01 January 11, 2015, Nehemiah 1-4, Hitting The Wall
“HITTING THE WALL”
January 11, 2015
First Baptist Church
January Memory Verse:
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that
God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
“Hitting The Wall”
• Endurance sports -
A condition caused by depletion of glycogen (blood sugar) stores in the
liver and muscles which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of
• In the race of life, we often call it “Burnout”
• Nehemiah leads the Jews to “build the walls” after “Hitting The Wall”
Hitting The Wall & Burnout
• How To Beat Burnout, Minirth, F., Meir, P., et al, Moody Press, 1986.
• The Nehemiah Factor, Page, Frank, New Hope Publishers, 2008.
• The Lord Is My Shepherd, Morgan, Robert J, Howard Books, 2013.
Introduction to Nehemiah
• Once titled “Second Ezra”
– LXX and Latin Vulgate
• Titled “Nehemiah” in English Bibles
• Probably written by Ezra or a scribe
– Also Chronicles and Ezra
• Many sections written in first person utilizing Nehemiah’s personal diaries
• Nehemiah means “Jehovah comforts”
Historical Events of Nehemiah
• Cyrus (Persia) proclamation of 538 B.C.
• Zerubbabel leads the 1st group back to Jerusalem in 538 B.C. (50,000-
• The Temple is rebuilt for worship & sacrifices by 516 B.C.
• Ezra leads a 2nd group back in 458 B.C. (7,000-8,000) (4 months journey)
• Nehemiah leads a 3rd group in 445 B.C.
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth
year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from
Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant
that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province
are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its
gates have been burned with fire."
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and
fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
11 O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant,
and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your
servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."
For I was the king's cupbearer.
– Position of responsibility and trustworthiness
– Tested food and wine of king
– Man of great organizational and leadership skills
Nehemiah 2 Summary
• Artaxerxes notices Nehemiah’s countenance:
… “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be
nothing but sadness of heart.” …
• Nehemiah asks from the king:
– Permission – leave of absence
– Provision – timber
– Protection – army and cavalry
• Nehemiah secretly inspects Jerusalem’s walls
17 Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in
ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the
wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." 18 I also told them
about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to
They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.
Nehemiah 3 Summary
• The 10 gates are rebuilt beginning with the Sheep Gate (NE corner) and
– Each gate has significance
• The houses of the priests inside the city along the eastern wall were
• The walls were being rebuilt slowly
Nehemiah 4 Summary
• Sanballat (Samaritan leader) and Tobiah (Ammonite leader) taunt and
threaten Nehemiah and Jews
– Ammonites are descendants of Lot & his daughter
Nehemiah 4: 9
9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, "The strength of the laborers is
giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall."
11 Also our enemies said, "Before they know it or see us, we will be right
there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work."
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over,
"Wherever you turn, they will attack us."
“Hitting The Wall” Symptoms In Nehemiah 4
• Fatigue – “… strength of laborers is giving out ...
• Frustration – … there is so much rubble …
• Failure – … we cannot rebuild the wall.”
– (Can’t never could do nothing!)
• Fear – “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
– Fight or Flight?
Ref: How To Beat Burnout
• Burnout is a state of mental, physical and spiritual exhaustion brought on
by continued stress.
• Burnout leaves one with:
– Loss of enthusiasm
– Loss of energy
– Loss of idealism
– Loss of perspective
– Loss of purpose
HOW MUCH CHANGE HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED IN THE PAST YEAR?
• Medical studies show that if too much stress points accumulate during any
one year, there is great likelihood of developing significant physical and
• The Stress of Adjusting To Changes
– The Holmes-Rahe Stress Test
The Holmes-Rahe Stress Test Top 10 Stressors in Life
Events Scales of Impact
• Death of spouse
• Marital Separation
• Jail Term
• Death of family member
• Personal injury or illness
• Fired at work
• Marital reconciliation
The Holmes-Rahe Stress Test Stressors 11 – 20
Events Scales of Impact
• Change in health
• Sex Difficulties
• Gain of new family member
• Business readjustment
• Change in financial state
• Death of close friend
• Change in jobs
• Arguments with spouse
• Foreclosure on mortgage/loan
Stressors for Jews in Nehemiah
• Enemies knocking on gate continually
– Holes in the city walls
• Living a different lifestyle
• Listening to stories about the “Good Old Days”
• Hard work and manual labor
• Living under foreign rule
Leadership & Solutions
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at
the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and
bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials
and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is
great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters,
your wives and your homes."
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had
frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were
equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves
behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried
materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and
each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who
sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "The work is
extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along
the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God
will fight for us!"
21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light
of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Have
every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as
guards by night and as workers by day." 23 Neither I nor my brothers nor my men
nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when
he went for water.
Treatment for Burnout or “Hitting The Wall”
1. Rest – Relax – Sleep
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he
grants sleep to those he loves.
15 "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your
2. Restructure Life – Keep Priorities Straight
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will
be given to you as well.
14 … fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and
3. Remember The Lord –
14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials
and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord,
who is great and awesome,
Nehemiah 4: 20
20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will
fight for us!"
4. Resist Discouragement-
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God
had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I
have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do
all this through him who gives me strength.
SUMMARY How To Beat Burnout
1. Rest – Relax – Sleep
2. Restructure life – Keep priorities straight
3. Remember the Lord – (Scripture)
4. Resist discouragement (Satan’s weapon)
Psalm 23 (NKJV)
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Remember The Lord …
The Plan of Hope & Salvation
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23a NKJV
23a For the wages of sin is death,
Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.
Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to
pay the penalty for our sins.
The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in
Revelation 21:8 NKJV
8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral,
sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with
fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Romans 6:23b NKJV
23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 5:8 NKJV
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Revelation 21:7 NKJV
7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be
Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior.
Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that
God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one
believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto
Romans 10:13 NKJV
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
If you have questions or would like to know more, Please, contact First Baptist
Church Jackson at 601-979-1900 or http://firstbaptistjackson.org/contact/