Summary: Part 1/5 based upon Nehemiah and God’s work of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.
Satan is tearing things down in this world, but Jesus Christ is building things up. For
which one are you working?
God is looking for people who will make a difference in the difficult places of life! People
with vision who see possibilities, not problems! People with courage who will finish the
job! People with faith who believe that God can use them! Are you that kind of person?
Do you desire to be that type of person? Do you yearn to “go the extra mile” for God and
maybe, just maybe complete some of the tough tasks in life? I hope so!
Nehemiah was this kind of person. Nehemiah was the kind of person who cared. He
cared about the traditions of the past and the needs of the present. He cared about the
hopes for the future. He cared about his heritage, his ancestral city, and the glory of his
God. He was a layman called by God to give Jerusalem a new beginning. In spite of
opposition, Nehemiah stayed on the job and saw the holy city restored. The restoring of
the city was God’s desire! The restoring of this church to greatness is God’s desire! But
God is looking for men, God is looking for women and God is looking for young people
who are willing to do what they can with what they have and to see the task through to
completion. Are you ready? Are you anxious? Are you excited? Not excited about what
you or what I am going to do, but rather are you excited about watching and participating
in what God is going to do with this church? I hope so! I pray so! So let’s get started
Over the next five weeks we are going to spend an extended period of time learning
together about Nehemiah and the manner in which God directed him to rebuild the wall
around the holy city of Jerusalem. Today we are going to look at some of preparation
that Nehemiah did before even starting the task of rebuilding the wall. Then in upcoming
weeks we are going to see how the construction progressed and what types of people that
God used, what conflict and opposition both from outside and also from within that they
came up against, the diligence or “stick to-it-iveness” of the peoples and finally the
cleansing and celebration upon the completion of the job. I think that is going to be a
great time for each of us as individuals as well as in the life of this church as a body of
Christ. I hope that you will make it a point to be here each Sunday for the next five
weeks. I do have to warn you, however, that at the end of this time together, maybe, just
maybe you will be changed, I will be changed and this church will be stronger, healthier
and more vibrant.
How will you accomplish anything great for God? Let me ask that again, How will you
accomplish anything great for God? How will we accomplish anything great for
Nehemiah was attempting something great for God in the rebuilding of the wall around
Jerusalem. Now before we get too far into our teaching this morning, we should take a
quick look at just who Nehemiah was and where Nehemiah was so that we can better
understand just how big of a task this was.
Nehemiah, whose name means “The Lord has comforted” was a layman cupbearer to the
King Artexerxes, who was ruler over Persia or modern day Iran in the mid 400’s BC.
Now a cupbearer was much more than our modern day butler. It was a position of great
responsibility and privilege. At each meal he tested the king’s wine and tasted the king’s
food to make sure that it wasn’t poisoned. He was a “secret service agent’ of the time. A
person who stood that close to the king in public had to be well cultured, good looking,
knowledgeable in court procedures and able to converse with the king and advise him if
asked. Because the cupbearer had great access to the king, he had great influence and
power which cold be used for good or evil. It is also interesting to note that this was quite
a position for Nehemiah to hold since he was an “ex-patriot” or someone who was not
originally from that country. Nehemiah was from Judah and had been driven out of his
homeland by a succession of invading armies over the years.
But Nehemiah was in Susa because God had placed him there, just as he had placed Esther
there a generation before, just as He had put Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon.
When God wants to accomplish a work he always prepares his workers and puts them in