Trusting God to Continue to Serve Him Togethers
Trusting God to Serve Him Together
Trusting God to Serve Him Together
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Sometimes, serving God and ministry is just plain hard work. All of us rejoice and revel in our times of corporate worship, but these times do not just happen. Throughout the week, varying amounts of prayer, careful considered planning, preparation and practice are required/essential for every hour or so of our time together. And in some cases the individually prepared components had to be further dovetailed and refined. To those who serve so well and faithfully, we say a heartfelt “Thank you.”
The same is true with breakfasts, coffee times and meals. Almost everyone would say that are important if not essential for church life, ministry, building community and outreach. The challenge is those who will lead and serve so that everything is not left for the few hands, often the same hands who will assume responsibility.
Behind the scenes, most good things in life face a similar challenge.
Good food, a clean house and clothes
How each of us came to faith in Christ
It was also that way when it came to rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. In Nehemiah’s record of rebuilding as it is found in chapters 3 and 4, Nehemiah recounted the rebuilding, the working together behind the scenes and the opposition that they faced as they rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem.
Working our way through Nehemiah’s record we will see a repeated pattern. That pattern is first seen in chapters 1, 2, 3 and the beginning of 4.
The repeated pattern is this:
By the time that we reach the end of chapter 6, that pattern will have been repeated 5 times.
By way of review:
Chapters 1 & 2 - Prayer and Commitment to Rebuild
Chapter 3 - Work - Rebuilding Began
Chapter 4:1-3 - Verbal Opposition
4:4, 5 - Prayer
4:6 - Rebuilding continues
4:7, 8 - Physical Opposition Threatened - Military Attack
4:9 - Prayer
4:9 - Posted a 24 hour guard for the builders
4:10-12 - Verbal Opposition from enemies and uncommitted countrymen
4:13, 14 - Guards strategically placed as the Guards and Builders were reminded to remember the Lord and pray
4:15-23 - Rebuilding continues - We ALL returned to the wall and EACH to his own work.
6:1-9 - Opposition outside of the wall
6:9 - Prayer
6:10-13 - Opposition from withing the wall and the temple
6:14 - Prayer
6:15, 16 - The walls are finished
6:17-19 - Postscript
In , we have a whole chapter devoted to naming specific individuals and the portion of the wall that they and their extended family rebuilt. We might be tempted to skip or speed read , but we are prudent to remember some truths/considerations of serving our Lord together.
Everyone and every place are important.
Names - Those named were part of extended families
3:1 -The first man named was Eliashib the High Priest, with his brothers the priests who built the Sheep Gates, its doors and consecrated it as far as the Tower of Hananel
Order is important - the names and gates built begin at the north central part of Jerusalem and from the proceed in a counter clockwise order.
Families units and connections are important - son of - vs 2, 3, 4 ...
In some cultures or parts of the world, ones identity was connected with family.
Locations are also important - where we live or are from - unnamed men of Jericho - v 2
In the case of LBCBC , our directory reminds us that we are brothers and sisters from Little Britain, Manilla, Lindsay, Woodville, Cambray, Cannington, Oakwood, Bethany and Cameron.
Service begins at home - opposite his own house - vs 10, 17, 23, 28, 29, 30
Sometimes the greatest needs are in front of us.
Drug and Alcohol Rehabs
Andrew Blackaby - “If we have problem s
Service is meant to be inclusive rather than exclusive - Gibeonites - v 7; Meronothite - v 7
All service is ministry and good - consecrated and a service to the Lord - vs 4, 5
Service, no matter what should not be seen as beneath any of us - teachers and all staff of Millar College of the Bible are expected to help in the kitchen and as needed clean toilets - even as all students are as well.
The most fruitful service flows freely from the heart and the rank and file, not only from a select few.
Nehemiah, the leader, is not mentioned but another Nehemiah is - v 16
Some of the builders came with a rich history of how the Lord had used their forefathers and foremothers in previous generations - Tekoa - 16 km south of Jerusalem - 3:5
The wise woman of Tekoa - - who took on the persona widow, who when asked by Joab, petitioned King David with the request of how to save her son in a dispute. This question was designed to motivate David to take steps to mend his relationship with his son Absalom.
God called Amos from Tekoa - - Amos served as prophet about the same times a Jonah, Hosea and Isaiah - about 790 to 750 BC - during the reigns of Uzziah (King of Judah) and Jeroboam II (King of Israel)
Men an women shared the work - equal opportunity - Shallum and his daughters - v 12
Some refused to help and they were noted - not by name but by position - they saw this kind of work as beneath them - 3:5
Sometimes God teaches us new skills.
perfumer/apothecary - v 8
goldsmiths and merchants - v 32
Gates and walls do not a city make - the same is true of a church
When God’s people work together they can accomplish what needs to be done - vs 1-32
The sum of the total of what we do together is much greater than the combining of what we do together.
Sadly, while most of the people were wholeheartedly rebuilding the wall, there were others for whom the wall being rebuilt was not good news. In fact, the news upset them.
4:1-3 provided a record for us of the men who were upset, very upset. Sanballat and Tobiah are referred to by name. And from the fact that it is mentioned that Sanballat made some accusations in the presence of his brothers and the army of Samaria, we can probably assume that Geshem although not named was there - 2:19.
Because of the flow of content between chapter 3 and 4, it is worth noting that chapter divisions were not in the original manuscripts and in earlier chapter divisions 4:1-3 was part of chapter 3.
Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall - 4:1
Heard underscores that not only did he refuse to become involved, but he had distanced himself that he had to rely on reports re the building.
True to form and his earlier unwarranted verbal attack - 2:19 - Sanballat made four more harsh uninformed attacks/statements. In Hebrew, these questions were all posed in such a way that the answer “no” was expected in answer to each question.
From the context of how the accusations were made, it would seem that Sanballat, Tobiah and whoever was part of the self appointed opposition was, approached the base of the wall and shouted their unfounded comments.
His mind was made up. With no firsthand knowledge, his comments were harsh, false and said much more about him than the building project and the builders.
angry - wroth (KJV) and greatly enraged
wroth/wrath - heated and upset to the point of shaking and upheaval = ready to erupt/explode - - great indignation - angry to the point of being sad rather than rejoicing in what the builders were able to do.