Summary: following God’s vision
Nehemiah had a Passion for the people of Israel
He recognized God for who He is
He repented of Sins
He reminded God of His promises
He requested specific help
He did not let his Position hinder him
We got back from our vacation earlier in the week. It was quite a journey for us. We had a great time.
As I was thinking about the Journey that we took, I was thinking that each one of us are on a journey continually.
We are on the journey of life.
Just as my vacation took us through time and to different places doing different things,
the Journey of life we are on takes us through time and places, and brings into our path circumstances and people.
And just as our vacation had a destination, a place where we arrived at, our Journey has a destination, a place that we will arrive at.
Now everybody will end up somewhere on this journey of life.
On our vacation, we could have just hopped in the car and drove off. But we didn’t. We spent many hours planning our vacation. Looking at the things we were going to do, etc. We saw many of the things we were going to do ahead of time, in our minds eye.
The same way on this journey of life, some will just bop around, not really making any plans, not knowing where they will end up or what will be accomplished
While some will end up in a place they saw from a distance with their mind’s eye and pursued with a purpose and a passion.
And when they arrive there,
They will know that something has been accomplished.
They will know that they made a difference because they pursued their journey with purpose
It is not too often that we make a difference in something by accident.
Those who make a difference in this life that God has given us, make a difference on purpose.
God has put each one of us on this planet, at this time in eternity, for a purpose.
Do you want to just bop along and see what happens and arrive at a place where you look back and wish things were different?
Do you want to pursue that purpose with passion and come to a place where you look back and see that God has used you to make a difference?
Keep tht question in mind as we begin looking at Nehemiah today.
Nehe who? You ask.
Nehemiah. He has his own book in the Bible with His name on it. It is 3 books before the Psalms, right before Esther and Job.
We are going to be looking at Nehemiah who was a man of vision and
see what we can learn about His life and
how God used him and
apply some of the things that Nehemiah did in his life to our own
so that God can use us to accomplish great things for His kingdom.
I want to give you a quick background and overview of Nehemiah so you can have the context of the situation.
Nearly 600 years before Christ, the Jerusalem had been destroyed and the exiles were taken to Babylon.
After nearly 50 years of exile some Jews returned and rebuilt the temple.
After another 70 years, a few more return to rebuild the city with Ezra.
After another 13 years, in 445 BC, is when Nehemiah gets word of how those in Jerusalem are doing.
Nehemiah 1:1-11 (p. 342)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:
"O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.