Summary: God is not only concerned with what is created, he is concerned with how we take care of what was created. Nehemiah began moving from the building project itself, to taking the necessary steps to insure that what was built (or created) would be protected and preserved.
When he arrived, Nehemiah inherited leadership over three distinct groups of returnees to the land:
• The returnees from 536-516 BCE, who lived and worked under Zerubbabel the governor, and were chastised by Haggai the prophet to get the work finished.
• The returnees from 458 BCE, who came to the land from Babylon with Ezra, the revivalist.
• The returnees that arrived in about 448 BCE with Nehemiah, the group most invested in following the leader of our story.
Add to that, each group of returnees found some Judeans who did not leave in the exile, as well as facing a number of men of other ethnicities that had no vested interested in seeing Jerusalem become strong and vital again
Theres a lot of good information right here in these verses, which lead up to a list of names that most people just gloss over. But they are there for a reason.
The walls were not rebuilt, no church is built or improvements made so the people can look at nice walls or nice, new gadgets or technology. The walls, and improvements in churches are done so that we can worship God with greater glory and greater freedom than ever before. Every victory in our life should take us to a deeper mindset of praise. The amount of praise that we bring forth to God should be in comparison to the amount of victory that we feel we have. Even when you feel like everything is a lost cause, you still should praise Him because you have victory.
Many folks who aren't all that gifted - they can't sing, they can't remember a bunch of Bible verses, they don't have a knack for teaching, and so forth - can still be used greatly of God if they are faithful and fear God. On the other hand, many terribly gifted people may always be frustrated in serving God, if they are not faithful and fearing God.
In verse 3, Nehemiah gave them a curfew and set guards in place. Just because you go to church, or just because you read your Bible, or just because you are saved, or just because you minister…that means nothing when it comes to being prepared for an attack. The walls won’t protect themselves, what you do won’t protect you unless you are on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." You not only have to protect yourself, you also have to watch out for others and help each other out.
In the Christian life, often a victory is won and later lost because there was no guard. An enemy may come in because we are not watching. Walls can be climbed if there is no one there to stop the enemy, but an enemy is easily turned back from a wall by a guard.
Remember when I said the names were there for a reason? It shows that we are to be mindful of every person, place, and things that God has placed in our lives. We are not to use people or lead them half way or only when we feel like it. We are to be stewards of that which God has given us until the very time that God says we are done. Not when we think we are done.
GOD IS NOT ONLY CONCERNED WITH WHAT IS CREATED, HE IS CONCERNED WITH HOW WE TAKE CARE OF WHAT WE ARE STEWARDS OVER.
Nehemiah is moving from the building project itself, to steps that will insure that what has been built will be protected and preserved.
One of the saddest things that has taken place in Christ's church in the last 100 years is the number of churches, colleges, seminaries, denominations, and publishing houses that at one time believed the Scriptures and faithfully proclaimed the truth that no longer do so. What is also sad, is the fact that God has placed people into our lives that we minister to for a moment and then cast them to the side as if they were yesterdays news. We fail to follow up with them and help protect them from satan. We often go half way with those who we have discipled, and then drop them and expect them to go the rest of the way without our help.
Its a tragic thing to listen to groups and individuals that used to be fundamental in their beliefs begin to deny key doctrines of the faith.
- Warren Wiersbe said - "Every Christian ministry is one short generation away from destruction, and God's people must be on guard."
A BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW OF STEWARDSHIP can be consciously defined as: "Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” Basically, managing everything God brings into the believer's life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity. It is pretty safe to say that Nehemiah was entrusted by God to be a steward over Jerusalem and the people. He had to manage the whole project of rebuilding the walls and take care of / watch over / settle disputes of many people for the sake of impacting eternity.