Summary: Message 10 in our exposition of Nehemiah. This message explores Nehemiah's choosing of good people for leadership.
"A few Good People"
Chico Alliance Church
Nehemiah's journal recounts a two phase restoration project. Phase one was to rebuild secure walls. Walls provide protection and purity from outside enemies Spiritual walls are constructed through obedience to the truth of Scripture.
Nehemiah has followed some carefully prayed over and planned out steps to bring about the completion of phase one in a miraculously short period of time in spite of severe opposition from all sides.
E. Nehemiah Restores the walls and gates 15-19
1. Chronology 52 days
When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:16
3. Continued conflict 17-19
Sanballat was put in his place and hindered by the construction of the walls and gates but Tobiah had infiltrated by marriage. Many had become bound to protect him by oath. Because of those oaths people were blind to his true intents and character and even spoke good of him to Nehemiah when behind the scenes Tobiah was seeking to continue fear and intimidation. He had succeeded in acquiring a place of influence within the city and eventually a special place in the temple itself. When Satan runs into walls, he seeks other ways to continue his efforts to destroy and great fear.
Often times when there is a great project and persecution, we are able to rally together and enthusiasm is high. Once the completed enterprise stands before us and the clobbered enemy lies behind us, we seem to relax and slide into mediocrity. We tend to let our guard down and rest on our past accomplishments while resisting anything new and different in the future.
This is a very dangerous time, and Nehemiah takes steps to keep things headed into the right direction and the ultimate objective found in Phase two. Phase one was to provide secure walls. Before we can draw near to God in worship, we must learn to resist the devil. We must have on our armour and raise our shield and wield our swords. Now Phase two will be to inspire sound worship.
To keep momentum going, Nehemiah first enlists some caretakers, and workers to begin preparations for revival. Then Nehemiah draws the people all together to remind them of their mutual heritage. Then we are ready for the official beginning of Phase two with the Water Gate revival in chapter eight.
God continually seeks faithful, God-fearing disciples.
How often in history have we experience a great revival only to see it disintegrate because there were no leaders to carry on the momentum. Nehemiah seeks to eliminate that problem by appointing some key workers to get on the job.
F. Nehemiah Establishes Security and Order 7:1-73
1. By Enlisting Workers
Now that the walls are restored there need to be those who will guard the gates. There was a need for continual alertness and a guard to keep watch who came into the city. It is a picture of continual alertness even though the walls are secure. How often we think that because I was reading Scripture yesterday or had a great victory last week that I can kick back and relax. We must be continually on alert to danger.
Nehemiah appoints guards and gives them specific instructions.
I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses." Neh 7:3
We need those who are able to be watchman at our gates and warn us of danger and sound the alert. We need those who tell us when we are straying from the truth and wandering into dangerous territory. We have an obligation to warn of danger.
But exhort one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Heb 3:13
"But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. Eze 18:24
Nehemiah also appointed singers. These were those who inspired worship. Good music keep the soul pliable. It soothes and inspires. It was important enough that choirs were developed and commission to provide good music. They didn't have radio and concert halls in those days. Nehemiah knows that to prepare the heart for revival music must be given critical consideration.