Summary: Nehemiah had challenged the people with the plan God had given him and now it was time to put that plan into action. Nehemiah leads the people to move forward and rebuild the wall in spite of and in the face of stiff opposition
Date Written: January 25, 2013
Date Preached: January 27, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Building with God
Sermon Title: Acting On God’s Plan - Pt 2
Sermon Text: Nehemiah 3-4 [ESV]
Nehemiah heard about Jerusalem lying in ruins and was distressed and heartbroken! He was led by God to assess the situation, confess his sin in prayer and God assured him that He was faithful and had not abandoned the people!
Nehemiah prayed for guidance from God and God opened the doors of opportunity for Nehemiah by providing resources from the most unlikely source… THE KING! .
Nehemiah rec’d letters of passage, a letter authorizing him to use the King’s forest for what he needed, time off from his job to do God’s will AND an armed guard ALL provided by the King through the mercy of God!
When Nehemiah arrives he surveys the damage for himself and then begins to lay out his purpose and plan to the leaders of the Jews within the city!
Opposition arises but Nehemiah convinces the Jews to press forward with their obedience and service to God by beginning the rebuilding of the wall… and last week we left off the story as the opposition was challenging Nehemiah and the Jews for rebuilding … they started rumors that the Jews were trying to usurp the King’s authority in this region.
Nehemiah rebukes those in opposition… but not in how we might have thought! Nehemiah does not use ANY of his records from the King giving him permission to do what he was doing…
Nehemiah proclaims that GOD is their provider and God will be their deliverer… and on top of that those in opposition will NEVER have a place or part in the city…
So what we have learned here is that Nehemiah issued a challenge to the leaders of the Jews AND to the people of Jerusalem… to rebuild the wall and the city in spite of all the possible difficulties that may lay before them!
These people are invigorated by Nehemiah’s positive leadership, take charge attitude and his complete lack of fear of those who oppose the rebuilding…
What we see here is a people who are ready to start something really big! Nehemiah knew he could not do it on his own. Nehemiah knew he could NOT accomplish by using a small team of people trained to build walls… Nehemiah knew that this was a project that was going to take ALL the people!
This was a project that was to be done TOGETHER and this is where we pick up the story here in the 1st part of ch3 where we get a sense of the excitement that had begun to overtake the people:
Together We Build – 3:1-4:6
1Then Eliashib the high priest ROSE UP with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2And next to him the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
So we see that thru the unwavering faithfulness of Nehemiah to God’s calling and leadership, this challenge was met by the people with a great deal of enthusiasm and cooperation!
When we look at chapter 3 we see 32verses of cooperation and ‘togetherness’. This was something these people had never seen NOR experienced. They were banded together under the banner of God for a singular cause… to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem!
Nehemiah was the leader with the plan and he had created a sense of excitement among the people about this tremendous project… and here is the key element that we need to see!
The people were excited and moved by this vision from God, they did not question God’s calling, they did not moan over the enormous size of this project, they did not even cry out over who they KNEW would come against such a great plan!
These people did not see the glass half empty, but with God’s encouragement through Nehemiah these people saw the glass half full and beginning to fill up!
They banded together with each other under the banner of God’s calling through the leadership of Nehemiah to accomplish a task many believed before this time… to be unattainable! But NOW they trusted God and were pressing forward TOGETHER in task of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem!
We can look at ch3 and it reveals that there were at least 39 separate groups that worked on the wall. It does not give us the number of people in each group, but points us to the leader of these groups and gives us some information about each group.