Summary: We must have the courage to move forward.

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Nehemiah 2:9-20

S: Courage

Th: Brave Hearts


?: What? What keeps us from moving forward?

KW: Barriers

TS: We will find in our study of Nehemiah 2:9-20, three barriers that keep us from moving forward.

The _____ barrier is that keeps us from moving forward is…

I. COMFORT (9-10)

II. CONTENT (11-18)


Version: ESV

RMBC 26 Jan 03 AM


ILL Notebook: Obstruction (skin in the way)

As part of combat training, a group of soldiers were made to crawl on their backs under barbed wire while rounds were being fired above them. The training instructor continually screamed at them to “get down!” Near the end of the exercise, the training instructor shouted to one soldier, “Why aren’t you crawling lower?”

“Because,” the trainee said, “my skin keeps getting in the way!”

Does stuff get in your way?

ILL Personal

In the Fall of 1980, there was a beautiful young lady that had recaptured my attention. I had been to visit her at college and we had gone to a Broadway show. As I prepared to leave on Sunday evening, I asked her once again to marry me, and she did answer me. . .with a “maybe.” You see this was real progress in our relationship (and also reinforces her weakness for Broadway).

Very late that night, I left to drive from Nyack, just north of New York City, to come back to western New York, where I was expected to be at work at 7:00 am in Leroy.

But at 5:00 AM, travelling through Mt. Morris, something got in my way. . .a policeman. He said I was driving erratically. As I told him my story and that I had been driving all night, he actually demonstrated sympathy for me and let me go. As a result, I did make it to work on time (and, by the way, I also got the girl!).


Two weeks ago, we began studying the book of Nehemiah, which are, in a sense, his diaries.

We see in Nehemiah a man of courage, who did not let stuff get in his way.

He was not deterred because (he)…

1. Nehemiah has a mission.

In chapter one, when his brother reported the condition of Jerusalem and its people, God used that news to break the heart of Nehemiah,

God spoke to his heart.

After spending months in prayer, God opened the door for Nehemiah to speak to the king.

This is significant, because it was the king, Artaxerxes, who was preventing Jerusalem from being rebuilt.

When Nehemiah speaks to the king, however, God uses this to pave the way for Nehemiah to be the man to make a difference in Jerusalem.

Artaxerxes grants Nehemiah’s requests to rebuild Jerusalem, but not only that…he agrees to finance it and provide protection for the trip.

As we finished our study last week, we come to the time to move on to Jerusalem.

It’s time to move.

This simple fact shows us that…


As we already noted though, sometimes stuff gets in our way.

Knowing this, we want to discover what are some things that keep us from moving forward?

What are the potential obstacles?


3. We will find in our study of Nehemiah 2:9-20, three barriers that keep us from moving forward.


I. The first barrier is that keeps us from moving forward is COMFORT (9-10).

Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah, the Ammonite servant, heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

It must have been quite the scene when Nehemiah came into Jerusalem.

It was probably a large and impressive entourage with a military escort.

It would have immediately been the talk of Jerusalem.

But for Nehemiah, this would have been a very long trip, likely to have been two months long.

And during this trip, you wonder if Nehemiah ever thought to himself, “I left home for this?”

You see…

1. When we move forward, we may wonder if leaving home was such a good idea.

Nehemiah has moved forward into the unknown.

And in the natural times of doubting, he may have wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?”

The long days spent with camels, lots of lonely wilderness, could be very depressing.

The initial excitement would wear off quickly.

And then when he arrived in Jerusalem, it was nothing like the home he had left.

He had left Susa, the most prominent and beautiful city of its time.

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