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Summary: The principles of wisdom that opened the door for Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and inspect the walls. When he and we inspect the walls- what do we find?

Inspecting the wall. Nehemiah 2:1-20 (quickview)  WBC 9.1.05am

At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers’ new year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren’t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year.

Contributed by: Frank Houston on www.sermoncentral.com

And here we are, inspecting the wall in Nehemiah. Maybe it will cast some inspection light into our lives at the start of this New Year.

We’re about 445 BC and some of the Jews have returned in different waves from Babylon. Some form of a temple has been constructed

- now Nehemiah is about to deal with the walls

PATIENCE 2:1

I wonder how eager you are to achieve things this year?

- probably that’s good! We’ve got things to do!

But I wonder if we could learn something from Nehemiah. Particularly if we’re restless

- you might miss it on first read: but Nehemiah hears of the state Jerusalem is in in 1:1. … and 2:1 is 4 months later

o he waits 4 months for the right opportunity to say something to Artaxerxes

This time of year…. some phases of our lives can feel a bit wasted

- nothing happening. Holidays a long way off. Post-Christmas slump. Just waiting for better prospects, weather

o but ‘waiting’ does not mean ‘wasted’.

o Doesn’t mean ‘nothing’s happening’

Not from God’s perspective.

And it’s okay to have phases of our lives that seem boring… require patience. Require faith that God is working (behind the scenes)

- because He is

But the day comes. Nehemiah’s day… God’s day, even

- and it’s time for him to say what’s on his heart to the King

- and Nehemiah experiences something common to us

PEUR 2:2 (FEAR)

Sorry- this is the only way I could keep the P’s going!

- 2:2 says “I was very much afraid”

Why was this?

- well: you were in danger of losing your life if you were downcast before the King

o he only wanted PMA’s around himself!

o “and if you’re not happy- I’ll kill you!”

- also: he was intent on asking the King to change a ruling that he had made some years earlier (Ezra 4:21 (quickview) )

o rule of the Medes and Persians was that laws could not be repealed or revoked

It’s a death-wish, actually. So- he’s scared. And he’s melancholy

- (bad hair day)

But here’s what we learn from Nehemiah:

- it doesn’t stop him!

- Fear is part of a life, and part of risk and part of having a purpose

But God is bigger than that. (He is to Nehemiah.) And, ‘fear of the Lord’ carries him through.. and 4 months of considered prayer

- Nehemiah knew: only God can pull this one off, and if it matters to Him He’ll do it

I wonder if fear affects you at the start of this year? It may well do. It’s a part of life and none of us know what this year holds


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