March 9, 2014 Sermon Notes
Nehemiah // The Joy in Perseverance
Nehemiah 6:1-16 & Nehemiah 7:4-6
Life is hard, but when we persevere there is great joy ahead. There is joy from finishing the work and joy from God being glorified. In spite of opposition, Nehemiah did not stop, give up, or run away. He trusted in God and kept fighting! Because of his completion of the work, the people of God returned to Jerusalem and God was made glorious once again in His city!
1. I Will Not Stop
– Neighboring enemies developed schemes to destroy Jerusalem again
– No matter the opposition, Nehemiah stayed laser focused on what God had asked him to do
– Nehemiah knew that if he stopped it would show weakness and possibly open up the door for the enemy
2. I Will Not Give Up
– Sanballat accused Nehemiah of preparing Jerusalem to revolt
– Sanballat accused Nehemiah of trying to become king
– Sanballat was trying to intimidate Nehemiah from rising in power
– Nehemiah rejects these accusations
– Nehemiah recognizes they were trying to scare and discourage them
– Nehemiah decides to turn to God and ask for His help!
3. I Will Not Run Away
– Never Trust a Man on House Arrest (joke)
– Another plot is formed by Shemaiah to distract and or kill Nehemiah
– Shemaiah tries to get Nehemiah to enter the temple
– Nehemiah discerns well and refuses to run away
– Nehemiah recognizes their scheme and acts in faith, not fear
The Joy in Perseverance
– Imagine the feeling of laying that last brick!
– Stress of physical labor for that long, 52 days
1. God is Feared
– When you realize your lack of power is when you become fearful
– ALL the surrounding nations were intimidated (contrast going from the intimidators to the intimidated)
– The surrounding neighbors ultimately saw that this work was beyond Nehemiah’s power.
– Surroundings nations looked beyond Nehemiah, and feared his God
2. God is Glorified
– God ultimately received the glory, not Nehemiah or his other appointed leaders
– Something happened here in Jerusalem that was simply beyond their means! They were in awe!
– Illustration: This is why so many paid attention to Jesus. He was doing things beyond the natural
3. His People Restored
– “The city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it”… this represents that the complete restoration had not taken place yet
– Verse 6, “Then my God put it into my mind to assemble”
– Verse 6, “Each of them returned to his own town…”
Nehemiah endured ridicule, shame, and threats in order to not just build walls, but to reclaim what was truly God’s. In a few hundred years, Jesus would come, walk through those gates and do the same.