Summary: Knowing and Understanding the Provision of God - sermon 2 in Under Construction series
When God Provides, Do His Will
As we learned last week, Nehemiah was a man who was burdened for the loss of the city of Jerusalem. He was burdened to the point of giving his burden to the Lord through prayer and supplication. Through his mourning, weeping, fasting, and prayer, he totally relied on God to give him direction in his life and in the life of the city of Jerusalem. This morning, we advance to chapter 2 and look at the plan that God showed to Nehemiah. Remember, Nehemiah had a concern, he put action to his concern, and he prayed to God. For a vision to be birthed in a life or a church, prayer must be the key to the beginning of a God-given vision. Notice in today’s scripture how God truly birthed a Plan and how it fell into place.
I. When God Provides, FEAR NOT!
• Nehemiah appeared before the King with a saddened face.
o He was burdened with the problems of his homeland.
o This was a breach in the common way of life – If a servant or person appeared unhappy before the king, it could cost him/her their life. In this case, Nehemiah was saved due to his loyalty to the king.
• Nehemiah expressed his sadness to the King.
o He told the king of his sadness of Jerusalem – but notice, that he didn’t mention the name of the city. He knew that Artaxerxes was one of the ones who led the destruction.
o The king recognized that Nehemiah was doing more than “Venting” to him- so he listened and allowed Nehemiah to advance in their conversation.
• Nehemiah told the king that he prayed to the God of Heaven.
o Nehemiah knew that if he talked to the King of Heaven, that he could easily talk to the king of Persia.
II. When God Provides, PRESENT THE PLAN!
• Nehemiah approached the king with respect and began the request
o Send me unto Judah so that I may rebuild it!
o The king further inquired, with the Queen next to him, “How long”
Nehemiah set the time, it pleased the King and he approved.
• Nehemiah realized that he would need resources.
o He asked for letters to officials in the lands he would be traveling for safety
o He asked for timber to rebuild the gates of the citadel of the temple, the wall for the city, and the residence he would occupy. The King agreed
• Nehemiah realized that God’s hand was upon him.
o None other than God could have changed the heart of a Pagan King!
o When is the last time that you truly realized that God’s hand was upon you?
Guiding you each step of the way
o When is the last time that as a church we realized that God’s hand was upon us?
Leading us and guiding us and blessing us?
III. When God Provides, THERE WILL BE OPPOSITION!
• Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite
o Sanballat was the governor of Samaria, had a great deal of opposition to the Jews
o Tobia, served under Sanballat.
o They were “Grieved” because someone was concerned about the welfare of Israel.
o They considered Nehemiah as a threat to their power.
• Within our lives and the life of this church, when God starts to work, Satan will always throw opposition into the mix.
o The key is to press on to what God wants in our life and in our church. We can only do that when we are in touch with Him!
o Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
IV. When God Provides, EXECUTE THE PLAN and SHOW THE PEOPLE
• Nehemiah continued on and he and his men traveled the 1100 miles and secretly looked at the city and noticed how bad the situation really was.
o At this point, he had not revealed exactly what God had put into his heart.
o He did not realize how bad it really was – but he was prepared.
• Nehemiah revealed his plan to some of the citizens of Jerusalem.
o “Let us build up the wall of Jerusalem”
o “The hand of God is upon us”
o “Let us rise up and build” – “They strengthened their hands for this good work.”
• Nehemiah pressed on even through the opposition of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab.