The Foretaste of Glory Divine
Planting Date Palms: Nehemiah #8
March 21, 2021
The King Prince of Fellsmere
Once upon a time, in a land closer to you than you think, there was a king who went hunting for alligators in the Indian River Lagoon. But instead of finding alligators, he stumbled upon a poor, blind orphan boy who identified as a poor blind orphan boy living under a mangrove in the Indian River Lagoon. The king couldn’t leave the poor blind orphan boy who identified as a poor blind orphan boy the way he found him. So he took him to his palace in Fellsmere and adopted him as his own son, thereby making him a prince. Not only did he adopt him, the king also gave this prince of his the finest education and training that money can buy. As a result, this still blind son loved his father dearly and was exceedingly grateful for everything done for him.
When this blind prince turned 20, an Ophthalmologist from the Florida Eye Institute performed an experimental surgery on his eyes. And for the first time in his life, this child was able to see. When he opened his eyes, he cared not to fix his gaze on the King’s palace or the King’s garden. Nor spend one moment wondering if he could recognize his loved ones. He cared only in that moment to gaze upon the face of his father: the king who saved him, adopted him and gave him an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, nor fade.
A Foretaste of Glory
We don’t have to only imagine what awaits us in our future today. The only thing left to our imagination is whether we’ll dance before Jesus or in all awe of Him be still. As a matter of fact, search the Scriptures and you’ll find that when God’s people need hope in their present context. He not only gives it to them; he equally gives them a foretaste of their certain future.
Nehemiah compiled his book 500 years before Jesus walked the face of the earth. 590 years before John gave us a glimpse of heaven. But through Nehemiah’s story, the God of the Bible, who inspired him to write down his experiences in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, saw fit to give us a foretaste of glory divine. That’s because He’s the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. It’s only the foretaste of glory divine that answers the riddle of what should inspire hope in difficult times from a biblical perspective.
Through Nehemiah's Story, the God of the Bible Gave Us:
(1) The Foretaste of a Divine Trumpet (8:1-2)
Neh 8:1-2 1 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand
What They Were Supposed to Do:
(1) What Nehemiah and Israel were supposed to do on the first day of the seventh month was prescribed for them in Numbers 29:11.
(2) On the first day of the seventh month, do no work. It’s a sabbath rest.
(3) On the first day of the seventh month, sound the trumpets for it’s the beginning a New Year: Rosh HaShanah;
(4) On the first day of the seventh month, make a sacrifice in the temple.
What They Could and Couldn’t Do:
(1) They could sound the trumpets;
(2) And they could enter into a time of rest;
(3) But they couldn’t make a sacrifices because they didn’t have a temple or an altar;
(4) As a result, they wept.
Then A Strange Thing Happens:
(1) Nehemiah tells them not to weep;
(2) Even though there was no way to make a sacrifice;
(3) Have joy instead and rest.
(1) One was coming who was the sacrifice that makes our rest possible;
(2) Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.
When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more. And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair. When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore and the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
(2) The Foretaste of a Table (8:9-10)
Neh 8:9-10 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
How Nehemiah’s Congregation Would Have Heard This:
(1) Act like you are at a Jewish Wedding Reception;
(2) Most popular time for Jewish weddings is right after Rosh HaShanah
Jewish Wedding Features:
(1) Contract signed between parents of both parties. That’s when the engagement begins. And that is an occasion for celebrating and inviting people whether they knew about it or not;
(2) Then waiting: Sometime after, the groom would come for his bride. Didn’t know when, but knew he was coming. In this case, they didn’t know they’d be waiting 500 years. They, the bride that is the people of God, just knew their groom was coming;
(3) Feast at the Table that could go on for days and days.
Jesus and His Bride, the Church:
(1) Contract was signed with the church on the cross and for us individually when we put our faith in Jesus;
(2) The time of waiting for the groom is now: it’s the time of engagement. Wait isn’t easy; but we know he’s coming for us, the blind orphaned bride, the same way he came the first time when Nehemiah’s people were sure of it;
(3) Means a time of great joy awaits us in eternity – Jesus said at the last supper that he would not drink of the vine again until he do so with us in his Father’s kingdom.
Application: God has inspired his Word in such a way that in every story, He had an end goal in mind: Eternity with Him.
3.The Foretaste of a Table (8:13-15)
Neh 8:13-15 On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law. 14 They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month 15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.
The Feast of Tabernacles –
(1) Commemorated Exodus from Egypt and Deliverance. When Israel fled bound for the Promised Land, they made booths to live in. These were temporary shelters or tabernacles they constructed every place they went.
(2) During the festival, they did this for a week to commemorate what God did for them. But’s not the only thing they did-
(3) Priest drew water each day from a Pool of some type and uttered the words “with joy we draw water from the wells of salvation.”
(4) Then proceeded to their temporary dwellings with menorah’s that were lit. And all of Israel glowed in the night.
Jesus on the Feast of Tabernacles -
(1) “if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (Jn 7:37)
(2) I am the light of the world; he that follows me will not walk in darkness, bust shall have the light of life (Jn 8:12)
I heard a loud voice from heaven saying: behold the tabernacle of God is with men.
4. The Foretaste of a Time Without End (8:18)
Day After Day, from the First to the Last (Nehemiah 8:18) -
Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly.
For Eternity because of the First and the Last (Revelation 21:6) -
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.