfort.
But not only do we weep with one another and suffer alongside each other, but but then God uses us to comfort others and other people to comfort us.
There's this great benefit that we have to to be soothed to be healed.
Consoled in the things that we face.
Another benefit is that you're protected against hardness of heart.
This is a real danger, a real threat.
The author of Hebrews speaks about this to great length.
In chapter three he gives an example.
He says beware lest any of you in any of you be an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, but exhort one another daily while it's called today, lest any.
Of you be.
Hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
That there is the potential there is the danger of developing a hardness of heart.
And really distancing ourselves from God, but one of the benefits of being engaged and plugged into a community of believers is that there is this exhortation.
And while it's called today to help us to keep us to call us back as we begin to wander down those paths towards the hardness of.
Finally, the last benefit, and it's not the exhaustive list, right, but just something that I put together this afternoon.
You can do greater works.
Together, Nehemiah is a great example of that, right?
He couldn't come back and build this wall all by himself.
He rallied the troops and together as they worked together as a community, they accomplished the rebuilding of the wall.
In in 52 days it was, you know, a record setting time so significant that the people all around them were like, whoa, we can't even believe this happened.
God must be in it because look at what they accomplished together.
And of course.
It's together with God, but also together with one another.
If if Nehemiah.
I'm trying to.
Figure out a good math example in my head and it's not going to work, but.
If there was 100 people helping and they accomplished the building, rebuilding the wall in 52 days and then it was just Nehemiah himself instead.
In 5200 days he couldn't have accomplished what 100 people did in 52 days, right? If if you and I, if I dig a trench by myself.
I can get so far if you help me dig a trench.
It's not the.
Then the trench is doubled, but I would suggest to you when you come and help me dig the trench.
We do more than double the the the work that is accomplished, the work that is done we we can do greater works together that there is something that happens as we join forces unite arms to do the work of God and engage in the.
The call that he's given to us.
And so there's there's all these great benefits that you can accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God in the Kingdom of God.
You can be comforted.
You have people to weep with you to celebrate you.
You have prayer partners.
Now if if you would.
Spend some time thinking about it.
I hope that you would understand all of these great benefits.
Duties for us to fulfill.
Like, not only do you receive the benefit of not being alone because others are greeting you and reaching out to you and spending time with.
But but it also then being part of a community means there's a little bit of an expectation and obligation that I agree.
Others I I received the benefit of being greeted and and enjoyed that that reaching out that fellowship, that relationship and and so also I I need to be reaching out and greeting others.
The great benefit of people weeping with me that that also means that there are other times where I need to go and weep with people.
The joy of having someone to celebrate with me that that also means that there are times as being a part of a community.
There's there's a back and forth type of relationship that that is built into this community of believers that God has designed for us.
And so as you walk through all of these benefits, they're they're great benefits.
But we also need to consider what?
Is our part.
In the community.
In order for the community to thrive and to really reach the potential of what God intends.
It cannot just be 1 sided, right?
It cannot just be where we all just receive, receive, receive but.
But there is also the need for contribution.
There is the need for us to fulfill the duties that God has given to us, and so there's three points I'd like to walk you through here and verses one and two.
Again, this is not necessarily trying to be exhaustive and cover all things.
It's a different type of passage, a different kind of message, right?
But just listing out a couple things that I see here in these verses that would help us to think through perhaps some things that God wants to speak to us about in regards to our community.
And I really want to be.
Seek to be careful here this evening that the goal and the intention here is to stir up some thoughtful prayer.
That each of us would say, Lord, I've been blessed with.
Community I've been blessed with the body of Christ and and my part in that and how that benefits me and and works in my life and and so, Lord.
What's my response to that and what's my part in that?
What's my contribution to the community that you've connected me to and and maybe you know you're right where God wants you to be and there's nothing God wants you to change.
Or maybe there's some things he wants you to meditate on and pray about and and to maybe start being a little bit.
Proactive in the duties that he's laid out in front of you and and I think this is especially important for us.
In our culture and our day community is not something that really we.
Value as a society here in Southern California, right other?
Portions throughout the land they they have a whole different sense of community.
It's not a foreign subject to them like it is to us.
Typically there's a a different understanding and a better grasp.
Of these things I.
Think for you and I is.
Southern Californians if you're a southern Californian.
We kinda have.
To work harder at this because we we can be so caught up in the individual and the independence and in the the focus of ourselves and and even ourselves being you know our own families, that that we really lose sight of what it means.
To be a community to be part of the community.
To receive from the community, and to contribute to the community which is the body of Christ that God is at.
Matchless to So what are some of the duties that God has called us to fulfill as members of his community?
The body of Christ.
Well, the first one that will consider for just a moment here is found in verse.
One community comes with authorities too.
Obey, check out verse one.
Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of 10 to dwell in Jerusalem, the Holy City and nine tents were to dwell in other cities.
Here at the beginning of verse one we see there were leaders of the people, and they dwelt at Jerusalem.
But it points out it separates.
Amongst all the people that were dwelling in Jerusalem, there is also a special note here, leaders.
In the Community, authorities within the community.
Now, as you read through the Book of Nehemiah, there's great principles of leadership to learn from in his example, and he's one of the leaders in this book and in this community, Ezra is another leader.
There's there's those who are appointed, who are.
Given a role with responsibility to lead the people and to help them address things like sin.
We'll see this as we hit chapter 13.
There's going to be some serious sin issues to deal with, and so it's the responsibility of the leaders to help the people.
Work out those issues of sin we see in the earlier chapters of Nehemiah.
The leaders were involved in helping to coordinate the work.
And of course Nehemiah had a large part in that.
The leaders were responsible to help make sure that the the worship was available, that the schedule at the temple was happening, that the different singers were singing when they were supposed to be singing, that the priests were on time and and fulfilling their role so that when worshippers came, they could offer their sacrifices.
There was this rule of leadership that.
Was that necessary part of the community?
And here in this verse we also see this leadership decided you know what we need?
We need to.
Take a tithe of all the people of the land. Take 10% and move them into Jerusalem, and so another aspect, another activity that these leaders were involved with. And so this is a reality to this idea of community. Again, great benefits.
Great blessings but but along with that comes the responsibility.
To obey the authorities that God is established within the community now of course.
I hope it.
Doesn't need to be said, but I'll say it anyways.
Jesus is our final authority.
He is the one who has the final say on everything that happens in our life.
And we're not to, you know, disregard Jesus.
Then just do what other people tell us to do that.
Is not the.
Way that God calls us to be.
But at the same time we need to understand that God has also established authority.
He's established authority within the body of Christ, and I'm not going to get into the proof text for all of this, but you can spend a lot of time in Ephesians Chapter 4 if you want to talk about the the gifts that have been given to the church, which are positions of leadership, positions of authority in the body of Christ given to the church by Jesus.
Hebrews chapter 13 talks a little bit about this.
A couple places there in the chapter as well that there is this.
These places of leadership and authority the ladies have been going for the past few months through first and second Timothy, which also established these.
Positions of authority within the church, and to recognize those and so we need to understand that Community comes with authorities to obey.
And now, that doesn't mean that you know people are now the Lords of your life and dictate everything that you do, but also it doesn't mean that you can just do whatever you want.
And not be concerned at all about anything that anybody else has.
To say that no, no being part of the community, being part of the body of Christ.
Just means that you are to be subjected to submitted to and influenced by those leaders that God has established.
And so I would encourage you to consider.
Where you're at on that that you need that that that leadership in your life that.
Opportunity to hear from the Lord through those that God has appointed in that way, and to have them speak into your life in a way that really helps you to deal with sin to go forward, to navigate the the path that God has set before you.
Well, point #2 as we continue on, we're gonna still camp out here in verse one. Here's point. #2 community comes with necessary sacrifices.
Necessary sacrifices verse one again.
Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem, the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of 10 to dwell in Jerusalem, the Holy City and 9/10 were to dwell in other cities.
There was a necessary sacrifice that had to be made by many people here because the community had a problem.
What was the problem?
The community faced?
There was not enough people living in Jerusalem.
The walls had been rebuilt.
And so initially you know that was the the greatest need of the community that we had to gather together and rebuild the walls.
Now that the walls have been secured again, God didn't send Nehemiah back to build those walls, just to leave the city empty and desolate.
The City of Jerusalem could not fulfill God's purposes for it.
People who are willing to live there.
Not even necessarily with you know.
Clearly articulated spelled out, you know, responsibilities, but but just to move there and live there and grow up there.
And you know, spend 4050 sixty 70 years not living in that place and carrying out their lives and playing games in the backyard with other kids. And you know going to school and learning and figuring out how to.
Provide for yourself and your family.
And you know, just.
Living out life.
Within the walls of Jerusalem.
Was what was needed by many people.
But they weren't living in Jerusalem, and so how do you resolve this community problem when there's not enough people living there and the people that could be living there are living elsewhere?
How how do you resolve?
That, well, there's going to have to be.
There's going to have to be people who choose to say, you know.
I'm really comfortable in my little farm village here and I've got my whole routine set up and I've been here.
You know my whole life living in this place on this land that God has given to me and my family is in inheritance.
All my friends are around me and all my kids friends are around them, you know, but you know what?
I'm going to uproot myself and my family.
I'm going to kind of lay aside.
My occupation and the way that I've made money my whole life and and I'm.
Gonna go to.
Jerusalem and try something completely new and try to figure out how to provide myself without farming this land that I'm living.
On I'm gonna.
Go do something completely different.
Take huge risk, change everything.
Change my life.
Change my family life.
Change all my friends you know not that we can't be friends but you know the day-to-day of of being around all the people and all the things that I've been comfortable in and established.
There was going to be great sacrifice for anyone.
Who would make this move too?
Pastor Warren Rasby says he knew that the nation of Israel could never be strong as long as Jerusalem was weak.
But Jerusalem could not be strong unless the people were willing to sacrifice.
There was a community problem.
The nation could not be strong.
If the capital was weak.
But the only way for the capital to become strong to be re inhabited and re populated, was for people to be willing to sacrifice.
Now, if the people said I don't want to sacrifice and everybody said I don't want to do this, I don't want to make any sacrifices.
I'm going to stay in my comfortable land and and live out the life that I want to live.
Then I've always dreamed about.
If the people did that.
They wouldn't actually get to.
Live out the lives that they've always dreamed about because.
With their capital weak.
They would have experienced.
It's a different kind of struggle.
And the attacks that would come against them and the strength that they would be lacking because they're their central place, the place where God has chosen to put their name was was languishing and lacking that the people would be weakest.
The capital was weak.
And the only way for Jerusalem to be inhabited and populated again was for people to be willing to say, you know what?
It's not going to be comfortable.
It's not going to be my favorite thing.
But it's necessary for the community.
It's not just for my sake and my family, but everybody, all these friends and family that I like to be around and I'm so concerned about, you know, staying close to they're all going to be hurt and hindered if I don't make this sacrifice and go and fulfill my call to inhabit this city.
Community comes with necessary.
I would encourage you.
To think about and consider your.
Community where does God have you attached?
Plugged in to the body of Christ.
Are there some perhaps community problems?
Things that are affecting the whole community because there's.
Deficiency, lack situations, issues, problems.
And and the those situations and problems exist.
Because nobody is willing to sacrifice.
And nobody is willing to.
Fill that need because it would.
It would require something.
It would cost significantly.
Now again, I I want to be very careful here.
This is not an attempt to obligate or to you know, lecture all the empty chairs that are here on Wednesday evening.
I'm not trying to do that at all, honestly.
But the strep, thoughtful prayer.
Hey, maybe this community living water.
Maybe we as a community, say you know Wednesday evening service.
Is not important to us.
So none of us have to.
Sacrifice and be here on a Wednesday evening.
For myself, speaking for myself, if I may.
It's a great sacrifice to be here on a Wednesday.
Evening to get off work.
At 2:30 and.
Put as much of a message together as I can and the amount of stress and agony that I go through on Wednesday afternoons.
It's all for the Lord.
I'm not trying to, you know, say anything.
Weird, I'm just saying.
I see it.
As it's worth it, there's a community problem we need to meet with the Lord we need.
To spend time with the Lord and.
I'm willing to sacrifice to.
To meet the obligations that I have towards the Community that God has attached me to.
I would ask you to pray and consider.
What does that look like in your life?
And maybe it has nothing to do with Wednesday service or even attendance here at this location.
You know some churches have.
A real ministry of.
Responding to people who are reaching out by phone.
As a community.
We don't have that kind of ministry.
People call, sometimes they leave messages.
And once in 1000 years we might.
Return those messages.
I'm not really proud of it.
I I know we could do better.
I wish we could do better, but also.
There's just the challenges of life and there's going to be a need at some point.
If God wants to develop that.
If that is something as a.
Community, we say hey we want this.
To happen, we want this to this.
Is something God puts on our hearts.
You know, again, not trying to keep up with somebody else or you know, follow some other pattern that is imposed on us.
But if the Lord wants to stir up something, then it's going to require us to take some steps to make some sacrifices.
And to do things I was thinking about Pastor David Wilkerson and, you know his story told in the cross and the switchblade the the book and the movie but.
You know the the great outreach that happened by this guy who you know was not in New York.
I forget exactly all the details of the story and the location where he's at, but basically the the church that he was involved in.
And the Lord just moved on their heart, and he felt compelled to go and to reach out to the you know, the inner city gangs and and the church sent him, and with great sacrifice, you know pulled together their resources to to bring this to pass and to help it.
And then there was, you know, cost involved.
There was sacrifice involved.
You know, covering for his responsibilities back at home while he's out there trying to do this, and he's risking his life and taking sacrifice like there's.
There's all of this working together because God had.
Put it up on that community heart.
This is the work that I've called you too, and we may not have that kind of clarity in all things at all times.
But we need to pray.
God has given us a community.
God has connected us with other believers.
And So what are the needs of the community?
And if we're all unwilling to give and to sacrifice and and to do something?
At great cost.
We're never gonna experience then.
Then Jerusalem will just lie, desolate and be destroyed once again, because we we were not willing to do what God had put before us.
And again, I'm I'm trying very hard here and I I hope that this is not a doom and gloom type of thing, or there's no threats here.
There's no, you know.
The church is fine.
I'm not asking for money that you know we're fine except for.
The Lord wants us to consider this evening.
He's attached us to the community.
He's connected us to other believers in the body of Christ.
And and perhaps there's something he wants to stir up.
And and we need to be willing and open to the idea that even if I have to uproot my family and move to Texas to, you know, hey what if we just all follow?
What if God wants us to follow George and Patti and we just all go to Texas and we all plant, you know, replant, living water.
Wherever there in Texas, you know, like like, what if seriously like what if God called us to do that?
Now I'm not about to start a cult.
And move us all to Texas.
OK like that's.
That's not the point, that's not.
The plan but.
But that's really what a missionary does, right?
They're saying look.
God call me he's given me a community and now that community is changing address and he's calling me to uproot my family and to change everything and risk everything and with great sacrifice go and bring the gospel to this other place.
In a similar way, there is.
Opportunities that God will set before us here, but but they won't come at no cost.
God opens doors and where God guides he provides, but at the same time.
The things that God sets before us will not come at no cost.
And and there may need to be a willingness to change our schedules to.
Bypass some goals and desires and dreams.
I mean, you think about the family of any of these people.
The kids, you know.
Maybe we're not excited about moving to Jerusalem.
And there must might have been, you know, some angst within the family, some tension that had to be worked through and and dealt with, and they had to be pulled away from their friends.
And you know.
But but this this is.
What the Community needs and and the willingness.
To sacrifice to.
To do what's necessary.
Because collectively as a whole, we will be better off.
Fulfill the duty that God has set before us.
Community comes with duties to fulfill number one. That's authorities to obey #2 it's necessary. Sacrifices #3 there's opportunities to serve and you're like. Well, how is that different? We'll check out verse 2.
And the people, blessed all the men who willingly.
Offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
Read that again.
And the people, blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.
In verse one, there's a difference.
Same end result.
People moving into Jerusalem, but verse two it's a completely different approach.
In verse one they drew lots.
And and here's what you can understand about that.
People were not.
Overwhelmingly signing up for and jumping at the opportunity to move into Jerusalem.
And live there.
There wasn't, you know, a waiting list to move into Jerusalem.
People are like I don't.
I'm not volunteering you, I'm not on do you volunteer that I don't want to go?
And so the leader said, OK, here's what we're gonna have to.
Do we're gonna have?
To draw lots, you get the short straw.
That means you move to Jerusalem and every 10th.
You got the short straw moved to Jerusalem.
You got the short shot moved to Jerusalem.
They cast lots and so now these people are obligated for the good of their community to make the sacrifice.
And it's necessary.
I don't want to do it, I did.
That wasn't what I planned for my.
Life I didn't dream.
That I didn't want that, but for the good of the community, that's the obligation.
That's the necessary sacrifice that must be made.
And so I will do.
But here we get.
To verse two, and there's a difference.
There's people moving into Jerusalem.
Very similar, but.
Also some who.
Said hey, I don't have to draw the short straw.
I'll risk my life.
I'll make the sacrifice, I'll do it willingly.
I volunteer to go to Jerusalem and I will serve my community by moving to Jerusalem.
And I'll learn a new trade.
I used to farm avocados, but I can't do that inside of Jerusalem, so I'll go inside Jerusalem and all learn a new trade and I have this nice comfortable house here, but.
I'll move into Jerusalem and sort through rubble and try to build a new house out of the rocks that are leftover from all the destruction that has happened.
I'll I'll go try to build something, I'll I'll do it willingly and and since the people rejoiced, the the community was blessed, because there were those who willingly offered themselves to dwell.
And so the following list of names includes.
Those who volunteered said sign me up.
You don't have to force me.
You don't have to like make a schedule and a list and OK fine on my day.
You know, I'll do my obligated duty and, you know, do what must be done.
I mean, I don't want to do it.
It's not my dream, but I'll do it.
'cause I, you know, need to make the necessary sacrifices for the community.
Like that still needs to be done even, even if that's the attitude right?
Like for the good of the community that that.
That kind of effort must be made.
But then there's also those who say, yeah, sure, whatever needs to be done, whatever the need is for the people that that is what I'm going.
I really liked this quote from commentator Brian O'Neill.
He says they talking about the list of names they may merit only these single mentions in scripture.
But they were genuine heroes to their countrymen for their willingness to take up the mantle of difficult service in Jerusalem.
Sometimes the most heroic task to perform is not the one that others are.
Incapable of doing.
But rather the task that others are unwilling to do.
Sometimes the most heroic task it's not.
That other people can't do it.
It's just that nobody else wants to.
And for us, as a community for.
US as the body.
Of Christ, it's appropriate for us to.
Think about what is it that needs to be done that nobody wants to do, and so it's not getting done because nobody wants to do it.
And it may not be difficult or challenging, or even, you know, require any kind of skill, but.
Is unpleasant, nobody wants to do it.
Community comes with opportunities to serve.
Opportunities that we enjoy opportunities that you know.
We are specially gifted in and and uniquely called by God and fashioned by God to accomplish but also.
Opportunities to just.
Do different things that might need to be done.
And maybe I'm not, especially.
Gifted at celebrating with those who celebrate or weeping with those who weep but.
Nobody else is willing to so.
Sure, I'll go do that.
Community comes with opportunities to serve.
We we've been spending time on Sunday mornings in the time of prayer just.
Meditating, chewing over and over and over again on the roles in the body of Christ.
Romans chapter 12.
Tells us we have many Members in one body, but all the Members do not have the same function.
So we being many are one body in Christ and individually members.
Of one another.
There's all these.
There's all these opportunities and and it's a responsibility that we have to one another.
We're members of one another.
And so if we don't serve, it's not just that we miss.
Out on the opportunity.
But it also means that the rest of the community misses out on.
That service on.
That thing that God.
Was seeking to do and desires to do.
Now again, please understand no pressure is being applied here, no obligation.
Here's what I'm asking.
Would you pray?
And would you just ask the Lord to speak to you if there is?
Anything community wise that.
He wants to stir up.
There's great benefits and we all are recipients of the benefits of the community in so many ways.
But we really need to be careful.
That we don't just receive benefits.
And never contribute and don't fulfill our part.
In this Community in this.
Gathering that God has established for us.
Last quote Mervyn Brenneman says in a time where self centeredness seems to dominate Western lifestyles, the word of God calls us to work and live together as a community to to be dependent upon one another and to help one another in achieving the tasks that God has set before us.
The Lord is the Lord.
He's the one who rules on high.
He's the true authority in the community and the body of Christ.
He is the head, right?
Really, what needs to happen is we just need to make sure we're attached to the head and invite him to share with us, Lord, you know your body best and again, whether that be things located and associated here with this specific gathering on this corner in this location or other gatherings.
Other aspects other areas of the body of Christ.
Where God wants.
And he's calling us to fulfill our duty to fill the role.
The obligation that he has given to us.
We received the benefit of it.
It's also appropriate for us to contribute towards it.
Community comes with authorities to obey.
It comes with necessary sacrifices and it comes with opportunities to serve.
Let's pray, Lord me.
Thank you for the many benefits that we get to experience and enjoy from you directly, but then also from those that you have transformed and changed and are.
Working out your likeness in them God, and in the process of that Lord you've chosen to use that means in that method of blessing us abundantly and exceedingly, and so we thank you, God, for that God.
We also want to participate in that by being those who bless others and just have a significant.
Impact in your Kingdom and in what you want to do.
And so Lord may our names be written because we've responded to you and have contributed to your work and and responded as you've called to us and set before us opportunities.
But I pray that you would show us stir up within us the things that you want us to do Lord Equipas, and enable us by your Holy Spirit to do those things to go forward, to make the necessary sacrifices to seize those opportunities.
And to fulfill the role that you've.
Placed in our lives.
Towards the body of Christ.
I pray this in Jesus name.