Summary: Finish WHAT YOU START. “The wall was finished in . . . fifty and two days” Nehemiah(6:15).
A. INTRODUCTION (Nehemiah 1-6)
1. After the Babylonian captivity was over, two men helped restore the city of Jerusalem.
a. Zerubbabel built the TEMPLE.
b. Nehemiah built the WALLS.
2. This is the first of two lessons about Nehemiah (his name means comfort of the Lord) who was the Persian king’s Cup Bearer. Even though he was a servant, he was trusted with
a. A TASK to build the walls.
b. MONEY to buy supplies.
c. A POSITION; he was governor.
B. WHY THE WALLS NEEDED REBUILDING?
1. GOD’S HONOR. “The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach” (1:3). The king said, “Why is thy countenance sad? . . . (I said) Why should not my countenance be sad, when the city . . . lieth in waste, and the gates consumed with fire?” (2:3).
2. PROTECTION. When the enemies, “Heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up (being built) . . . they conspired . . . to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it” (4:7,8).
3. NATION RE-ESTABLISHED. A group of people were not considered a nation until they had a capital city to protect them.
4. SEPARATION. To separate God’s people from the heathen nations about them.
C. TO PREPARE FOR A GREAT WORK.
1. Get AUTHORITY. If thy servant have found favor in thy sight . . . send me into the city . . . that I may build it” (2:5).
2. Get SUPPLIES. “Let letters be given me . . . into Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber” (2:7,8).
3. See the WHOLE TASK. “I went out by night. . . and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down” (2:13).
4. Get rid of OLD RUBBISH. “There was no way for the beast that was under me to pass” (2:24). “There is much rubbish, so that we are not able to build the wall” (4:10).
5. Share the REASON. “Ye see the distress we are in, how Jerusalem lieth in waste and the gates are burned with fire” (2:17).
See the vision.
Own the vision.
Share the vision.
6. Share the TASK. “Let us rise and build the walls of Jerusalem” (2:17).
7. DEPEND ON GOD. Then answered I them . . . the God of heaven, he will prosper us, therefore we his servants will arise and build” (2:20).
D. PRINCIPLES OF A GREAT WORK
1. Work in GOD’S ENERGY . “I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me . . . so they strengthened their hands for this good work” (2:18).
2. TEAM WORK. “They builded the sheep gate” (3:1). “Next to him builded the men of Jericho” (3:2). “Next to them repaired . . .” (3:4). “Next to them the Tekoites repaired” (3:5). The word “next” is used 14 times in this chapter to show people working next to each other.
3. Pray about OPPOSITION. “Hear O our God, for we are despised, and turn their reproach upon their own heads” (4:4).
4. Work DILIGENTLY. “The wall was joined together . . . for the people had a mind to work” (4:6).
5. People must BUY INTO THE PROJECT. Each family worked on the wall that was in front of their home. “Therefore, set I in the lower places behind the wall and on the higher places, I set the people after their families” (4:13).
a. SAFETY. Make the wall solid.