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The Work Continues

Nehemiah Series   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Work Continues

Nehemiah 4:6 KJV 1900
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
Nehemiah has had a burden chapter 1
Nehemiah has prayed for direction and action
Nehemiah has confronted the king - chapter 2
Nehemiah has move to Jerusalem - Chapter 2
Nehemiah has with stood criticism - Chapter 2 and 3
Nehemiah 2:19 KJV 1900
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
Nehemiah has organized a building program chapter 3
Nehemiah has with stood criticism
Nehemiah 4:1–2 KJV 1900
1 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
neh 4.
Nehemiah 4:3 KJV 1900
3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
neh 4.
It is unrelenting!
The opposition just does not give up ....
John 16:33 KJV 1900
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan

I The Progress

Nehemiah 4:6–7 KJV 1900
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
Nehemiah 4:6–8 KJV 1900
6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
neh 4.
vs 6 - the people had a heart to work.... 1/2 done ....
4:6. After praying, Nehemiah and the Jews continued with the work.
Some Christians pray and then wait for things to happen, but not Nehemiah!
As in all his efforts, he blended the divine perspective with the human. He faced Sanballat’s opposition with both prayer and hard work.
Once he committed the problem to the Lord, he trusted God to help them achieve their goal. And while praying and trusting, they rebuilt the wall to half its height.
At this juncture their task was half completed.
Sanballat and Tobiah’s efforts at demoralizing the Jews failed. The Jews rose above their enemies’ attempts at discouragement. Because the people worked so diligently and enthusiastically (with all their heart), they were able to complete half the job in a surprisingly short period of time.
Nehemiah wrote later (6:15) that the entire task was completed in 52 days (about eight weeks of 6 days each), so possibly this halfway point took about four weeks.[1]
The progress may not seem obvious to us but it was toward the enemies of God ....
Some Christians pray and then wait for things to happen, but not Nehemiah!
As in all his efforts, he blended the divine perspective with the human.
1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV 1900
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
He faced Sanballat’s opposition with both prayer and hard work. Once he committed the problem to the Lord, he trusted God to help them achieve their goal.
And while praying and trusting, they rebuilt the wall to half its height. At this juncture their task was half completed. Sanballat and Tobiah’s efforts at demoralizing the Jews failed.
vs 8 Now the enemies will go from ridicule to fighting and war!
The Jews rose above their enemies’ attempts at discouragement. Because the people worked so diligently and enthusiastically (with all their heart), they were able to complete half the job in a surprisingly short period of time. Nehemiah wrote later (6:15) that the entire task was completed in 52 days (about eight weeks of 6 days each), so possibly this halfway point took about four weeks.[1]
College - finish keep pushing
So they decided to take more overt and corporate action.
Joining Sanballat and the Samaritans from the north, Tobiah and the Ammonites from the east, Geshem (cf. 2:19) and the Arabs from the south, were men from Ashdod, a Philistine city, from the west. They all plotted together to attack Jerusalem, apparently from all sides[1]

II The Prayer

Nehemiah 4:9 KJV 1900
9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
neh 4.9
They just kept going
We are not stopping....
Just kept pushing on .....
College - finish keep pushing
They also set up watch
They set up a round the clock guard.....,
Watch and pray
Matthew 26:39–41 KJV 1900
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:39 KJV 1900
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
“Watch and pray.” The word translated “watch” means “to have the alertness of a guard at night.” A night watchman must be even more vigilant than a daytime guard. In the daytime, danger can often be spotted from a distance. But in the night everything is different.
A night watchman must use senses other than sight to detect danger. He is often alone in the darkness and without the defenses he would otherwise employ. There may be no indications of enemy attack until it happens, so he must be hyper-vigilant, suspecting it at any moment. That is the type of watching Jesus spoke about.

III The Problem

Nehemiah 4:10–16 KJV 1900
10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you. 13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. 16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
Nehemiah 4:10–12 KJV 1900
10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12 And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

However, the problem was not automatically solved. In fact the builders faced some new problems. They were physically and psychologically exhausted and the work seemed endless (v. 10). Furthermore they faced the threat of a secret attack (v. 11) which Nehemiah knew was not idle talk (v. 12).

vs 10 - However, the problem was not automatically solved.
In fact the builders faced some new problems.
They were physically and psychologically exhausted and the work seemed endless (v. 10).
Half way done .....
They will drop their weapon and run when they see us coming.....
The strength of the burden bearer is drooping.
The rubbish heap so vast; And we are unable by ourselves To rebuild the wall.[1]
Furthermore they faced the threat of a secret attack (v. 11) which Nehemiah knew was not idle talk (v.12
Furthermore they faced the threat of a secret attack (v. 11) which Nehemiah knew was not idle talk (v.12
We are surrounded
Furthermore they faced the threat of a secret attack (v. 11) which Nehemiah knew was not idle talk (v. 12).[1]
neh 4.10-

IV The Plan

Nehemiah 4:13–16 KJV 1900
13 Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. 16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
vs 13 Nehemiah established a new strategy to meet the threat of enemy infiltration. He positioned some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall with swords, spears, and bows.
This must have been a difficult decision for Nehemiah. To place whole families together—including women and children—put tremendous pressure on fathers particularly. In case of outright attack, they would have no choice but to stay and fight for and with their family members.
But Nehemiah knew it was the only decision he could make if they were to survive and succeed in rebuilding the walls.
vs 14 - Obviously fear gripped these people. So Nehemiah gathered them together and charged them to face the situation courageously (don’t be afraid) and to remember the great and awesome Lord (cf. 1:5) who was on their side, and to fight to save their families. When their enemies heard that their plot had been discovered, they did not attack and the people resumed their construction work.[1]
vs 15 - the work kept on going and was successful ....
read vs 16 ------
What will it take for you to quit?
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