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Summary: We must have courage to meet the need.

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WHEN OPPORTUNITY STRIKES

Nehemiah 2:1-8

S: Courage

Th: Brave Hearts

Pr: WE MUST HAVE COURAGE TO MEET THE NEED.

?: How?

KW: Ways

TS: We will find in our study of Nehemiah 2:1-8 five ways that Nehemiah is readied for the task that is on his heart.

The _____ way Nehemiah is readied is…

I. PREPARATION

II. POSITION

III. PRAYER

IV. PLANNING

V. PROVIDENCE

Version: ESV

RMBC 19 Jan 03 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Notebook: Fear (Clarence)

There were two old geezers living in the backwoods of the Ozarks: Rufus and Clarence.

They lived on opposite sides of the river and they hated each other. Every morning, just after sunup, Rufus and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other.

"Rufus!" Clarence would shout, "You better thank your lucky stars that I can’t swim, er I’d swim this river and whup you!"

"Clarence!" Rufus would holler back, "You better thank YOUR lucky stars that I can’t swim, er I’d swim this river and whup YOU!"

Every morning. Every day. For 20 years.

One day the Army Corps of Engineers came along and built a bridge. But the insults went on every morning. Every day. Another five years.

Finally, Mr. Rufus’ wife had had enough. "Rufus!" she squallered one day, "I can’t take no more! Every day for 25 years you’ve been threatenin’ to whup Clarence. Well, thar’s the bridge! Have at it!"

Rufus thought for a moment. Chewed his bottom lip for another moment.

"Woman!" he declared, snapping his suspenders into place. "I’m gonna whup Clarence!"

He walked out the door, down to the river, along the river bank, came to the bridge, stepped up onto the bridge, walked about halfway over the bridge, then turned tail and ran screaming back to the house, slammed the door, bolted the windows, grabbed the shotgun and dove under the bed.

"Rufus!" cried the missus. "I thought you was gonna whup Clarence!"

"I was, woman, I was!" he whispered.

"What in tarnation is the matter?"

"Well," whispered the terror-stricken Rufus, "I walked halfway over the bridge and saw a sign that said, “’Clearance, 13 feet, 6 inches.’ He ain’t never looked that big from the other side of the river!"

Well…

1. Have you ever hesitated at an opportunity?

Something ever cause you to pause because it was a whole lot bigger than you thought it was?

This happened to Nehemiah.

When we began the story of Nehemiah last week, we saw that…

2. Nehemiah has become aware of a problem that needs fixing.

As we learned last week, Nehemiah lived in Persia’s capital city, Susa, the most powerful place in the world at that time.

And through his brother, Hanani, he receives bad news.

Once again, Jerusalem’s walls have been flattened and the gates have been burned.

Morale is low, for the residence of God, the temple in Jerusalem, is unprotected and in danger.

Nehemiah sees the need, but it is obvious that what needs to be done is unclear.

So, as we observed last week…

3. Nehemiah has turned to God for help.

Nehemiah has seen the need.

He has felt the need.

It is on his heart.

Now, he shares the need with God.

He prays for God’s help.

He doesn’t know what to do.

Can he, Nehemiah, meet the need?

As we come to today’s text, we see that there is a role for Nehemiah to fill.

So…

4. We will find in our study of Nehemiah 2:1-8 five ways that Nehemiah is readied for the task that is on his heart.

[1] In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. [2] And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. [3] I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” [4] Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. [5] And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” [6] And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. [7] And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, [8] and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

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