Summary: A look at Nehemiah’s determination to get the nation of Israel rebuiliding the wall.
Have you ever had an everybody moment?
You know what an everybody moment is. – It’s the moment when something happens and with no prompting or scripting, everybody does the same thing.
EGS OF EVERYBODY MOMENT
It may have been a rock concert when the performer holds his or her mike to the audience, and with no screens with words of song sheets being handed out, everybody sings together in absolute unison.
Or maybe it’s the local pastor who stands at the back of a warehouse on Friday evening in the beginning of November and with no work lists or task assignments, everybody just gets stuck in and gets to building a church.
Or perhaps it’s that moment a musician starts playing a song really well, and everbody, whether they are keen on that genre of music or not, turns to give the music the attention it deserves.
Or maybe it’s the moment in praise and worship, when without cue cards or a conductor, everybody raises their hands in praise of our God.
But you know what an everybody moment is.
LINK FROM EVERYBODY MOMENT TO CUP AND BRICKS
We are going to get onto an everbody moment a little later, but I just wanted you to put a name to this strange people phenomenon called an Everybody moment.
One of the most powerful everybody moment is described in the old testament. But to understand the context of this everybody moment, we need to to take a look at two props. The first is this goblet or cup…
THE CUP – CUPBEARER POWERFUL MAN IN KINGDOM
Well, let’s start with the cup.
In ancient times, the person who looked after the king’s cup, or cupbearer, was a very special person. He was seen as the head of security, the chief of police or in our day, the Director of the Secret Service. He was there to protect the king from calamity, to see that the kings food and drink was not poisoned. He would set up 24 hour surveillance to make sure no ill intent came the way of the king. He was in short, the most trusted man in all the kingdom of the king he was serving.
ARTEXERXES AND NEHEMIAH
Now one such king who had a cupbearer in his service was the most powerful king of the time, he was the king of Persia. His name was Artexerxes. You can read about him in history books and you can certainly read about him in the bible - He was ruler over the entire known world at the time. I could not find a world ruler who was as influential as this man by todays standards. His cupbearer was an Israelite Jew. His cupbearer was Nehemiah. The same one who had a book in the bible named after him. Now it was rather strange that this all powerful Persian king would have an Israelite as his chief of security. But the very fact the Artexerxes had this Israelite as his cupbearer, shows just how extraordinary a man Nehemiah was.
THE BRICK – THE WALLS – BROTHERS VISIT
And now the brick.
Nehemiah received a visitor, his brother from Jerusalem. His brother had come up from Israel to Persia, to let Nehemiah know of what was happening in Jerusalem.
Babylon had captured Jerusalem and plundered the city and lead off all of Gods people into captivity in to Babylon. Then while they were slaves, Babylon was overthrown by Persia and the Persians had no need for all these slaves and so let some of them return to their home land and start to rebuild the devastation left by the Babylonians.
So Nehemiah was keenly interested and was asking his brother how it was going with the Jews were in fact re establishing themselves reconstruction of homes and businesses, AND Nehemiah’s brother turns to Nehemiah and says “Not Well my Brother - In fact he summed up the distressing situation in 5 words:
THE WALL IS IN RUIN
Nehemiah knew straight away that this was not good news.
WHAT WALL IN RUIN WOULD MEAN IN OUR DAY
Now that may not mean a whole lot in our culture and day and age, but back then a city without a wall was a grave.
Today when tragedy strikes, and we just have to look at the Tsunami, we say things like the power has not been restored, and then we know that there is still a whole mess on the ground and things are not how they should be.
Back then, if city did not have a wall, and its gates were in ruins, the people living in that city were in deep trouble. Bandits would come in and thieve. Enemies would wait until things were available in the market place and then go in and plunder everything in the market place.