Summary: Because one man repented and followed the leading of the Lord; Jerusalem was re-built, thousands of exiles returned to the city and there was a mass repenting from God’s people.
NEHEMIAH: Cupbearer on Fire Rev. Maj. Byron E. Martin for American Rescue Workers DC Corps April 27, 2008
Scripture reference: the Book of Nehemiah
We could have ripped this book out of the Bible if Nehemiah had been rational and realized that he was just a cupbearer for the King. He was a lowly cupbearer and it was a lousy job and he was never going to amount to anything.
Instead, he brought about the repentance and re-building of the great walls and gates of Jerusalem and the return of its people.
There are so many great truths for us to glean from this book.
Chapter 1: Read Nehemiah 1:1-3
1. Nehemiah at the Persian Court asks about the Jews and Jerusalem:
A. Told the walls are in heaps of rubbish. The great gates are burnt to ashes.
God’s Word points out that we are sinners and apart from God without the blood of Christ to cleanse us.
B. Upon hearing this, he wept bitterly.
We need to grieve when we recognize our separation from God and His perfect plan. We need to genuinely feel sorry for our sins.
2. Once informed, begins fasting and praying.
This is the time that we need to earnestly repent of our sins and seek forgiveness. For Nehemiah, his answer in the Old Testament was to fast and pray. After Christ shed his blood on that cross as our final sacrifice it is for us to seek forgiveness through His sacrifice through a prayer seeking his forgiveness and intervention in our lives.
Because Nehemiah, as cupbearer, took himself seriously, performed his job with a good attitude, did not complain and took pride even in his lowly status –when he needed a favor, he had the King’s ear.
-Some people go to work with an attitude and you have to tiptoe around all morning.
What does the Bible say about work?
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12 “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
1. Nehemiah, in great fear, asks the king to allow him to rebuild the city.
God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and we all deal with our fears. Some of the things God asks of us appear to be too much and we are afraid to do His will.
Read 2: 6-10
When you begin to follow the path that God lays out for you in your heart –you will make new enemies.
Know God’s Word. Know what you are up against. As you prepare for battle, in obedience to God, do it with eyes wide open. Know the Word just as Nehemiah studied what he was about to undertake.
Read 2: 17-18
He brought his impossible dream to rebuild to his people.
Be prepared to present God’s plan. Be prepared to give testimony to what you have witnessed in your own life. Give testimony of God’s love and forgiveness.
Read 2: 19-20
Their enemies ridiculed their undertaking.
Enemy Talk: (You are a fool. You will make a complete fool out of yourself. Have you lost your mind? Don’t take yourself so seriously)
-Know God’s Word, rebuke your enemies but stay on track. When you go against the wishes of the world, people get upset. As a Christian –you are going to upset people. As a Christian that is really on fire for the Lord ...you are going to upset a lot of people.
Chapter 3 ...talks about all the progress that is being done to the walls, the gates. A great chapter on progress made when all jump into the single vision.
Read Chapter 4: 1-8
One thing I am very aware of. Whenever you have a time of growth, opposition is close on your heels. It will raise its ugly head to hinder your progress or turn you away from your goal.
There will always be those who will deny your salvation (you are a loser, you are a bad person and a leopard doesn’t change its spots.)
Make fortifications to combat the enemy and keep moving forward. Do not allow them to take ground you have already plowed. Post a guard around your heart and mind. (Armor of God)