Summary: One of the greatest accomplishments in the entire Bible was accomplished by Nehemiah when he led the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.
Building Up and Moving On
June 6, 2010
There were many great leaders and great tasks accomplished throughout the Bible. Here are just a few reminders.
* Noah built the Ark and saved the world
* Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery
* Solomon built the Temple after David assembled the materials
* Peter led the church to explosive growth on Pentecost
* Paul led the charge to plant new churches among the Gentiles
One of the greatest accomplishments in the entire Bible was accomplished by Nehemiah when he led the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. Please open your Bibles with me to Nehemiah 7:1-3 as we look at the results of Nehemiah’s work.
1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do. 3 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." Nehemiah 7:1-3
What do we know about Nehemiah?
Nehemiah was living in exile during the Babylonian Captivity. The nation of Judah had been conquered by Babylon and the majority of the people had been carried off in exile. Nehemiah was serving in a low position but it gave him access to the King. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. His job was to serve the king’s food and taste everything before it was given to the king.
The purpose of the cupbearer was to insure that the king was not poisoned. God used Nehemiah’s position to influence the king. The longer a cupbearer served the king the more the cupbearer was able to have interaction. Nehemiah had obviously won the respect and favor of the king. Nehemiah is able to seek the permission of the king to repair and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Five lessons from the success of Nehemiah - Exposition outline
A. Nehemiah looked at the facts
1. Nehemiah examined the facts of the situation
- The walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the city was vulnerable
- Nehemiah became burdened for Jerusalem
2. Nehemiah prayed in faith
- Nehemiah sought God first: When we place God first it insures a right motive
- Nehemiah sought God’s favor: God placed a special blessing on the life of Nehemiah
B. Nehemiah made a specific plan
1. Nehemiah prepared for the opportunity
- Nehemiah made sure that he was ready when his moment came
- Nehemiah had formulated the plan before the opportunity arose
2. Nehemiah sought the permission of the king
- Without the permission of the king Nehemiah could not leave the service of the king
3. Nehemiah sought the provision of the king
- Nehemiah seeks the needed materials to reconstruct the walls
C. Nehemiah found the right people to help
1. Approaches elders, leaders and laymen
- Nehemiah goes to the current leadership and begins to work among the people to get the project completed.
- Nehemiah enlists the assistance of the entire city to accomplish the task
2. Everything goes better with the right people
D. Celebration was held
1. Nehemiah celebrated the building of the walls
- When the doors were set in place there were three different sets of people involved
a.) Gatekeepers: The standard guard for the gates
b.) Singers: Nehemiah was celebrating the success with worship and song
c.) Levites: The Levites were there to perform a ceremony of blessing and consecration
2. Nehemiah held a praise service for the success
- There was a specific time given to offer praise and thanks to God for all that He had done
- Our successes are for the glory of God, not the glory of us
E. Nehemiah planned for continued success
1. Nehemiah passed the torch to new leaders
- Nehemiah was the leader in Israel for only a short season
- Nehemiah was selected by God for a brief time and then went back to Babylon
2. Nehemiah prepared for the future
- Nehemiah needed to appoint new leaders to continue keeping the wall intact
- The accomplishment was great but there was a need to continue with the maintaining the work
A. Explore possibilities – What should we do?
Discover possible actions
Determine benefits and drawbacks
Decide on a course of action
Develop a plan for initiation
B. Examine plans – How should we do it?
C. Enlist people – Who should we involve?
D. Enjoy project completion – Why should we celebrate?
E. Engage potential – What should we do next?