The Failed Restoration
June 25, 2023
Yesterday, we sang these words in worship. As we ended our series “A City Restored”, we saw how the book of Nehemiah ends with failure. Nehemiah alone remains faithful, and we see the failure to restore Israel and the failure to renew God’s covenant.
Kyle pointed out to us that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are the last historical narratives in the Old Testament before about a 400 year gap, and then the New Testament. This is the final message of the Old Testament – God’s people have returned to the land but they lack God’s presence. They hear God’s word but they lack the heart to obey it. Ezra and Nehemiah end with a failed restoration and show us why God’s people need the gospel. The books leave its readers looking forward. All the hopes of Ezra and Nehemiah are fulfilled in Jesus. This story is our story too. Jesus completes the Old Testament story. Jesus will bring true salvation from exile. Jesus alone can bring the peace and rest that we all long and search for whether in political reform, change of careers or relationships. You can find satisfaction for all of your desires in the gospel of Jesus Christ.The books of Ezra and Nehemiah teach us to yearn for the new Jerusalem, to seek renewal in our world today, but to rest in the fact that only Christ can and will make all things new. The gospel truly changes everything.We also bade fare well to Andrew who will be leaving us to continue his studies overseas. We prayed for him, asking God to bless him and also let him be a blessing to others as he starts this milestone in his life.