“Public Confession of Sin: A Sure Sign of Revival” – Nehemiah 9.1-38
1. The front-page news in Book of Nehemiah is not rebuilding of the wall, but the revival and bringing of God’s people back to the Torah and covenant relationship with God.
2. Early signs of revival in chapter 8…
• Spontaneous gathering of people at city square
• The people asked Ezra to bring out God’s word
• They listened attentively when word was read over five hours!
• All the people wept as they listened to the word!!
• After being sent home, they gathered again the next day to give attention to the word
• From the first day until the last, Ezra read from the Word of God
3. More signs of revival in chapter 9…
• A solemn mood of fasting, wearing sackcloth, with dust on head, 9.1
• Public confession of their sins and for sins of their ancestors, 9.2
4. The gist of their prayer of confession in chapter 9…
• Our God, who is covenant-keeping, lavishes plentiful blessings on Israel
• The abundance of blessings leads Israel, ironically, to forsake God!?
• God, who is righteous but merciful, punishes Israel to bring her to her senses
• When she repents, God forgives and resumes his blessings again
• Once again, the abundance of blessings soon leads Israel to forsake God!???
5. Concluding lessons for today
Questions for Bible-Study Discussion
1. It is the speaker’s opinion that Singapore has not seen a nation-wide revival since the days of John Sung (1940s).
a. Do you agree with the assessment above?
b. If so, what are the reasons for this?
c. How can the church in Singapore “prepare” for the next revival?
2. Ironically, it is the abundance of blessings that lead succeeding generations to forsake God.
a. How can one explain this irony?
b. What are the measures we can take to remain faithful to God even as he blesses us?
3. Our sermon today offers a contrast between God’s faithfulness versus man’s faithlessness.
a. What are some evidences of God’s faithfulness in your life over the last 20 years? Share with the group in order to encourage each other.
b. If there is one area of faithlessness you wish to confess, what would that be?
4. Our sermon today reminded us that God is not done with us yet.
a. Explain what you understand by the statement above.
b. How does this truth affect the way we live today?