Nehemiah 2 Sermon

1,589 views

Published on

This is my Nehemiah 2 Sermon which was shared in B1G South Connect last November 17, 2012. This is part of our Nehemiah series. The title of this message is "Faith Translated in Action".

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,589
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
522
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
30
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • Hello and good evening everyone!Question, who is going to the B1G8? I hope you are as excited as I am. We only have around 5 days left! If you haven’t been able to register…then…itagkanalangnaminsapics! Ahehe.I want to do something different tonight and I want to ask three questions. I have prizes here and whoever knows the answer to the question can I raise there hand and I’ll call you to give the answer. Let’s do a bible trivia. Let’s see how knowledgeable are you about the bibleFirst Question…(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)(Next Slide)
  • Say it to the person sitting beside you – MahershalalhashbazSo at least you have a very complicated word that you take pride on. When you’re with you’re friends ask this question and impress them with the answer (joke)Much better than Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu a hill in New ZealandSecond Question(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)I know you guys might have an idea already who this is(Next Slide)
  • Yes, Goliath is the most famous person known to be the tallest person in the bible and I am considering this answerBecause actually, if we are going to know who the tallest person in the bible is – it’s not actually Goliath (who was around 9 feet and a half) but King OgKing Og was mention in Deuteronomy 3:11(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.)His iron bedstead was approximately 14-feet by 6-feet wide so King Og was at least 12-feet tall.(Give Joke)So if there is the tallest man in the bible, now I give you the third question(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)The shortest man actually is…(Next Slide)
  • (Show Knee)(Show distance of knee to the floor)Actually I have another joke if you guys want to hear itDo you? (Will depend on the reaction of the crowd)Who is the other shortest person in the bible? Peter. Why?He slept on his watch.(Hoping they would laugh)Ok, let’s go down and continue with our real lesson. Last week, our brother Francis gave us a good message resolving around Nehemiah Chapter 1.For tonight, we’ll continue on to Chapter 2(Next Slide)
  • And I’m entitling this message…(Read Slide)But before we continue, let me offer this to time to our maker(Pray)Just to put everything in the proper context again let’s try to put ourselves in the position of Nehemiah…First let go back to history during that time The King of Babylon, and all of Judah was taken into captivity (II Kings 24-25).The Babylonian’s got to Jerusalem and destroyed everything from the temple,the walls of the city,the fortress areas and anything of value.So you can imagine everything was rubble…destroyed…just concrete pieces…Plusthey marched back to Babylon with their captives and treasure.Captivity is a terrifying experience. People are captured, they are taken by force away from their homes and their land; they are then made slaves, and they are treated with disdain and abuse. That is what had happened to Israel.And then Persia upon conquering Babylon,allowed Israelites to return to the Promised LandSo you can imagine what it looked like(Next Slide)
  • ThenChapter 1 started with Nehemiah ask his brother Hanani – Bro, you’ve been to Judah how does it look?And you we’re answered:Its not good.The people are in misery. They’re suffering in every way you can imagine. The city is defenseless against its enemies - the wall is broken down and its gates are wide open.The condition of the city wall was also seen as an indication of the strength of the people’s gods – in this case, it’s our one and only Holy God (Capital G)The ruined condition of the wall of Jerusalem reflected badly on God’s name.So you can imaginenehemiah and put yourself in his position…For me, what could my house look like. How about my room? What would CCF look like?It will truly be a heart breaking sight to see that’s why Nehemiah broke down in prayer in Chapter 1 First he confessed their sins – he even included himself in it. Then remember your promise If we are unfaithful you will scatter us But if we return and obey, you will gatherLord, help me – bring me favor in the presence on this man (king – Nehemiah 1:11)and he ended Chapter 1 in this note(Next Slide)
  • After the prayer and lifting up his concerns to the lord he makes this stunning statement.At first I taught it was a position of low responsibility - expendableBut looking at history these position is only given to people the king can trustTremendous amount of trust needs to be in a cupbearer, who had to be a man of faithful and impressive character. 1. If the cupbearer could be turned against the king, assassination would be easy. 2. The cupbearer also was a servant to the king; he was responsible for choosing most of the foods and wines the king and the court would enjoy. 3. The cupbearer was also a trusted advisor to the king; since he was constantly in the king’s presence, and greatly trusted, and a man of character, it was natural the cupbearer would often be asked his opinion on different matters coming before the king.There is a reason why chapter 1 ended this way and because Nehemiah understood that He was put by God in this specific position for a reason.The cupbearer was a high official in the royal household, whose basic duty of choosing and tasting the wine to demonstrate that it was not poisoned, and of presenting it to the king, gave him frequent access to the king’s presence and made him potentially a man of influenceHe knows this was him – God has placed him there.
  • (Read slide)Immediately when read the first verse we must consider why a date or time was used to start the chapter...if we would look at the timeline(Next Slide)
  • Month of Nisan (Gregoria Calendar - Apr)Month of Kislev (Hebrew Calendar – Nov/Dec)It took 4 month of Actively waiting – Lord, show me the right time and not Lord, I’ll do this please bless meIt was not ok Lord I have prayed for it – let’s goHe understood that everything is still dependent on the Lord – even timeHow about you?1. Are you able to wait and trust the Lord for 4 months if we’re praying for something?2. Or do we want to sometimes take control of the situation and do something about it already?I hope we are following Nehemiah…He was during that time was really in constant prayer (actively waiting) awaiting for God to show him the proper time to talk to the kingAnd when that time came….(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)Now I had not been sad in his presence – why?The idea was that the king was such a wonderful person that merely being in his presence was supposed to make you forget all of your problems.Nehemiah was already taking the risk in being sad in the king’s court because servants were expected to keep their feelings to themselves and to display a cheerful disposition to the king Sadness shows disrespect to the king and the king could have easily sentenced death to NehemiahNehemiah must have wondered if the next words from the king would be, “Off with his head!”  So it was definitely a no-no to be sad in the King’s presence(Next Slide)
  • So I can’t be put in that position(Joke)So have to understand that Nehemiah was putting himself in a risky positionBut the king responded in a good way – showing God’s hand over the matter - Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” But he was not off the hook! He was still afraidBecause after the King spoke verse 2 follows - Then I was very much afraidNehemiah was also afraid because he knew that he was going to the king for something very important. There was a lot riding on what was going to happen in response to this question.And so he responded(Next Slide)
  • Nehemiah was really being careful and tacky here.First, he did not mention the city or the place. The city “Jerusalem” was known from history as a city rebellious against the Persians and resistant to their rule.Secondly he not did immediately ask the King what he wanted to request.Why? Because he was looking at getting the approval and compassion of the king. I believe, he was putting his hope on God what the King would understand and feel his sadness thus be the one to ask – How can he help?Because it’s different when you tell someone who he can help you versus something telling you he wants to help you.Nehemiah’s faith was truly grounded on God.Can you imagine if the king responded – “Ah ok, let’s just party and let everything be ok!”But no, he approached it with faith in his heart that God would work in the heart of the king and be the one to present his help to Nehemiah.In which, he actually did..The king replied…What would you request – that’s in verse 4. Nehemiah knew that four months of prayer were answered.And then what did Nehemiah do? This was very striking – He prayed again.(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)Nehemiah could have asked the King to be given time to think and pray about what he wanted to request.But he understood the urgency and that this was the opportunity he has already in front of him and he needs to take itIt was more – “Lord, still grant me favour and help me!”He was aware that the king understood where he is coming from but now he needs to ask his requestWe can see that Nehemiah was still very dependent on God. Even though God has already shown He is with him by the King’s first reaction that didn’t stop him to depend on him more.Because…(Next Slide)
  • If you’ll look at it in your situationDo you have that kind of relationship with God?In small or major decisions in your life, do you pray to ask for guidance?Before conducting meetings do you pray to ask God to help you?Before making a move and pursuing a girl, do you pray for it?Do you inject prayer in every aspect of your life?Nehemiah showed the perfect example of a man dependent in prayer. As he answered the king’s question – this was already the main big request because of his current responsibilityIf it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it – verse 5His was asking for a time off.And the king responded…(Next Slide)
  • It pleased the kingNehemiah’s sympathetic heart,months of prayer,great faith,wise responses, proper planning and most importantly God’s hand contributed to the King’s favour.And we can really see his planning because he was able to give a definite time. The four months in prayer were not only spent in talking to God, but also in listening to Him and in working out a Spirit-led plan for what to do when God did open the door.He did not only know the time he needs but also what he needs…(Next Slide)
  • (Read Verse)He took into consideration the letters needed to pass by safely(Next Slide)
  • (Read Letter)He knew what resources he needs to build the wallBeams for the gates of the fortress (location by the temple)Wall of the cityEven house for him to stay during the rebuildingAll the things he requestedTime away from his duty to rebuild the wallLetters to safe guard his way backRequest for timber for the workEven things not asked for - Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen (verse 9)Was all because of this…(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)Nehemiah acknowledged it was all because of God.He showed Humility.He did his part and God did his.It was not because he planned.It was not because he was wise in answering the king..It was not because he took the risk..All of those thing contributed but in the end it was all because of God – and he understood itI was all because of not only a God but because of a good God!How about us?Do we acknowledge the same?If something good happens to us do we claim that it is because of us or we understand that at the end of it, it is still because of the God(Next Slide)
  • 1. When we get a promotion – do we see that it is because of our work ethic alone or because God gave it to us?(Next Slide)
  • 2. When our ministry is going well – when our dgroup is growing do we say it is because I can teach well or because God’s hand was upon it?(Next Slide)
  • 3. Even if we just win a contest – do we see that it is because of our disciple and hard work alone or because God was still in control of it?Actually no matter if something good or bad happens – God is still goodBut we have to see it as Nehemiah saw it – He allowed this thing to happen and His name is to praise alone!As we go to verse 9(Next Slide)
  • Then I went…This is what made Nehemiah different. He was a man of action.He did not only prayed, had the burden/heart, had a vision of what he wanted to do (rebuild) and he did not only plan but he translated all of these things into action.He actually went and travelled the 800 miles from Persia to Jerusalem to do the work of rebuilding the walls and the people.At time I know we have the heart:I want that person to be savedThat lady is in need of help and poverty seems to be all aroundI hope someone will start creating a bible study group in the officeIt’s one thing to have the heart for it but it’s another thing to actually do something about it (Next Slide)
  • Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, these were two enemies of Jerusalem. They wanted to see the people of God week, unsecure, and not free from stress. Something is very important to note here. Opposition came when action was practice. 
  • So Nehemiah came to Jerusalem for three days“So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days” – verse 11But there was something he did..He did not tell anyone what he was going to do. Why? Good leaders know the proper timing. He was strategic but he practiced humility also.He did not need to tell anymore about what he was going to do even if though it was a lot!I like what Spurgeon said..(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)“You will often find it best not to commit your plans to others. If you want to serve God, go and do it, and then let other people find it out afterwards. You have no need to tell what you are going to do, and, I may add, there is no need for you retelling what you have done, for very, very frequently God withdraws himself when we boast of what is being done.” (Spurgeon).When we read of what he did after in verses 13 to 15I went through the valley gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung GateI examined the walls of JerusalemI moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s PoolI went up the valley – examining the wallFinally I returnedIt seems that Nehemiah set out from the west side of the city, and turned left towards the south, continuing counter-clockwise around the rubble of the city walls, until coming back to his starting point.What commitment! I believed he planned already where he will be going. This really shows how much effort he has put into this and everything was not in action and didn’t stop in planning onlyAnd still no one knew what he was doing – even those who were doing the work.Then he cascaded the vision…(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)Wisely Nehemiah approaches and ask for the support of their leaders to rebuild the wall byMaking them realize the situation and allowing them feel that there is a sense of urgencyTell them that I need your help – work with me. “Let us”And the reason why this needs to be done - it was about removing a condition of shame, fear, poverty, and insecurity among God’s people. The wall represented God’s name because this was affecting his people.He ends it with the heaviest of all on why we need to do this and this is possible…(Next Slide)
  • (Read slide)God really wants us to do this. He is with us on this. Come “let us” work together for this.Let us – the people scattered be united again for a purpose God was given us.A lot of outcomes could have happenedThey might have denied the need for the walls They might have seen the project as too much workThey might have seen the opposition as too strongBut how did they reply – “Let us start rebuilding” and they did. They worked and put it into action.
  • Again, opposition came when action was practice.Sanballat and Tobiah surfaced again. They had previously made their opinion known; now they will seek to do something about the progress Nehemiah is making.What type of opposition was it? Was it physical? Sanballat and Tobiah used scorn in their attack. They wanted Nehemiah to feel mocked, stupid, and foolish.Men who were not afraid of death (by physical opposition) can be easily manipulated because they did not want to be laughed at. This type of attack is very hard to deal with rather than physical oppositionThey were playing mind games. They even asked “are you rebelling against the king?”They didn’t not knew the king even blessed this work.But see how Nehemiah responded(Next Slide)
  • It was not because of meIt is because of Him!He paved the wayHe made things happenWe are merely partnering with him and you will have no portion on this.Nehemiah understood what God wanted him to do.(May Testimony – B1G7)That’s why is it very important to know and put your faith on what God wants you to doBecause opposition and discouragements will come.But if you understand it was God who brought you there and it was God who showed himself with you then..Scorn or discourage will not shake you – how can you be when God has shown himself strong to you.Plus he understood one concept..
  • Because at the end of it…it’s not about me.Nehemiah thought like this…I have risked my life for the rebuilding of the wall.If the king didn’t responded well and I’m sentenced to death – then that’s ok it’s not about me anyway.I’m willing to risk my life for his glory.Just like Paul in Philippines 1:21 (Show verse – read verse)During this time in doesn’t matter to Paul whether he dies or notMay He be exalted if he lives or while he is alive and even if I die may He be exaltedThen Nehemiah acknowledge God with everything that happened…The king gave me permission to take a leave.He gave me the letters, the timber, guards to accompany me.But this was not all because of what I have done or how I planned things but…It’s because of God’s good hand – verse 8People mocked me and discouraged me – but that doesn’t matterThis is his work as he acknowledge in verse 20 – “The God of heaven will give us success”So why be discouraged? It’s not about me but about himFriends, I hope we live like this. That we know and act that it is not about me in this worldNot about my successNot about my ministryNot about my myselfBut it’s all because of God and for him alone.Can you raise your right hand in the person to your right – It’s not about meCan you raise your left hand in the person to your right – It’s not about youIt’s about God!I know there are so many thing we can learn from this. If I would summarize it…(Next Slide)
  • There are just so many things to learn from Nehemiah and we are just in Chapter 2 alone. These are just some of his characteristics that we can seeHe was very prayerful (All the way through from Chapter 1 to 2)He was prepared and he took the time to actually plan things aheadHe was humble because he acknowledge God as source of the successHe was bold and courageous to approach the king and lay down his requestALL of these characteristics was shown in his ACTIONSBecause what is inside will always be seen in our actionsAs Luke 6:43-45 says(Next Slide)
  • (Read verse)What was inside Nehemiah was definitely good!He was prayerful because he understood the big task ahead and only God is able with his power to make it happenHe prepared and plan because understood his relationship with God. He knows it’s a partnership between him and the Lord as he diligently do his part – God will do hisHe was humble because he knows he cannot claim glory for himself. Only God is to be praise and glorified. He understood it was really God working and not himHe was bold and courageous enough to risk his life because he knows he can trust GodAll these are because of his faith on knowing intimately who God is…(Next Slide)
  • (Read Slide)For you to act properly you need to first establish what God wants and how he wants you to actsIf it is in his heart that we reach out to the lost then how are we now to act?Are not called to make disciples? Are we not called speak forth his word?Do you understand what is in God’s heart? Knowing he loves people so much, what are we doing to share and spread God’s love? Are we confident enough to say I act because I know God wants me to do?That’s why I have asked a lot of question if what Nehemiah did can be also been in your life.Because friends, we can learn a lot of Nehemiah, no doubt it. As leaders right now whether in your ministry, community, family, office or even as you lead yourself to get to know Christ better we can learn from Nehemiah’s example – and they are a lot!But what is always important is the knowledge translated into action. The faith translated into action.I hope you it is clear, that Nehemiah moved because he knew God intimately. How about you? How much do you know him?Let’s pray.
  • Nehemiah 2 Sermon

    1. 1. NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 2 Faith Translated into Action
    2. 2. …I was cupbearer to the king. (NEHEMIAH 1:11)
    3. 3. Nehemiah 2 (NASB) Nehemiah’s Prayer Answered 2 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” 6 Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. 9 Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel. Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls 11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and onto the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass.15 So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned.16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work. 17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”
    4. 4. And it came about in the month Nisan… (v1)
    5. 5. And it came about in the month Nisan… (Nehemiah 2:1) In the month of Kislev… (Nehemiah 1:1) Month of Kislev (November – December) Month of Nisan (April)
    6. 6. …I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. (v1)
    7. 7. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” (v3)
    8. 8. …So I prayed to the God of heaven. (v4)
    9. 9. Prayer should be our constant channel to show our dependence on God
    10. 10. …“How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. (v6)
    11. 11. And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah (v7)
    12. 12. and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. (v8)
    13. 13. and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. (v8)
    14. 14. When we get promoted?
    15. 15. When our ministry is successful?
    16. 16. When we win a contest?
    17. 17. Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters…(v9)
    18. 18. When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel. (v10)
    19. 19. And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. (v12)
    20. 20. “You will often find it best not to commit your plans to others. If you want to serve God, go and do it, and then let other people find it out afterwards. You have no need to tell what you are going to do, and, I may add, there is no need for you retelling what you have done, for very, very frequently God withdraws himself when we boast of what is being done.” – Spurgeon
    21. 21. Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” (v17)
    22. 22. I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work. (v18)
    23. 23. …“What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”(v19)
    24. 24. …“The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.” (v20)
    25. 25. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)
    26. 26. Prayerful ACTION Prepared Humble ACTION ACTION Bold ACTION Courageous
    27. 27. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:43-45, NASB)
    28. 28. Nehemiah’s actions is because of his faith - knowing intimately who God is
    29. 29. Discussion Questions 1. When God wants me to do something do I spend enough time praying about it, preparing for it and by faith do it? 2. Do I really know who God is that my actions reflect how God wants me to act? 3. Do I take the time to really be active in evangelism and share the gospel?
    30. 30. Assorted Ideas is a personal blog by Marc Assorted Ideas is a personal blog Sorongon which aims to share his thoughts about by Marc Sorongon which aims God loves God, his ministry (B1G South), how much to share other assorted ideas. This blog hopes you, andhis thoughts about God, his to encourage Christians in their walk with God God ministry (B1G South), how much and hopes to bring others in the knowledge of who lovesChrist is. Jesus you, and other assorted ideas. This blog hopes to encourage Christians in their walk with God and hopes to bring others in the knowledge of who Jesus Christ is.

    ×