Summary: Nehemiah was led by the Lord to do self-examination, then examined the ground realities of the Field, then he build up the team before rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
2:1-5 Self –examination
The first chapter narrated about a great personality known as Nehemiah. He was a cup bearer- advisor, servant, trust worthy official, privilege to choose the food and drinks for the Royal.
His self examination lead to see his own heart and the hearts of fellow Jews. He ran to God in prayer for four months from Kislev to Nissan (1:1,2:1). He lifted up with his eyes heart and mind. Face is the mirror of the heart. Everything is reflected. The Joy and sadness will be seen, you can’t act too smart for long time. Now the sadness of the heart of Nehemiah was observed by the King and Queen(Neh. 2:1-3,6). Changing heart of a person is not easy unless you pray for days and nights like Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was in good position, highly placed , holding very confidential and trustworthy post.. He need not worry about the reproach and problems of the people and society. He could have build up his own family, brought the relatives to the best place in the society. Always there is a waste difference between a Born again and a nominal Christians even today. Using and misusing the position is accountable to God(Es.4:14).
2:11-16. Examination of the ground reality
Ministry always needs to be done on the basis of scientific realities. Anything must spiritual and not emotional. Emotional decisions lead to failures, spiritual inference leads to success through sufferings. Paul and his team mates were always very clear what to do when to do an where to do. When we read Acts 16:6-9, we understand that the Holy Spirit banned them not to preach the Gospel. He did not allow them to go further, he gave a vision to see of the need of the hour.
Many failures in our ministry when we go with the physical strength and mighty valor without God(Josh 6:20-21 Jericho was fallen into the hands of Israelites; whereas when they depended upon their strength with sin, they were defeated by the people of Ai -Josh 7:1,5).
2:17-20 Examination of the Team
The team commitment, team understanding team spirit, oneness, one mind, one accord is very important. Many times failures are not because of the inability but non-committal to leadership. God instructed Gideon have people with commitment(Jud.7:3-6; total 38000– 22000=16000-16200=300finally). Moses had seventy men, he sent twelve but only two were committed with him(Nu.13:3,30-31). Paul and Barnabas were departed because they had argument over the selection of team members(Ac.15:36-39). Jesus selected 12 in Lk.6:12-16 after the whole night earnest prayer yet he had one traitor. My interest in Church office and committees must be based on the love of God and kingdom of God.
Nehemiah gave an emotionally charged motivational talk. It was full of love for the country, devotion to God’s work, commitment to the community, concern of the past, care of the present remnants , longing for revival and renovation.
Two enemies, villains have introduced here Sanballat(Horonian) and Tobiah(Ammonian) (2:10,19). Opposition came not at middle of the work, not at formation of vision, not during prayer, not at planning meeting, but at the progress of the execution. Yes, in every Church, every office, every team and every group there are trouble makers. They are good at their own eyes and judgment. But determined to Rebuild(Neh.2:17-18).