THE LIFE AND TIMES OF NEHEMIAH #3

A Man of Strength

INTRODUCTION

As we continue our study in Nehemiah, I want to remind you of two passages:

  1. Romans 15:4
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:11

 In our last lesson we noted that Nehemiah was successful as God’s servant because he:

  1. Had a burdened heart
  2. Had knees that will bend
  3. Had lips that will confess
  4. Had a submissive will
  5. Had feet that will go

In this lesson we will show Nehemiah’s strengthby noticing how he confronted his fear, his enemies, reproach, and opposition.This enabled him to survey the work and get the people “fired up” and ready to build the walls around Jerusalem.

DISCUSSION

NEHEMIAH CONFRONTED HIS FEAR

Nehemiah 2:2

  1. Nehemiah was afraid because he was about to make a very important request of the king – He wanted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls.
  2. Nehemiah did not let the fear he felt stop him from doing what needed to be done.

It is not always easy to do the right things, and one reason for this is fear

  1. Some are afraid of not being popular so they do things they know the Bible teaches against
  2. Many are afraid of being rejected or made fun of so they refuse to openly manifest their Christianity
  3. There are those who are afraid of losing a friendship so they do not correct a brother who is in sin
  4. The list could go on and on…

2 Timothy 1:7

  1. Fear” comes from deiliaand carries the idea of being a coward
  2. This kind of spirit is not given us of the Lord – we are not to be cowards
  3. How do we over comes this? … Note 1 John 4:18
  4. Illustration: Mother afraid of water – but will jump to save her drowning child
  5. Why? – Love. True love overpowers fear

To accomplish the work of God we must overcome fear as did Nehemiah

NEHEMIAH’S ENEMIES

As Nehemiah gets the okay from Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem to rebuild its walls – we see a destructive attitude developing in… Nehemiah 2:10

  1. Sanballat” would be the arch enemy to Nehemiah’s restoration efforts
  2. Sanballat, most likely the governor of Samaria, had a hatred for Israel and would use what he could to stop this restoration.
  3. Later (Ch. 4), Sanballat will use lies, mockery, deceit, cruelty, and even armed force to try to stop Nehemiah’s work

Today, we will also confront opposition

  1. Many will oppose walking in the “old paths” (Jer. 6:16), and push for change – the Change Agents
  2. Many are in great opposition to simply getting back to the Bible – and it alone
  3. Many bind where God has not bound

That’s why the Bible says we must fight:

  1. Jude 3
  2. 1 Timothy 6:12

Nehemiah was successful in his work for the Lord because he fought and stood for truth – as we will see as the book of Nehemiah unfolds

NEHEMIAH SURVEYS THE WORK

Nehemiah 2:11-16

  1. He appraised the damage
  2. This allowed Nehemiah to prepare a list of materials needed and workmanship needed in accomplishing this great work
  3. A wise builder plans his work– and such was the case with Nehemiah

We must be a prepared people as we do the work of the Lord and we do this through planning and looking to the future

  1. Proverbs 13:16there needs to be some planning, some knowledge in what we are doing
  2. 1 John 4:1…here we see investigation is important
  3. Luke 14:28-30…in doing the work of the Lord there must be appraisal, investigation, and planning

Nehemiah was successful in doing the work of the Lord because he planned his work

NEHEMIAH COUNTERED REPROACH

Nehemiah 2:17

  1. To be a “reproach” carries the idea of being a shame or a disgrace
  2. Nehemiah knew that as long as Jerusalem was in shambles – God’s people were a disgrace, and a shame to God
  3. Nehemiah would fight to resolve this shame by involving himself in the work of the Lord

Today we can be a reproach or a disgrace when we allow the church collectively – and we as individuals – to become broken down and “laid waste

  1. We are a disgrace when we do not live holy and godly lives before God and man
  2. The church is a disgrace when it does keep itself pure and unspotted from the world, and when it is weak in effort

Nehemiah countered this reproach by encouraging the people… Nehemiah 2:18

  1. They strengthened their hands for the good work” – that is, they embraced the good cause, took the good part, and set themselves to work heartily on the right side.
  2. This is what it will take for us today to remove reproach and shame… 1 Corinthians 15:58

OPPOSITION TO NEHEMIAH’S WORK

Nehemiah 2:19

  1. Sanballat and his cohorts set forth opposition to Nehemiah’s work for the Lord in three ways:
    • 1) “Laughed us to scorn,” i.e. they were ridiculed
    • 2) “Despised us” – from the Hebrew word buz– expressing contempt that proceeds from pride and wickedness
    • 3) “Will ye rebel against the king?” – charged them with rebellion, they were falsely accused
  2. Today, the Lord’s work can receive opposition through the same means:
    • When we stand for truth we can be ridiculed
    • When we stand for truth we can expect to be despised by those who would rather do as they please
    • We may even be falsely accused

But Nehemiah did not allow this opposition keep him from doing the work of the Lord

Notice Nehemiah’s Response to Opposition

Nehemiah 2:20

  1. Nehemiah responds:
    • God will be with us as we do His work
    • We will not be intimidated, you can’t stop us
    • You have no business interfering with the work of God

CONCLUSION

If we would be more like Nehemiah we would be amazed at the growth of the church and our individual growth

To have the strength of Nehemiah in doing the work of the Lord we must:

  1. Overcome fear
  2. Realize we will have opposition
  3. Prepare for and plan our efforts
  4. Remove shame
  5. Overcome opposition
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”
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About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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