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Summary: Nehemiah served God’s purpose in his own generation.

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NEHEMIAH SERVED GOD WITH PROPER MOTIVATION

Introduction:

The use of the first person identifies the author as Nehemiah, the governor of the Persian province of Judah (1:1—2:20; 13:4-31). His name means "Yahweh has comforted."The purpose of God was that His people should return to His Law. The civil reformation was secondary to the reading of the Law that took place in Jerusalem. God's purpose was to put Israel back under the Law until Christ would come. The Potter at work in this book continues the task of reshaping that He began in Ezra. His primary instrument at this time was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was not a king, a priest, or a prophet, but an ordinary citizen. He held a cabinet-level position under Artaxerxes, the Persian monarch. He became the governor of Judah later. Generally the kings of Israel had failed, the people had ignored the prophets, and the priests were corrupt. Therefore God chose a common man who built a wall around Jerusalem in seven weeks so the people could give concentrated attention to the reading and exposition of God's Word. Nehemiah was a man like others God used before him, a man who lived and walked by faith. Joshua was such a person and was also not a king, prophet, or priest. Nehemiah did for Israel in his day what Joshua had done in his.

Body:

I. NEHEMIAH SERVED GOD CAUTIOUSLY.

a. He examined the wall secretly and silently (Ch. 2: 11-16).

b. He divided the work so every man built near his own house (Ch. 3:1-32)

II. NEHEMIAH SERVED GOD COURAGEOUSLY.

a. He started by himself, single-handedly (Ch.2:11-16)

b. He stuck with the work determinedly until he finished it (Ch. 13: 11,17).

III. NEHEMIAH SERVED GOD WITHOUT COMPROMISE.

a. They tried to get him to compromise by using Contempt (4:3).

- "What kind of wall could they ever build? Even a fox could knock it down!"

b. They tried to get him to compromise by using Conspiracy (4:8).

- So they all plotted together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.

Conclusion:

The Book of Nehemiah records the fortification of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Jews, two essential steps that were necessary to reestablish God's people in His will. Nehemiah provides a great illustration of how prayer and hard work can accomplish seemingly impossible things when a person determines to trust and obey God. As a leader Nehemiah was a man of responsibility, vision, prayer, action, cooperation, and compassion who triumphed over opposition with proper motivation


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