Summary: what can we learn when we face opposition & problems



Nehemiah 4

Pastor Jeff Seaman

Have you ever had one of those weeks that everything went wrong that could go wrong? This has been one of those weeks for me. I have started this week on a new job so that we can put more money back into the church for ministry. I was a potter before I went into ministry, so you can say my tent making is pottery. Well, I used to make planter for a company called H.R Pottery, and I would make about 300 to 400 a day for them, and I made good money at it. Well I am going to work for Clouds Pottery here in Folsom, and they only us clay called porcelain, and it is one of the hardest clays to work with. The clay that I used at H.R. was very easy to work with, but the clay I am using at Clouds is not that clay.

For a potter to make a lot of pots they use this things called bats, bats round thing at a potter make his pottery on so that he could take it off the wheel fast and not have to cut it off the wheel head. Well I knew that the clay had its reputation for being hard to work with but I never though it would be like this. The clay would not stick to any of my bats. I would start to make a pot and half way through making the pot, the clay would slip off.

In pottery if you are going to work for some one you need to be able to make the pots fast. Well I was very fast at making pots at H.R Pottery with the right clay. I used to be able to make a pot in 42 seconds. But not this week every other pot a tried to make, the clay would not stay.

This week as we look at Nehemiah and his passion for rebuilding of the walls we see that they came up against some opposition and some problems. Last week we saw how he reacted to the news of the city and it conditions, we saw that when he heard that the walls were broken down, he wept, he prayed, and he fasted. Last week we talked about what do we do when we hear about Gods house in trouble?

Nehemiah had great passion for the things of God and he is a great example for us today. We will all at some point in our life come face to face with opposition and problems, the question we need top know is how will we respond to they when they come.

In chapter 1 we see his response to the news, in chapter 2 he is sent and he inspects the walls, in chapter 3 we read who the builders are. But in chapter 4 we see how the builder faced oppositions and problems and how they over came them. We would do well to learn from this story today, of how we can learn for opposition and problems.

Neh 4:1-3

4:1When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall; he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, 2and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, "What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble-burned as they are?"

3Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, "What they are building-if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!"

Neh 4:6-23

6So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart. 7But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

10Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall."

11Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work."

12Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, "Wherever you turn, they will attack us."

13Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

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