• The Jews had intermarried with the other nations, which was direct disobedience to God. • When Ezra found out about it he called for public repentance. • Why? Because it was a sin taking place in his nation and it wasn’t being dealt with - it was seen as “ok” in the culture. • Nehemiah 1:4-7 - the walls were broken down and Jewish culture was a disaster. • He saw the condition of Jerusalem as God’s punishment for the nation of Israel. • Nehemiah and Ezra prayed, “our sins….” they recognized there are two sins that require repentance - personal sin and national sin. • How do you know it’s national sin? When what God calls sin is tolerated and/or celebrated. • God deals with national sin by national punishment - enemies rule over us, justice trampled in the streets, bloodshed follows bloodshed, violence of unprecedented order, etc. • We need to do three things: • 1) Repent personally. • 2) Repent as a nation - starts in the house of God. • 3) Tear down the high places - the things that are abominations to God.
Three things we must do when a nation has sinned
July 14, 2016 • Benham Brothers
Government Gone Bad
How environment can make a break a wealth creator • August 16, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* This verse shows the importance of good government. * A hardworking productive person can have their stuff taken away by a bad government. * The role of government is to praise the good and punish the wicked. * They do this so that we can have an environment that allows us to flourish. * As Christians we need to concern ourselves with discipling nations, not just people. * This means we have to be involved in shaping our environment so people can flourish. * Example - if you started a business in America you can make a lot of money. * But if you started the same business in North Korea there’s no chance.
God the Governor
How God gives us authority to govern • January 7, 2016 • Benham Brothers
• God forms and fills everything for man to govern the world we live in. • The world needed order first - then we could have dominion. • LIGHT has to come first - this is God’s presence. • Light did two things: • 1) SEPARATION - Holy means “set apart” - like a chocolate chip. • 2) GOVERN - the sun, moon, and stars are used to govern. • vs 22 - The first blessing - taking part in creation. • vs 28 - The difference in this blessing is that we have the authority to govern.
Justice and Covenant
How abusing the covenant leads to injustice • January 18, 2018 • Benham Brothers
* Gross sin demands justice. * Jacob’s sons were justified in their anger - justice needed to be served. * But they went about it in the wrong way. * When injustice happens we can rely on God or man. * You can go through God’s channel of justice or take matters into your own hands. * Jacob’s sons did the latter and it ended up badly for everyone. * The same is happening today - young kids demand justice but they’re going about it the wrong way. * They aren’t interested in justice according to God, but their own idea of what’s right. * So they’re looting cities and tearing down monuments. * vs 15-17 - ** when you are bent on your own form of justice it leads to the greatest injustice ** * Jacob’s sons used the sign of God’s covenant to kill innocent people. * Circumcision was God’s sign of peace with the Israelites, but it was now used selfishly to bully others. * Think about today - what’s the rainbow? * A sign of God’s covenant (peace with mankind). * How is it being used? To bully people. * God’s special covenant is being used wrongfully because of a cry for justice. * A cry for justice can only be quenched by a God who is just.