ASHFORD COMMUNITY CHURCH – Sunday 27 November 2022

NEHEMIAH

Introduction

Civil Engineer and Project Manager

Hero of Faith who worked on the frontline

His Vision – RISK – RESIST – REBUILD

Mission accomplished – Nehemiah 6:15 – walls completed in 52 days

Jewish History (all dates BC)

David established Jerusalem as capital of Kingdom of Israel (1004). He made Solomon king (967) who built the first Temple (960). Soon after the Kingdom divided into North (Israel) and South (Judah) and Jerusalem became capital of Judah (922).

Just over 200 years later, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, conquered Judah (597) and the Jews were exiled to Babylon for 70 years. He had the Temple destroyed in Jerusalem (586).

50 years later, the Babylonians themselves were defeated by Cyrus, king of Persia, who allowed some of the Jews to return to Jerusalem (538). They built the 2nd Temple. Later Ezra returned from exile to become High Priest in Jerusalem (457?)

At this time Nehemiah, a Jew, was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I at the capital city of Susa which lay 150 miles east of Tigris River in nowadays Iran (444). He thought things were going well in Jerusalem until he heard that the city walls were still in ruins.

Chapters 1-2: LESSON 1

  1. He was obedient to God’s calling to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem

Am I attentive and open to God’s prompting?

  • He prayed and fasted for guidance

Do I pray, and perhaps fast, in times of uncertainty?

  • He waited for the right opportunity to act

Am I impatient to get things done?

  • He took advantage of his privileged position

Do I use my skills and talents appropriately?

  • He was bold in his requests

Do I press for the best solution to a problem?

Chapters 3-6: LESSON 2    

  1. He formulated a plan for carrying out the work

 I rush into action without proper thought?

  • He gained the respect and confidence of the workers

Do others have confidence in me?

  • He persisted in the face of opposition

Do I give up if things get difficult?

  •  personally supervised and encouraged the volunteers

Do I support others personally?

  • He achieved completion by attention to detail

Do small details matter or will a rushed job do?

Chapters 8-9 and 13: LESSON 3

  1. He reinstated the reading of the Law of Moses

Do I spend enough time reading God’s word?

  • He required the people to repent of their sins before God

Do I regularly confess my mistakes and sinfulness?

  • He instituted a festival of joy and thanksgiving

Do I exhibit joyfulness and thankfulness for the good things

  • He ensured the Temple was kept pure and holy

Are my words and actions pure and holy?

  • He governed with justice and fairness

Am I fair and just in my decisions and actions?

  • He was a civil engineer

Am I civil (polite and obliging) in all I say and do?

Summary of Nehemiah

PRAY             PLAN             PERSEVERE           PRAISE