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Legally Unrighteous

Benjamin Ng
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  • February 27, 2021
    11:15 AM
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Father in heaven thank you so much that we have this opportunity once more to come and study your word Lord police grace us with their presence bless us with our presence in your holy spirit even rained down upon us even now for Lord we need him more than anything else because he's the very one that inspired the words that we're about to read and unless you're with us Lord our time together will be fruitless the Smalling So please bless us now and we claim the promise where 2 or 3 are gathered together in your name that you would be there in the midst of them and father there is more than that this morning as we're starting together online please Lord grace us with our presence we pray in Jesus name we pray and ask a man. Our study this morning isn't titled legally unrighteous not legally righteous but legally on righteous and we are still studying the book of Nehemiah the work of rebuilding the wall had been progressing at a steady pace with Nehemiah and everybody that was there issues had arisen that had been dealt with sent ballots the enemy to the Israelites that was jealous the Israelites were now rebuilding the walls you know that he threatened not only to come in and destroy the world but to even kill them and so the people began to hold weapons as they began to work from within the people they began to complain because the work was hard people were burning out and there was a lot of rubbish around to clear away but Nehemiah encouraged them with the thought that God was with them and would fight for them and be their help so they came together and they had a mind to work that's what we studied last week and so the work continued to move forward at a steady pace and just to When Nehemiah thought the worst was over then something new came up again we are reading from Nehemiah chapter 5 starting in verse one the Bible says and there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews a new complaint a new issue came up and this time it was from within the camp about other Jews that were in there as well an internal issue that came up what was it what was it that people were complaining against the Jews people that were fellow workers and believers of the same faith what was going on near my chapter 5 Verse 2 continues for their word that said we are sons and daughters. Many therefore we take up corn for them and that we may eat and live some Also there were that said we have mortgaged our lands Vint yards and houses that we might buy corn because of the dearth there were also that said we have borrowed money for the king's tribute and that upon our lands and even yards yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren. Our children as their children and lo we bring into bondage our sons and daughters to be servants and some of our daughters were brought into bondage or Rhea already neither is it in our power to redeem them for other men have our lands and our vineyards what was taking place here there was not enough food for these poor families especially those that had large families people were crying out for lack of food for hunger and because of the shortness of food it said there was a dearth not because there was an actual literal famine but that these people were in a famine because it didn't have enough to eat and so what did they have to do they had to mortgage their land they had to mortgage their houses they had to mortgage their vineyards just to buy food and to have enough to eat but then when that ran out what did they have to do it wasn't enough that was enough maybe for one month maybe 2 months maybe half a year we don't know maybe even one year but then they ran out again and these poor families they had to give their sons and their daughters to the families of those that were affluent. And they were brought into bondage they became slaves they became servants and for someone just so that they could provide means for themselves to survive and to live they had run out of their own possessions they had run out of more things to give away and then they ran out of food and so then they began to complain basically what is happening here as we read in the 1st 5 verses the rich were taking advantage of the poor. And just when him I thought that everything would be smooth sailing that maybe the worst was behind them and now now the Lord was going to school to make the way clear and plain and the work would just press forward with greater energy and fresh new issue came up and you know friends we got to expect to the one we're working in the Lord's vineyard there's going to be problems we got to expect that don't think that just because you're working for the Lord that He will just smooth the way over without any extra effort on your behalf at all no friends it's going to require courage it's going to require faith it's going to require a whole lot of extra effort just to make sure that peace is maintained as well so we see that the rich there are beginning not beginning they have already taken advantage of the poor So let's continue shall we Nehemiah chapter 5 verses 6 and 7 and I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words then I consulted with myself and I rebuked the nobles and the rulers and sudden to them you exact usery every one of his brother and I set a great assembly against them Nehemiah was not happy to hear that he was angry and he called forth the the rulers and the nobles and he rebuked them he stepped up straight away to deal with this situation and he was not afraid he called those that were affluence those that were men of wealth that were giving their time and their means for the work of even just building and rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem Nehemiah was not afraid to step on their toes to offend them to get them upset even though he needed their influence and their affluence to finish this work here he was not happy with the situation and so he called them forward and he shot Lee rebuked them for their wicked course and their wicked action. You know friends we can't be afraid to speak up for the truth and for that which is right and for those that don't have a voice against those that are walking down the wrong path especially against those that have influence and have means and money too often in our churches we revere those that have money and usually those that have money have a loud voice as well and that's what got them into their position of influence and affluence at the very beginning but we can't be afraid to speak the truth why because look friends we are all human we're all human we will always make mistakes no person out there is 100 percent right that person has already lived his name was Jesus but there is no other person here on this earth that has that 100 percent correct Now I don't care how successful a business you run it doesn't matter how much money you have you've made some right decisions in your life that have gotten you your influence and especially your wealth but along the way there were lots of failures as well and so just because rich people are in the church it does not mean that they're always right that they're always correct and so friends if we are to do the work of God in the church it requires courage it requires a backbone it requires for you to have a strong foundation to be able to speak up against injustice and even when we're going down the wrong path that you're willing to stand up for the truth in spite of the possible consequences that it might cause and in this case the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. And so Nehemiah continues Nehemiah chapter 5 in verse 8 and a sentence of then we are our ability have redeemed our brother in the Jews which was sold unto the heathen and will you even sell your brother and or shall they be sold to us then they held their peace and found nothing to answer Nehemiah he had to set the example to redeem as much as possible those that had been sold to the heathen he had used his own money to buy back the Jews that have been slaves to the Gentiles in foreign lands just so that they can come back to to their home country and their homeland but now he comes back to Jerusalem there his homeland and he finds Jews in slaved to Jews for the sake of what worldly gain they were putting others of the same race and religion in a worse position when it was not necessary for their own survival to do such a thing they didn't have to enslave their brethren and take their houses and lands except that maybe it was the legal thing to do and we are looking at legally unrighteous you know friends we could be walking accordant in accordance to the laws of the land but yet not walking with Jesus and we got to be so careful with this I want you to keep this in mind because really this is the thrust of our son and it is possible that you are where you are right now is legal according to the laws of Malaysia or whichever country that you're living in to the land that you're in but it doesn't mean that you're doing the righteous thing. God's laws and His ways must always come above the laws of the land and it was legal for these people to do what they were doing the the poor people that had no means and had no food they ran out of food and so they mortgaged their house they mortgaged their land and so it was a bought it was a trade that's legal rights that's what we should do isn't it when when we run out of money even in this our current day and age that we're living in we can understand the situation sell my car sell my house get rid of all the things and eventually sell myself as well and that's what happened to the poor and he was not happy with this why the heathen did that and the Jews were enslaved to them and he came back and found the same thing happening here the rich putting the poor into bondage even though it was legal let's continue Mia Maya chapter 5 in verse 9 Also I said it is not good that you do or you not to walk in the fear of God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies so not only does Nehemiah tell them that it's not good what they've done but what they were doing was also unrighteous in the sight of God He adds that if there was ever a time that they really had to be faithful to God to really fear God it was at this time because the heathen their enemies San ballots was trying to destroy them and hinder their work and they had to make sure that they had the protection of God above anything else sure they will holding swords and spears and shields they were doing their part to protect themselves and God had been guiding them up to that point. But it could be possible that God would stop guiding them and being with them and be a protecting hedge and a wall of fire around them from their enemies because of now what they were doing you know friends sometimes we go through persecution when we are facing trouble on all sides we tend to get down on ourselves and we tend to doubt God and let go of him isn't it but it's this time that we need to be most vigilant where we need to be most watchful of ourselves to be making sure that we are faithful to the Lord in every respect to the very dotting of the I's and the crossing of the T.'s to make sure that the enemy has no way to really attack us and to make us falter this is a time that we have to make sure that our hold on God and our faith is sure that the holes in our faith are plugged up and that we are living right to slee and learning to fear God with all our hearts for truly the righteous the rich the affluent the nobles those that had the means were not fearing man at all but they had to learn to fear God. You know friends the work of God always demands watchfulness and prayer and faithfulness and especially when you're in the midst of evangelism when you're doing outreach when you're on the front lines and active for the Lord in His service it requires you to be even more diligent and making sure that you are faithful to God for the work itself of building the wall cannot replace our faithfulness to God you might be doing the work of God but it doesn't mean that God is with you so let's continue. Nehemiah chapter 5 verses 10 to 11. I likewise and my brother in and my servants might exact of them money and corn I pray you let us leave off this usury this tax this interest that they're asking for the poor restore I pray you to them even this day their lands their vineyards their all of yards and their houses also the 100th part of the money and of the call on the wind of the oil that ye exact of them you know what Nehemiah does he points to his own example where he himself he was invested with the authority of the king the Persian king and he was brought there on this mission in a sense that the king approved of Nehemiah and he could have demanded corn and and money and other benefits for himself for his own personal benefit because he was coming on behalf of the king wherever he went the people indebted to give it to him because he was the governor sent from the king you see but instead of doing that Nehemiah he did not take anything he did not take what justly and legally belong to him. But instead he gave liberally to relieve those that were poor and in need and so he urges those rulers those nobles those that had put the Jews into bondage to do the same thing he didn't give any other reason but that you should not be putting them into bondage when they were already so poor so follow his example to not to force the poor to pay their mortgage back but just simply give all their houses and their lens and food even to the to the hundreds of corn and Penny to restore everything back to them Look what the riches the rich the nobles and the rules had done was legal friends it was not outside the boundaries of the law that had been instituted by the means and the Persians that's why Nehemiah pointed to his example but he didn't even do that he did not do what was legally in his right to do. What was the problem friends what was the problem here that we're finding in Nehemiah chapter 5 it's the love of money and the love of game let me say it again it was the love of money and the love of gain and the only way to make it right was to restore everything back to the poor that they had taken. Friends wasn't fair to the nobles and the rulers wasn't fair to them of course it wasn't but was it the right thing to do absolutely. The poor had run out of money they mortgaged their lands houses and eventually themselves and it was a fair trade wasn't it seemed like the right thing to do but in the eyes of God. How the world sees what is right is not always right to him and we got to make sure that we always put God 1st above the laws of the land are not asking to be a rebel but asking to go into rebellion but friends we're going to make sure we do that which is righteous are you with me and you know praise God when we continue reading there came a good outcome look at how the nobles and the rulers responded near my chapter 5 verse $12.13 then said they we will restore them and will require nothing of them so will we do as Val sayest that I called the priests and took an oath of them that they should do according to this promise Also I shook my lap and said so God shake out every man from his house and from his labor that performance not this promise even thus he was shaken out and emptied and all the congregation said amen and praise the Lord and the people did according to this promise the rich they promised to restore everything they had true repentance and truly the Spirit of God was working through Nehemiah and upon the hearts of the nobles and those that had position and influence and riches. But Nehemiah is not done yet let's continue reading shall we the in my chapter 5 Now in verse 14 more over from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah from the 20th year even under 2 and 30th year of art as the king that is 12 years and my brother and had not eaten the bread of the governor do you see that Nehemiah is pointing to his example again it's been 12 years and he had not eaten from anybody's bread but from the resources of what came from me to push itself but the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people they they they charge the people and had taken all of them bread and wine besides 40 shekels of silver yea even their servants bear rule over the people so but so did not lie because of the fear of God yea also I continued in the work of this wall neither bought we any land and all my servants were gathered through there on to the work you know Nehemiah he went into great detail to recount his experience the governors that came before him they did not do what he did near my do not follow what they did the governors before him they they took what was rightfully theirs legally they has they took the land they took food why they were appointed by the king and they were allowed to and so they used up their privileges to the max to the max but the mice and I never did that. For 12 years I've been amongst you and I never ever took a single piece of corn from any of you he was governor he had the right to take it you understand that he was legally able to do so and no one would have said Nehemiah that's not fair no he was within the jurisdiction of the lore and his position to do that but he never did. He was right there in the trenches with them all working him and his servants and every one that have come from you know Persia not just to gain a livelihood but to be a real blessing to the Lord's work and he continues verse 7 Seymour over there were at my table $150.00 of the Jews and rulers beside those that came on to us from among the heathen that are about us now that which was prepared prepared for me daily was one ox 6 choice sheep also files were prepared for me and once in 10 days store of all sorts of wine yet for all this required not the bread of the governor because the bondage was heavy upon this people you know he had a right to luxuries Life him and all those that came with him the nobles but he did not he did not he did not take all that food which was within his legal rights to do so because he saw the bondage that people were in you see that friends he could have and then at the end of it he could confidently say this look at us Nehemiah $519.00. Think upon me my God for good according to all that I have done for this people. You know Nehemiah wasn't saying it from the pride of his heart like look at me God I'm so good but he was asking God to reward him according to all that he had done according to all his actions he could confidently and assurance stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and know that he had done according to God's will and not to man's you know this story and we've gone through this whole chapter now this story right in the middle of the book of Nehemiah is a very interesting story of what is taking place during the time of the building of the war you know it seems to take a little diversion from the work and the focus of the theme of the book what relevance does the story have for us today. Do you know that Nehemiah story parallels our time simply because of the work that God is called has called him to do which he is calling us to do today as well you know we are called to build the physical city we're not called to build new Jerusalem God is the one that builds that one and it will come down from heaven at the end of time so no he's not calling us to rebuild a literal city. But we are called to build in a different way today we are still called to be Nehemias of our day you know in Isaiah Chapter 58 in verse 12 the Bible says this and they that shall be of the shall build the all the waste places. Well shut that raise up the foundations of many generations and thou shall be called the repairer of the breach the restorer of paths to dwell in you know friends we are called to build the old waste places to raise up the foundation of many generations to be a repairer of the breach and Nehemiah was of repair of the breach there was a breach in the wall and he was called to fix it and how else are we called to build today as well 1st Corinthians Chapter 39 to 11. For we are laborous together with God ye gods husbandry your gods building according to the grace of God which is given unto me as a wise must the builder I have laid the foundation and another build us there on but let every man take heed how he build us there upon 4 other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ friends we have to build on Jesus Christ who is the one and true and only foundation we're called to be Nehemias in these last days but what has been eroded away what is it that we ought to build what does it mean to be building the breach and repairing the wall if you go back to Isaiah Chapter 58 and you know we read verse 12 but in verse 13 we are given the clue and the understanding as to what we should be building again 58 and verse 13 says if thou turn away their foot from the Sabbath from doing that pleasure on my holy day and call the Sabbath the light the holy of the Lord on rable and shalt honor him not doing vine own waste nor finding their own pleasure not speaking going on words friends right after verse 12 where we're called to be repairers of the breach the one thing that we've got to repair that's been broken down is the Sabbath truths we've got to rebuild it again the lore of God has been trampled down and if we are to build if we are to be builders on the walls of Jerusalem in Zion to day if we are to rebuild so that we can can raise up that foundation and we can finish the work here in our time it will not be without opposition. The opposition that Nehemiah faced we have to face as well and if that wall is really the Sabbath if it is a breach that has been made that we've got to be rebuilding we've got to expect that people like Sanballat are going to come about and mock us keeping the Sabbath going to challenge us on it they're going to try and break down that wall the Sabbath. We're going to expect that they're going to challenges of people from within saying it's rubbish that is just a bunch of tradition and that we don't need to keep it anymore and we just leave off building the wall. You see that. But what does this have to do with the story that we're looking at here in Nehemiah chapter 5 today you know friends the love of money the love of gain the love of display has not only infected the world but even those that call themselves Christians today those that still even go to church many of us were caught up with just making a living and sometimes it is at the expense of the poor of those that are less fortunate we may be doing what is legal according to the laws of the land but through the eyes of God we fall short the nobles and the rulers they were legally doing what they were doing and people they were crying out because they were being unjust they were just crying out because they had nothing left to to mortgage and that's why they came to Nehemiah finally they were operating within the jurisdiction of the laws of the land but yet in the eyes of God They were so far from doing what was right. You know friends for us more often when we go chase after money when we do what is legal according to the laws of the land and we try to build up our wealth more often than not it is at the expense of the Sabbath Yes we encroach upon the Sabbath was our desire for gain from making a living is brought with us to church as well and into the Sabbath are worse your business or your work texting you on the Sabbath having to take a call just to call are not welcome at church but I just need to take this call real quickly we go for meetings on Sabbath right after church there are people that have air b.n. b. business that requires them to open the door for people on the Sabbath and then they run off to church they are communicating with their customers on the Sabbath you know friends when you think about it and you take the service so seriously there are many things that we cannot do and should not be doing as 7th Day Adventists. We got to be so careful and Isaiah tells us there's a hole in the wall there are holes in the walls of Zion God's 10 Commandments have been broken down and he tells us this is what we should be doing at the beginning of the chapter of Isaiah 50 he tells us that we need to cry aloud and spare not lift up the voice like a trumpet and show my people the transgression and the House of Jacob their sins friends that is exactly what Nehemiah did in Chapter 5 when he heard of the an injustice that was taking place between the rich and the poor he got angry he was upset he much straight to the houses of those that were rich that are the affluence that had plenty of food to eat and rebuke them sharply the Bible says. The desire for gain in our churches today have come at a cost of keeping the Sabbath holy. And today I'm praying for open hearts for all of you that are listening to receive this message just as the nobles did back in the days of Nehemiah and I'm not saying that if you keep the service now that you're just going to be blessed and you can be even more rich than you were before not the nobles and the rich or the rich people the rulers they had to restore everything that they had taken they lost some money. They lost some possessions if they wanted to do that which was right do you see that today this morning I'm not asking you to do it because God will bless you even more than 10 fold or a 100 fold that the Bible does talk about. But I'm asking you simply to say do that which is right you know I'm not sure who is overreaching in their business and not on the preaching this to pinpoint somebody I don't know who is the following the Sabbath what they choose to do on this holy day but one thing I know for sure is that if this was not going to be an issue the Bible would not have mentioned it at all it would not have been written down there for us. Friends what we read there is not for those who lived in those times what is written down there is now written for us who are living at the last days at the end of time and I know for certain that there is someone out there who who really needs to take a clean look again at him or herself with their commitment to the truth and their love for Jesus and the Savior I know for a fact that there is someone out there that needs to be honest with themselves and I know for a fact that there's someone out there needs to have their eyes opened to their current situation which is they are not walking in the fear of the Lord. Friends I don't know who that is and I'm not pinpointing anybody I do not think of the sermon simply to preach because I thought of somebody but because it's in Nehemiah chapter 5. And if we are to finish the work of building the wall in our time these are the issues that we will fix and so friends of that person is you and as you're sitting there this morning or standing or whatever you're doing. If this person is you and you recognize that there is something in your life where in you are coming short it's and maybe it's not the Sabbath but maybe you realize that your love for money and your love and desire for gain has superseded God Himself and you've not walked outside the boundaries of the law you've been a good citizen of Malaysia or whichever country you're from but you've not been a good steward of heaven. And of our Lord Jesus Christ than this morning on behalf of our Lord and Savior who for the sake of our own salvation because I became poor that we might be made rich in heaven. I'm asking you to repent. To turn from though the wicked ways from to turn from that constant desire for gain for money. What will a man give an exchange for his soul friends what will you give in exchange for yours by God's grace I'm asking you to repent. Ask God to forgive you and then like the nobles in the Richmond just like Zacchaeus as he stood before Jesus but were willing to return everything to give up that which was unjustly taken or rather justly take. What was not righteous. So friends I plead that you would take a good hard and long look at yourself that if the money that you've gathered has been a consequence of breaking the Sabbath. Then you've got to surrender it you've got to give it up you might not have broken the laws of the land you might have been legal for you to operate doing this lockdown situation but it wasn't legal in the eyes of God then let's choose to stand on the blood stained banner of Prince Emmanuel today. So that we can finish the work in our time for us we can finish the building of the walls of Jerusalem. I hope that your desire today and I hope that if you recognised you've been coming short that your prayer with me and that God will give all of us true repentance let's pray shall we Father in heaven. Lord so often as human beings that walk this earth we just want your blessing we want to be rich we want to be comfortable we want to retire early we want to have no worries when it comes to monetary issues but Lord so many of us in the quest for just wanting to retire early or just have a comfortable life or just by the desires that are in our hearts we've overstepped our boundaries with you and we ventured into Satan's territory a lot this morning I know that there is someone out there that you have spoken to not my words but your scripture a lot it's got convicted them as they read the story that they they saw their own lives in it that even though they were legally within the boundaries of the law they were so far from you a lot and I pray Father that you would grant us true repentance that you would forgive us a lot. And that you help us to come back to you to the. Lord this morning we've tuned in and you've guided us to this point because we want to be part of those burden bearers of the end of time the repairers of the breach we can rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and see you come in our lifetime Oh Lord please change our focus help us to stop focusing so much on the world and just our daily routines Help us Lord to focus on you again so thank you for the service that comes around every week that we can have this refocus and I just pray Lord that you help us to grow from there to bring the Sabbath blessings into the week with us as well so Father Please be with all my brothers and sisters you've heard the silent cries in our hearts we want to be more like Jesus today grant us that true repentance that only you can give us Lord transform our hearts. Inside to be as we. Thank you all oh we pray in cheeses in the. Name and. 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