Summary: Message 2 in our exposition of Nehemiah. This message explores Nehemiah's response to the bad news from Jerusalem.
Chico Alliance Church
"Solving Sticky Situations With steady Supplications"
You are a citizen of a tiny middle eastern nation.
You enjoyed the supernatural protection of God for many years.
You took that protection and relationship for granted and ignored the covenant you had made with Him.
In order to bring about obedience, God removed that supernatural protection and you found yourself at the mercy of selfish, destructive enemies who destroy your capital city and carry away the best of the people into captivity.
Over the years many of your fellow captive countrymen are pressed into service of the captors as servants, technicians, educators.
Even though you were born in a foreign land, your parents have passed on a love and longing for your homeland.
Even though you have never seen it, you long and pray to return someday.
As time goes on, the nation who took you captive is conquered by a much more friendly empire who allows many of your people to return to the ruined homeland to rebuild but your present responsibilities force you to remain.
What I have just described is the circumstance of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah records in his journal the events which evolved when God called him as the one to rebuild the walls and restore the worship in Jerusalem.
While faithfully serving Artaxerxes the Persian King, Nehemiah grills a grim little delegation from Jerusalem concerning the condition of the people and the city.
They report to Nehemiah that the people are in great distress and reproach and the city walls are destroyed and the gates are burned.
They are defenseless and subject to ridicule and pollution.
The whole book of Nehemiah records the steps of restoration directed by God and executed by Nehemiah to not only rebuild the walls and gates but to restore the worship in Jerusalem.
Chapter 1-7 Rebuilding the Walls
Chapter 8-13 Restoring the Worship
As we journey through Nehemiahs journal we hope to milk many nourishing principles that we can apply to the building of God's group of people here at Chico.
We want to concentrate on rebuilding our walls and restoring our worship.
Walls are to protect from predators and prevent pollution.
Spiritual walls are built and maintained by obedience to His word.
God's Word is a weapon against Satan and a watchman against sin.
When we violate the clear principles of Scripture that unveil God's universal spiritual laws of the universe, we hack a hole in the wall.
Breaches in our wall by disobedience admit and allow beachheads in our life on which the enemy establishes strongholds.
We hope to work together in repairing the breaches in our walls so that we can discover and develop a dynamic worship both individually and corporately.
Last week we observed Nehemiah's initial response to the news following his inquiry.
We learned that we must first recognize the need. Ask, inquire, be interested.
"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:2
Nehemiah also responded to the recognized needs.
It is one thing to know about the burdens, it is quite another to act upon it.
First Nehemiah demonstrates a pity for the plight of the people.
He weeps and mourns for the situation.
We observed the initial principle for a wall builder.
Any plan to build the body must begin with a passion to bear the burdens of the body.
No man will ever lighten a burden of which he himself has not felt the weight.
Nehemiah had that kind of passion for others. But his journey doesn't just stop with weeping.
This morning we will continue our observations on Nehemiah's journey from cup bearer to building foreman to governor to spiritual reviver.
What do we do when problems intrude unexpectedly into our life and into the lives of those we love?
What are we to do first?
Scream, cry, complain to others, worry, let your mind race over the possibilities.
If we take our cue from God's Prayer Pilgrim, the next step to solving sticky problems is to engage in steady supplication. PRAY!
I'm grateful that God saw fit to record some examples of prayers that work by some of His choice servants.
I. REBUILDING THE WALLS 1-7
A. Nehemiah Recognizes the need
B. Nehemiah Responds to the Need
1. By demonstrating pity for the plight of the people
2. By depending on prayer for solutions 4-11
a. Preparation to Appeal
1). Posture vs 4
"I sat down"
God is far more interested in the condition of our heart than the position of our body when we pray.