THE STORY… Nehemiah comes on the scene approximately 90 years after Zerubbabel brought the first group out of Babylon. During those years the temple had been rebuilt and worship re-established. Hostile forces were many, and the city and the temple were unprotected. Nehemiah’s commission from the Lord and from the king was to rebuild the walls. Building requires men of action who have vision and authority. The vision God gives must be completed, regardless of the cost, sacrifice, and opposition.
“Nehemiah” means “the comfort of God” or “the consolations of God.” It is taken from a word meaning “to breathe strongly” or “to console,” and is also taken from the word “Jah,” a shortened form of the Lord’s Name. Putting it all together, the name means “the consoling breath of the Spirit of God.” Nehemiah becomes a type of the Holy Spirit in His ministry as one who restores, rebuilds, revives, and protects. Men of action are men with a special anointing. Men of action know that there can be no winning without working and without warfare. Whenever saints say, “We will arise and build,” the enemy will say, “We will arise and oppose them.” The message shows that opposition to the work of God can be overcome. Men of action know this. The opposition to Nehemiah started with ridicule and mocking and ended with conspiracy.
Men of action do research, plan carefully, and communicate. Communication comes after the research and the survey of what needs to be done. When Nehemiah had all the facts, he called an assembly. He informed the people in Nehemiah 2:17, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision” (ESV). The people were informed of God’s hand upon him for this specific task. He was calling for full cooperation and unity. One of the greatest menaces to revival and rebuilding is refusing to cooperate with the vision God gave.
Men of action are able to inspire faith and confidence… The people said, “Let us arise and build.” Impossibilities now became possibilities. Nehemiah avoided anxiety and fear (especially fear of failure). He pointed the people away from fear to a willing and confident attitude. Sanballat and his friends then began to laugh and to ridicule and accuse. This is a predictable method of satanic opposition when a man of action says, “We will build; God will help us.”
Men of action assemble the people and begin the work. How do you get such a large group of people working on a project? This chapter is more than a list of saints who did the work. It shows that the Lord cares about people and remembers people by their names. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:13, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest” (KJV). Here in Nehemiah 3, each saint had their work to do. There was no jealousy of another’s assignment. The wall was divided into forty sections, and there was a group for each section with a delegated authority over it. The greatest phrase is seen in the words, “and next unto him.” This teaches that each person knew where they belonged and where they were to work. Nehemiah prevented chaos, confusion, and demoralization by cooperation, unity, teamwork, encouragement. Men and women of all walks of life came and worked as one unit. The list in this chapter teaches “volunteerism” at its best. Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” That’s the kind of harmony that brings success. In Nehemiah 3, the saints were declaring, “I’m part of this body. That’s my brother. That’s my sister. We are members one of another.” Nehemiah made the people feel that each one counted for something. He commended their efforts and gave them stature and recognition. Nehemiah also commended the women who worked (Nehemiah 3:12). 2 Corinthians 6:1 says that we are coworkers with God.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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