Summary: Working together to build the Kingdom of God
Rebuilding the Walls
To me some of the most fascinating chapters found in the word of God are found in Nehemiah chapters 1-7.
Let me share the story with you.
In Duet 12:5 Moses told the Israelites to “seek the place where the Lord you God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put his name for his dwelling place.”
Later, it was revealed that this place was Jerusalem. When Solomon built the temple, Jerusalem was at the height of its glory. Its fame was known, and God’s name was spread through out the nations.
However God allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed because the Israelites were unfaithful to God. Now Jerusalem lay in ruins. The once thriving city was in shambles. The walls of the city were torn down.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer foe Artaxerxes, the powerful King of Persia. The cupbearer was one of the most important assignments in the ancient world. I’ll tell you a little more about the responsibilities of a cup bearer a little later.
Nehemiah was devastated when he heard the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and burned. He wept and mourned for Jerusalem. Something happened inside of him, he knew something had to be done. He knew that it was not God’s ultimate plan that Jerusalem be in ruins.
He got permission from Araxerxes to rebuild the walls of the devastated city.
It was no small task. Nehemiah could not have done this himself and he didn’t attempt to. He rallied people from all walks of life and led them in accomplishing something great. The Bible tells us he gathered together, goldsmiths, perfume makers, rulers, priests, merchants; I believe all ages both male and female were doing their part.
The wall was divided into sections and everyone took responsibility to fix the torn down wall. There was opposition and obstacles along the way as there always are. Like every good story there were bad guys. Their names were Sanballat and Tobiah. They plotted to stop the work but Nehemiah reminded the workers do not be afraid, remember the Lord. They didn’t quit because of opposition the Bible says they worked with one hand and held a weapon in the other.
Nehemiah 6:15 tell us that the all was done in 52 days! Vs. 16 says that all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self confidence. In time all of Jerusalem was restored.
What a great, great story! Let’s examine this a little closer. There are some principles I want us to bring out of this story.
1. Their will always be broken down walls that need to be rebuilt.
a. I think if we look around us we can see broken walls.
i. Lives that are broken, with no hope for a better future. Lives broken by the effects of sin.
1. Many are broken because they have been hurt by those from who they are supposed to receive love from. Hurt by parents, friends, and spouses who deserted them.
2. Broken because of past failures. Broken because they failed to live up to the expectations of others.
ii. Churches are broken.
1. No longer does the whole truth of the word of God go forth from many pulpits across America but a watered down version of a socially excepted feel good gospel.
2. Some churches have become about entertainment, and have become nothing more than a shallow show.
3. Some churches are broken because the refuse to change, and have become satisfied with the way things are.
iii. Our country and government are broken.
1. They have gotten away from in God we trust.
2. Our government and government leaders become more and more corrupt.
3. Decisions are made on popular opinion, rather than the Biblical Principles we are founded upon.
b. How does it affect us?
i. Nehemiah mourned for some days. And fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
ii. How are we affected by the broken walls?
1. Do we care about the broken and devastated lives around us? People who are deceived by the enemy and believe a lie.
2. Those who don’t know what it is like to be set free from pain, addictions, heartache, un-forgiveness, sin and many other areas of brokenness.
3. Jesus came to make them free indeed, he gave his life for them, he cares about every thing they face…but do we?
iii. If it concerns Jesus it should concern us, if it breaks his heart, it should break ours.
c. He not only prayed and fasted but he did something.
i. Some say they care… but unless we are willing to do something, I am not so sure about how much we really care.
ii. Faith without works is dead.
iii. There are those who say I wish it was different and then there are those who make a difference. There are those who say they care and there are those who show they care.