Presentation on theme: "Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Prayer ה Compassion ו Sacrifice."— Presentation transcript:
Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Nehemiah God’s Plan for Renewal Prayer ה Compassion ו Sacrifice ה Leadership י Purity Nehemiah ( וה יה ) God’s ( וה יה ) Plan for RenewalNehemiah Chapter 6 & 7: Wisdom Wins Over Wickedness - God is Glorified
Do Our “Enemies” Ever Give Up? Describe a time in your life when you fought a “battle”, while pursung a dream, but your adversaries and your foes never gave up. When I say “pilgrims” or “puritans” what do you think of? Do you know who the “Brownists” or “Separatists” were? Can you describe their struggles, challenges, difficulties? Robert Browne Anglican Pries Separatist from the Church of England Under the 1559 Act of Uniformity, it was illegal not to attend official Church of England services, with a fine of one shilling ($27) for each missed Sunday and holy day. The penalties for conducting unofficial services included imprisonment and larger fines.
Deceivers: Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it (though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono." Neh 6:1-2 What’s going on here? Have the Kingons, Romulans and Borgs turned friendly all of a sudden?
A Discerning Nehemiah: He would not be tricked or distracted! But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?" But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner. Neh 6:3-4 How does Nehemiah respond to their requests?Why? What is discernment and how can we develop it?
God Gives Discernment (2) Discernment comes through spiritual maturity; Hebrews 5:12-14 says that discernment is something spiritual babies don't have (a baby will stick anything in his mouth). (1) If you want to see things as God sees them, get to know His Word. (3) Discernment can be given as a gift from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:10). Seek Him for it.
If Trickery Doesn’t Work, Lie & Threaten! Now what tactics do the enemies use? How does Nehemiah respond? Then Sanballat sent his servant to me as before, the fifth time, with an open letter in his hand. In it was written: It is reported among the nations, and Geshem says, that you and the Jews plan to rebel; therefore, according to these rumors, you are rebuilding the wall, that you may be their king. And you have also appointed prophets to proclaim concerning you at Jerusalem, saying, 'There is a king in Judah!' Now these matters will be reported to the king. So come, therefore, and let us consult together. Then I sent to him, saying, "No such things as you say are being done, but you invent them in your own heart." For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, "Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done." Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. Neh 6:5-9
The Enemy Uses Other “Believers” to Mislead Us Afterward I came to the house of Shemaiah… who was a secret informer; and he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you; indeed, at night they will come to kill you.“ Neh 6:10 Who was Shemaiah?A priest, a conspirator w/ Tobiah & Sanballat What is he trying to convince Nehemiah to do? Could Nehemiah have “hid” in the temple? How would that have made Nehemiah look in the eyes of the people? What might that have reflected about Nehemiah’s faith?
Again, Nehemiah turns to God! (When in doubt, seek God out!) And I said, "Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!" Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me. Neh 6:11-13 My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat, according to these their works, and the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who would have made me afraid. Neh 6:14 Why do you think these “prophets” were plotting against Nehemiah?
How are we influenced to stray from God’s path? How does Satan tempt us? Compromise Selfishness Fear Power Everyone’s doing it Popularity Wealth Avoid persecution Do you see similarities between how Satan tempted and attacked Nehemiah and how Satan tempted and attacked Jesus?
Completion of the Wall! So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God. Neh 6:15-16 How long had the walls been neglected? How long did it take Nehemiah and the Israelites, with God’s help, to finish the wall? Nearly 150 years The length of the wall was approximately 4.6 miles 52 days The average height was approximately 39 feet The average thickness of walls was approximately 8 feet The walls contained 34 watchtowers and 8 gates.
A Wall, a Leader, a People and a God! Why wasn't the job done in the more than 100 years before? It wasn't that no one saw the problem; it wasn't that walls were not wanted. Many people saw broken walls, knew how they impacted the lives of the people of Jerusalem, but no one got past the place of just wishing there were walls. Finally, there came a man who did more than wish Jerusalem had walls; he grieved, he ached, he prayed, he planned, he asked boldly, he went, he fought, he encouraged, he stood strong, he saw the job through to completion, and he gave God the glory. But he also had people around him with the same kind of heart. We have such small ideas of how God can use us. God used a man named Nehemiah to set right a 100-year-old problem in less and two months - and the same God sits on a throne in heaven and works through you today.
A “God-Sized” Work The things that God challenges us to do, things that He calls us to accomplish are things that require we trust Him … and are often things that would way too big for us to accomplish and would look somewhat ridiculous if God didn’t also play His role in making them happen. “Hey, everybody, lets walk around the walls of Jericho seven times and then … let’s blow our trumpets!” Gideon taking on the whole Army of Midean with only 300 men with torches covered up with clay jars. Naaman, the Syrian, cured of His leprosy by going and washing seven times in the dirty old Jordan river Simon Peter told to go catch a fish and find the temple tax for both himself and Jesus Young David taking on the giant Goliath with only a sling shot and a rock. Why does God call us to do and challenge us with “God-sized” work?
Experiencing God Was rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem in 52 days with an unskilled work force while simultaneously defending against enemies inside and out a “God-sized” work? Is building a new sanctuary for Holy Spirit Lutheran and impacting our neighborhood for Christ a “God-sized” work?
Lets Fully Experience God Through This Sanctuary Building