Summary: This is a message to bring encouragement.
CAN YOU HEAR THE VOICES?
Pastor W. Max Alderman Nehemiah 4:1-14 BIBLE BAPTIST CHURCH
Introduction: When there is a building program going on in the church, it certainly is not uncommon for the Church to study the events that took place when Nehemiah rebuilt the fallen walls of Jerusalem. There are many parallels that may be observed in what Nehemiah and the workers did to build the walls, and what the modern day Nehemiah’s do when they are either physically building their buildings or spiritually building their people.
Much criticism and attack was leveled against this ancient project and also against those who were involved. If you say nothing, do nothing, then probably nothing happens. But when you begin to involve yourself in any worthwhile project, you will find how aggressive and wicked Satan can be. The same is true in our day as it was in Nehemiah’s day.
When Nehemiah was building the walls there was a whole lot of talking going on. In this study, we will learn the different ways in which people talk about God’s work. Can you hear the different voices?
We will notice FIRST, The Voice Of Discouragement; SECOND, The Voice Of Disturbance; and THEN, The Voice Of Determination.
SOME COMMENTS ABOUT THE WORK
Nehemiah was serving as the king’s cupbearer when he heard about the walls of Jerusalem being broken down and the gates being burned with fire. God put it in his heart to do something about what he had heard. He immediately went to work to repair the walls. We might say that he went into a “building program”.
The work that he did may be described as follows:
1. The work that he did was a good work. (Neh. 2:18).
2. The work that he did was a great work. (Neh. 4:19; 6:3).
3. The work that he did was God’s work. (Neh. 3:5; 6:16).
We all may say the same about the work that God has given us to do. Now, may we notice the voices that take place when a work of the Lord is going on.
I. THE VOICE OF DISCOURAGEMENT (4:10) “We are not able”
Discouragement often begins with, “We are not able”. This study will prove that this statement would be true if it were not for the help of the Lord. Instead of us saying, “We are not able”, may we say, “He is able”. I like and appreciate the song that says, “He is able to deliver Thee”. The voice of discouragement came in Nehemiah’s day when Judah said, “We are not able…”
Nehemiah rose up to encourage the builders by saying, “Remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (V. 14). Any good work is both worth fighting for, as well as our families. Can you imagine how pleased Satan would be if there was not a work like this in Statesboro, Georgia?
A. The Work Of Building The Wall.
When doing the Lord’s work, hard work is required. The work can be made more difficult or discouraging because of Satan. There were times when we were building this church building that Satan added to the difficulty. By studying the building of the wall, we can recognize some of the things that will cause discouragement.
1. Hard Work May Cause Discouragement.
Judah said, “The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish…” Who like picking up trash? Humanly speaking, it is not as much fun as other jobs, but it is absolutely necessary.
One thing perhaps Judah was expressing was the monotony of doing for a long time the “same ole thing”. Some of you may feel the same way after singing in the choir, teaching a Sunday school class, working in the prison ministry, or as in our case spending so long in a building program. The same ole things in these cases are good things.
Judah was indicating the need for refreshment and revival while doing the good work. In the eight and the ninth chapter, you will see that real revival came. But it came after much hard work. In being faithful, you may have to just “stay with the stuff”, until God brings refreshment, and revival.
2. Heavy Work May Cause Discouragement
Heavy work and hard work are very similar. Just as the load was heavy in Nehemiah’s day, there are things today that can weigh heavy upon us. In our building program, we have jumped many hurdles, while carrying heavy loads. This can discourage even the strongest and the most determined. We are reminded, however, in Matthew’s Gospel, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in hear: and ye shall find rest unto your souls, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.