Summary: Today’s message is about being like Jesus. It’s about putting feet under you faith and taking action. It’s about getting off the bench and into the game and when you leave today I hope you get it. I hope you understand how significant you are in the Ki
A mother was preparing pancakes for sons, Kevin who is 5, and Ryan who is 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson so she said: “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, "Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait." Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Hey Ryan, you be Jesus."
Today’s message is about being like Jesus. It’s about putting feet under you faith and taking action. It’s about getting off the bench and into the game and when you leave today I hope you get it. I hope you understand how significant you are in the Kingdom of God.
Nehemiah had a problem. He heard that the walls in Jerusalem were down and that the people who were living there and moving back to the city were vulnerable to attack. He lived hundreds of miles away yet he allowed himself to get involved in their problem and make it his own.
Nehemiah saw a problem, went to God with that problem then he went to work on the problem. Last week I left you looking for a wall that you can help build or rebuild and today we are going to learn how to get to work and what to expect once we get going.
When Nehemiah heard that the wall was down in Jerusalem he prayed about problem and decided that he could not sit on the sidelines in the comfort of his own home and wish that someone else would do something about it. He went to God then he went to work.
After getting his entourage together he set off for Jerusalem. It must have been a great moment for him. He getting to do exactly what he feels that God wants him to do and God has paved a smooth road for him to travel. But that moment was definitely short lived. Even before he reached Jerusalem a couple of locals were already upset that Nehemiah was going to rebuild the walls for the Jews.
The Bible says: “When Sanballet the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.” Nehemiah 2:10 NIV
Before Nehemiah even picked up the first stone he had two influential locals who opposed him. But their opposition didn’t sway Nehemiah from his course. He just kept right on going. He accessed the situation then raised the problem to the people. Everyone there knew they had a problem, they just needed someone to help them with the solution. So when Nehemiah addressed the crowd and told them that he wanted to help them rebuild the walls everyone jumped in to help.
But as soon as they started to build the wall their enemies began to attack. Sanballet, Tobiah and a new thug they roused up named Geshem the Arab heard that the work had begin they started verbally assaulting the workers. Nehemiah and the people just ignored them and kept working in spite of the opposition.
Nehemiah knew that no one person could rebuild these huge walls so he broke the responsibility down into little pieces. He asked the people who lived by the wall to rebuild the wall in front of their homes. It was a pretty logical decision and the homeowners were definitely interested in protecting their families so they worked hard on the area they were assigned.
Everything was going smoothly at first. But the local thugs become more vocal and more of a problem as the work was gaining success. The Bible says:
“…when Sanballat, 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. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.” Nehemiah 4:7-9 NIV
The fight was on. At first only a few people opposed Nehemiah and now the thugs has roused up a whole bunch of people to try to stop the work. Nehemiah persisted against the opposition and the Bible says:
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” Nehemiah 4:9 NIV
When the wall was half built Nehemiah faced yet another problem. Half the Jews were living very well and half of them were living in poverty. The very people he went to help began to fight among themselves and he had to do something. Nehemiah was a wise man and went to God with the problem, then he went to work on solving it.
Problems like these arose again and again. Sometimes the problem was external, meaning outside forces were causing them. And other times the problems were internal, meaning that the very people Nehemiah was helping had problems that he had to help solve. Regardless of where the problem originated or how big it was or how trivial it was or how uncomfortable it was Nehemiah responded the same way. He went to God with the problem, then went to work on the problem.