Summary: A nation is more than just the walls but the people. For the people to be a people of God, they need to return to the worship of God. 2 things we learn from this chapter, that we need to take note of: (1) watch our character, and (2) remember our identi
RECAP Last Week Sermon Pointers - Schemes of the Enemy - He seeks to:
(1) Distract you. We overcome it by planned neglect. Focus on the GREAT work.
(2) Defame you (rumours & gossips). We take care of our character; trust God to take care of our reputation.
(3) Discredit you (intimidate you). We choose to fear God, not men.
Practice saying YES to God and His priorities, as often as you can.
Practice saying NO to distractions, again and again. Make it into a HABIT.
Nehemiah loved the Lord and was moved by His Spirit to do His will.
• He might be just one man, but we have seen over the past weeks how one man fully committed to and reliant upon God could accomplish His work despite the oppositions and challenges.
• One man can make a difference, if he cares to trust God and make sacrifices.
This is the theme for this series – “Living to Make a Difference”
• We are called to serve God and do His ‘great work’ (words used by Nehemiah).
• We are called to make a difference in our world. Jesus described us as the light of the word and salt of the earth.
• We can because He enables to. So remember this, we live to make a difference.
Up to this point we have seen Nehemiah’s single-minded effort in rebuilding the wall. We did not expect more than that.
• But God has a greater plan than just the rebuilding of walls. [Read 7:1-5, 70-73]
7:5 says, “So my God put it into my heart” to assemble the people for registration by families.
• There was a shift in emphasis now. Building the wall was just a first step (a small one, in fact.)
• Building a people of God – that is God’s ultimate desire.
• 2 things we can learn from this passage: (1) Watch Your Character, and (2) Remember Your Identity.
What really makes a nation? It is more than just the infrastructure, it is the people.
• What makes a nation strong? It is more than just having a wall, but its people.
• Nehemiah was now burdened by God to rebuild the nation (now that the walls have been rebuilt).
So Nehemiah took steps. He put in gatekeepers, the ICA Immigration & Checkpoints Authority who would be responsible for people coming in and out of the city. They watch over all the entry points.
• He set up guards (7:3b) – residents of Jerusalem, assigned at certain posts or near their own houses.
• He appointed his brother Hanani as a community leader, and Hananiah the commander of the citadel (watchtower), to oversee the defence of the city.
It wasn’t only capabilities that Nehemiah was looking for. He was looking for people whom he could trust to do a good job.
• His brother was mentioned in 1:2 as the one who made the long trip to Susa to inform him of the state of Jerusalem city.
• He shared the same burden with Nehemiah and had been with him throughout the entire ordeal. He was someone dependable and loyal.
Hananiah was “a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.” (7:2)