Summary: Does Anybody Really Care? Nehemiah Chapter 1 - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


• Setting the Scene #1: A brief background.

• Setting the Scene #2: What the book is about?

• (1). He cared enough to ask (vs1-3)

• (2). He cared enough to weep (vs 4)

• (3). He cared enough to pray (vs 5–10)

• (4). He cared enough to volunteer (vs 11)



• People cry about a lot of things.

• They cry at weddings.

• Parents cry when their children leave home.

• Sometimes they cry at the birth of their children and grandchildren.

• They cry at sad movies.

• I have even seen grown men crying at a football match!

• Today we are going to look at a man who cried about a broken wall.

• That is right, a wall,

• Can you imagine crying over cement and brickwork!

• Now I often Quote: John Marsden (‘The Other Side of Dawn’)

• “Never cry over anything that can't cry over you”

• But Nehemiah would not have heeded that advice,

• He was the man who cried about a broken wall.

Question: Why did he cry?

Answer: is obvious because he cared.

• You will see that again and again as you read through this book,

• He cared about is past, the traditions of his people that were being lost.

• His heritage was important to him.

• He cared about his people’s future.

• And more important than all of that he cared about the glory of his God.

Setting the Scene #1: and give you a very brief background.

• In the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament,

• The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah were originally one book,

• That got divided into two books.

• Both Jewish and Christian traditions recognize Ezra as the author.

• And the books Ezra & Nehemiah continues where the book of 2 Chronicles ends

• (2 Chronicles chapter 36 verses 22-23; Ezra chapter 1 verses 1-2).


• We are all familiar with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.

• We have been reminded through that movement,

• That in the past our own country was involved in the slave trade.

• Sadly, the trade slave is not finished, it continues today,

• e.g. Modern forms of slavery can include debt bondage,

• Where a person is forced to work for free to pay off a debt,

• e.g. Child slavery, forced marriage, domestic servitude and forced labour,

• Where victims are made to work through violence and intimidation.

• e.g. Trafficking of people,

• Mainly women, who are forced to work in the sex trade.

• TRANSITION: if you go back 2,400 years in time to the year 586 BC.

• The Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed the city of Jerusalem,

• And took most of the inhabitants into slavery, into Exile.

• We read in 2 Kings chapter 24 verse 14, that King Nebuchadnezzar,

“…carried away all Jerusalem, all the officials, all the warriors, ten thousand captives, all the artisans and the smiths; no one remained, except the poorest people of the land”.


• CAPTIVES: At the end of the sixth century B.C.E.,

• The kingdom of Judah was demolished by the Babylonian empire.

• Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed,

• And thousands of people were taken against their wills,

• And forced to live in captivity in another country.

• FREEDOM: Next time you are visiting London and have some spare time,

• Go along to the British Museum and look for The Nabonidus Cylinder of Sippar.

• You can read how Cyrus the Persian king defeated the Babylonians

• And how after the 70 years of enslavement,

• Cyrus gave permission for some of the Jewish people to return to their homeland.

• Not all the Jews returned home,

• But those who went back returned in three stages,

• Stage 1 was led by Zerubbabel.

• (Ezra chapter 1)

• The first return was around 538 B.C. under the leadership of a man named Zerubbabel.

• About 40,000 individuals returned home (Ezra chapter 2 verse 64).

• It was during this period that the people of Israel built the second Temple.

• Stage 2 was led by Ezra.

• (Ezra chapter 7 verses 1–10 and chapter 8 verses 1–14)

• About eighty years later, a second group, under the priestly leadership of Ezra,

• 1,500 men, which would approximate 5,000 to 6,000 totals, counting women and children.

• Returned to the land. Spiritual and religious reformation occurred at that time.

• And Nehemiah will lead stage 3,

• And as we enter the story of Nehemiah, this has not yet taken place.

The Jewish people who had gone back in the first two groups:

• Had rebuilt the temple.

• But, as we will learn, the walls of Jerusalem were down,

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion