Summary: A sermon that looks at some of the things that pave the way to the victory Nehemiah experiences.
Victory - This morning on the overhead screen you can see the New
Zealand Athlete of the century winning a victory in a running race.
Victory is something that is greatly sought after in so many fields of
Recently the American Political machinery has almost ground to a halt
because of the lack of a decisive victory -
Victory is important - but it is important as to who wins.
It mattered that Adolf Hitler was victorious initially in World war 2
it cost millions of lives-
It mattered that he was eventually defeated - just as it mattered that a
despot like Pol Pot was victorious in Cambodia - at least it mattered to
the three million people who died at his hands.
Victory is important.
Not so much the winning of some race but there are certain times in life
where victory is absolutely essential. In 1 John chapter 5 verse 4 we
read these words -
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. this is the victory that
has overcome the world even our faith. Who is it who overcomes the
world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
What is victory for you?
What is it you most desire in your heart of hearts?
Forget about your dreams of lying in some beach somewhere with an iced
drink by your side - what is it that lies at your heart of hearts - what
is it that you would really like?
What is your God given vision?
Last week missionary Brian Woodford shared with us how he had dreamed
since ten years of age of being a missionary - He had victory over all
the presenting obstacles to that dream and eventually became a
Victory is achieving God’s dream for your life.
According to what we have just read in 1 John chapter 5 - Victory for
the christian is inevitable -
with God on your side - you are undefeatable - you will win through.
But if you think that means a five star - easy ride to paradise you may
need to do some re-evaluation.
Some weeks ago we looked at the book of Nehemiah - the first five
chapters in fact.
This Sunday I would like to take you forward to chapter six where -
well don’t let me just tell you let’s read it together.
read verse 15 and 16.
So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two
days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations
were afraid and lost their self confidence, because they realised that
this work had been done with the help of God.
This was a major victory for Nehemiah - it was only nine months earlier
that Nehemiah was basically a wine steward back in Susa to the King.
Probably if someone told him what he was about to achieve he would have
laughed and said that is a far off unachievable dream - but as it says
in 1 John and chapter 5 - for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
this is the victory that has overcome the world even our faith.
Nehemiah had overcome the world - he had won Jerusalem back for the Jews
- let’s put that into todays perspective - today as we worship there is
a terrible battle going on for Jerusalem - the same spiritual forces
arrayed against Nehemiah today are at work around Jerusalem - many are
dying both Jew and Palesinian - No-one seems to be able to win - there
may be different players and different cultures and weapons but it is
the same city and the same kind of battles are being fought - but
Nehemiah won the day.
I can’t comment on the dynamics of modern day Israel but we can learn
important lessons from Nehemiah that show how we can win mighty
victories here in this parish and for our own lives.
What was it that bought Nehemiah to victory - the wall might have been
built in 52 days but he had to negotiate seemingly insurmountable
obstacles in order to achieve the victory.
If we were to make a list of just some of the obstacles that he faced
from his days of being a wine steward - we would come up with:
He had to convince the King of the most powerful army on earth in it’s
day to come on his side.
He had to leave Susa with his head still on it’s shoulders and to travel
back to Jerusalem.
He had to have materials - timber rocks tools etc.
He had to convince the Jews that they were to rebuild the wall.
He had to face laziness by some.
He had to face violent and evil opposition.