Summary: Nehemiah raises the hope of Israel; Keep building your wall even as Satan may tempt you.
“Rebuilding Your Wall”
Nehemiah 1:1-4 (NIV)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: in the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
Here in the beginning of this book, we find Nehemiah, coming unto the men of Judah, asking them, “What has happened to my people, the Jews who escaped from exile?”
Back in the book of Ezra, we find that King Cyrus ended the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. They then returned to their home of Jerusalem with great jubilation.
But apparently their jubilation was turned to pain. Nehemiah was answered with the fact that Jerusalem’s walls were broken down and burned. Also the people were in great affliction.
Upon hearing this, Nehemiah wept and prayed. His people, the Jews, had lost hope. Their wall was knocked down. They lost their protection against their enemies. They lost that secure feeling they had that they would not be able to be hurt.
They were insecure. They were on edge. And because of this, they are now in great affliction.
Many of us have felt like the Jews here in this situation.
Many of us have lost our hope because our wall has been knocked down.
Our hearts have been invaded by the enemy.
That thing that gave us security and protection in life was now gone.
You don’t know what to do, you don’t know who to go to.
And you fall into affliction.
Nehemiah 2:15-17 (NIV)
15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate.
16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
17 Then I said to them: ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.’
GIVE US BACK OUR DIGNITY!!! LET US HAVE OUR HOPE BACK!!!!!
We read of Nehemiah’s determination to rebuild the wall and return the hope back to the Jewish people.
You too, must also be determined to rebuild that wall of security.
But he knew, as we do too, that he could not do this without God’s help.
We can’t rebuild that wall.
We can’t rebuild our hope.
We can’t rebuild our faith.
Without the help and constant guidance of God.
Constantly, Nehemiah says, “And I prayed to God.”, “And the LORD listened.” “And I prayed.” “And I asked for guidance.”
Nehemiah was in constant prayer for his people.
As we need to be.
But, believe it or not, I’m just getting started. This isn’t even the Scripture I want to get to.
Turn with me to Nehemiah 6.
1 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it – though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates --
2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: ‘Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.’ But they were scheming to harm me;
3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’
4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
Now, Nehemiah and all of Jerusalem had already started rebuilding their wall.
Their hope and faith was returning.
Finally, someone had come along to bring back that feeling of security by bringing back their wall.
And Nehemiah was doing a good work.
Then we see that Nehemiah’s enemies hear that Jerusalem’s wall is being rebuilt.
They know that the hope and faith of the Jews is returning.
And they are threatened by that.
So they sent to Nehemiah, saying, “Come and meet with us.”
They wished to get Nehemiah by himself to harm him.