Summary: 'The Shout Heard ‘Round the World' - Nehemiah Chapters 11-12 - sermon by Gordon Curley. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). A Submissive Heart (11:1-2)

(2). A Working Heart (11:3-36).

(3). A Serving Heart (11:12-14).

(4). A Pure Heart (12:30).

(5). A Worshipful Heart (12:27, 31-42).

(6). A Joyful Heart (12:43).

(7). A Giving Heart (12:44-47).



• Last week I mentioned the pioneer missionary, William Carey,

• (17 August 1761 – 9 June 1834)

• He was a lifelong missionary to India,

• And set the pattern for modern missionary work.

• He has been called the “father of modern missions”.

• Before he was a missionary, he was a cobbler.

• He would keep a map of India before him in his shop,

• Every so often he would stop work to study it.

• He longed to go there and preach the good news of Jesus.

• He was doing so much preaching and teaching alongside his cobbling,

• That his trade started to dwindle, and his business was struggling.

• A friend felt he need to put Carey right,

• So, he rebuked him for neglecting his business.

• William Carey listened and replied with these words,

“Neglecting my business? My business is to extend the kingdom of God.

I only cobble shoes to pay expenses.”

• TRANSITION: That should be the mindset of every Christian.

• If you know Christ as your Saviour, then you are in the ministry now!

• Whatever else you do, you do it “to pay expenses.”

• This bunch of names in Nehemiah chapters 11-12,

• Were people who business was, “to extend the kingdom of God”

• And maybe that is why God records for us their names,

• Because everyone work for God is important!

Note: The big picture – 3 main themes:

• Theme #1: The names and places of those people who repopulated the city,

• Theme #2: The celebration that took place when they dedicated the wall,

• Theme #3: The thanksgiving that the people offered to God.

• Now with 83 verses to cover in these two chapters,

• I am just going to pull out some key ideas from those 83 verses,

• Ideas that have an application to our own situation today.

• The missionary, William Carey had a heart for India.

• These people had a heart for Jerusalem and the one true God.

• These verses show us the type of heart we need for the things of God.

(1). A Submissive Heart (11:1-2)

• Quote:

• “When God measures a man, he puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.”

• We are impressed by how much a person knows about God and the Bible,

• But God is impressed by how much a person obeys him!

• Because of our sinful nature,

• We find words like submission or obedience hard words for us to embrace,

• If we could, we would probably change the Lord’s Prayer to, “My will be done”

• But notice in these verses how submissive these people were.

• They had realised that God’s ways are best, if we choose to embrace them.

Now, Nehemiah had got the wall built:

• But there was a big problem,

• There were just not many people living in the city

• e.g. Chapter 7 verse 4 describes Jerusalem this way.

• “Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it,”

Now there were reasons why the people did not want to live within the walls of the city:

• FIRST: It was dangerous to live in the city,

• Living in the city was like painting a target on your back to a raiding army.

• Raiding armies would focus their energy on where the money was,

• Where the resources, the treasures are stored and where the people of influence lived.


• We see that even today with terrorists,

• They are more likely to focus their attention on a city like London,

• Then they are on the smaller towns around London.

• SECOND: It was financial suicide so living in Jerusalem.

• If you lived in Jerusalem you would have less land,

• Most people relied on agriculture to survive,

• So, land was necessary for your crops and livestock.

• If you had land outside of Jerusalem but lived in the city,

• Who would protect, cultivate your land and livestock?

• What if someone else laid claim to your family plot and you lost that land?

• It was financial suicide to limit yourself to the city.

• TRANSITION: so, living in Jerusalem put you a financial disadvantage,

• And it also jeopardized your personal security.

• Nehemiah knew that if the city was to be strong and prosperous commercially,

• And if the worship in the temple was to be sustained and thrive,

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