Summary: Message 12 in our exposition of Nehemiah continuing the exploration of the fear of the Lord.
Chico Alliance Church
FEAR OF THE LORD
Nehemiah has rallied the once discouraged and despondent people of Jerusalem to join together in a difficult project against tremendous opposition. Because of Nehemiah's prayerful leadership, the once crumbled walls of Jerusalem were restored and its gates in place in just 52 days. Now Nehemiah prepares for phase two of his plans for the people of God in Jerusalem. Phase one focused on the rebuilding of the walls. Phase two turns to restoration of the worship. Before Nehemiah attempts to build an atmosphere for revival there are certain other items to be completed.
First--Nehemiah enlists workers
Gatekeepers, Singers, Levites, Governors
Not just any leaders, for the success of any movement depends on the character of those who will be in charge. Perhaps Nehemiah realizes that he will need some day to return to his job as cup bear to the king of Persia. Thus Nehemiah appoints leaders with particular qualities.
One who is a "faithful man".
A FAITHFUL MAN
fervently and consistently carries out assigned responsibilities
no matter how small or how large
using his God-given resources to their full capacity.
...Without the need for continual controls or compliments
...In spite of the temptation for immediate temporal pleasure and fulfillment
...In spite of the trial of imminent temporal pain and failure.
A good leader must "fear God more than many." He must have a proper perception of God that affects his every action.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Pro 9:10
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
The fear of the Lord is the soul's internal response to the balanced perception of the person, power and presence of God that prompts obedience and accountability to Him.
We fear who we perceive to have greater strength and authority or is outside of our control or understanding or has the ability to hurt us. We experience fear when a police car appears in our rear fear mirror. He may be a small, younger person. Yet it is the authority behind him we fear. We experience fear when we encounter a phenomenon of nature that is more powerful and outside our control. We experience fear when we face a person we perceive to be stronger or able to hurt us.
Some of the early Christian's were afraid,On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Joh 20:19
Yet later we find an entirely different attitude.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Act 4:31
What made the difference. They had gained a new perception of God. they had experience the all-powerful presence of the Holy Spirit working through them. The circumstances had not changed. The Jew were just as much a threat in not more so. Their perception had changed through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Near every reference containing a command not to be afraid, does so on the basis of a renewed perception concerning the situation.
** Abraham--Do not be afraid, I am with you; I will bless you and increase you.
Do not be afraid Abraham. I am your shield, your very great reward.
** Joshua -- Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into you hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.
** Elisha's servant -- Do not be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them. then the Lord opened the servants eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
** Israel --
Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them." Num 14:9
** The disciples when assigned to preach the Gospel
"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Mat 10:26-31