Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

Nehemiah Survey

A MAN WITH A BURDEN

Jun 27, 1971 pm


THE RESTORATION BOOKS GIVE A MESSAGE OF REVIVAL AND A SECOND CHANCE; A NEW NATION

  • Israel had sinned away her freedom, had endured her captivity, now God offered a new start.
  • God worked through many - Dan, Eze (in land); Ezra, Neh (rebuilding); Hag, Zech, Mal (new hope).
  • But one - a lad, 20 years old, Nehemiah - had a great calling - did the impossible - asked nothing.

We need a fresh vision, new strength, and a new willingness to work for God - listen!

THE PROFILE OF A GREAT BURDEN - NEH 1:1-2:10

Nehemiah had a high position in the Gentile court - could have lived out his life in luxury

THE PROBLEM - 1:1-4 - ALL WAS GOING WELL UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ROCK THE BOAT - OPPORTUNITY

  • A Jew in King's court - captive, but secure, all he could want, but he wanted God!  God's Will.
  • News from Israel - v.2,3 news of ruins of Jerusalem did not bother his brothers, why him?
  • A burdened heart - v.4 - he wept, prayed, even fasted!  A real burden from secondhand information.

THE PRAYER - 1:4-11 - IT WAS NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER THAT PUT HIS NAME DOWN IN HISTORY AND GOD'S WORD

  • When burdened we need expression - tell the Lord - 4-6, we need to do more praying - power in it.
  • He confessed his sin - nation's sin - acknowledged penalty - v.7,8, and God's promises - v.8
  • He called upon God's mercy, His great empowering, and even to change heart of king - v.11.

THE RESPONSE - FROM 1:1 TO 2:1 WAS 4 MONTHS - HE PRAYED AND PRAYED - AND GOD GAVE VICTORY - 2:1-10

  • The king saw he was sad - v.2, Nehemiah took a chance, and the king noticed with compassion!
  • The king was prepared by the Lord - and willing to be helpful - v.6 - the queen? - Esther?
  • The king sent letters and soldiers - v.9 - giving Nehemiah authority to act - needed today!

Who in our church is burdened?  For what?  Start praying- your only claim to fortune in God!

THE SURVEY OF THE JOB - NEH 2:11-20

The greatest tasks call for great vision - for this it takes faith and faithfulness!

THE WAY TO SEE THE JOB IS TO WALK THE WALLS BY NIGHT - V.12,16, AND MAYBE THE AISLES OF THE CHURCH, TOO-

  • No one knew what he had in mind - v.12, so he took a few men and surveyed the problem - new look.
  • As he went around - could see walls broken, gates burned, rubble, had to go on foot it was so rough!
  • He went secretly - enemy would have ambushed; friends would have given advice of confusion.

THE PREPARATION INVOLVED ENCOURAGING THE PEOPLE, STRENGTHENING THEIR HANDS, AND LEADING TO ACTION

  • A challenge to all - 17, they could see the walls, but had no vision - first let us build up - no reproach.
  • They needed unity of mind - God and King - v.18 so they said let us rise up and build! And planned.
  • When I see one or two men and what they can do - what if all worked?  Communists with 5% rule a nation.

THERE IS ALWAYS OPPOSITION - V.19,20 - AND WE ALWAYS ACT LIKE THIS OUGHT NOT SO TO BE - AND QUIT!

  • V.10 - why would anyone be grieved because someone wanted to help the children of Israel?
  • They fought with laughter and false questions - v.19 and Satan has not changed his tricks today.
  • But Nehemiah answered in God- v.20 - and told them to mind their own business!

God has given us each a task - see it and do it cf Ch.3, even a man with only daughters - v.12

THE VICTORY THROUGH OPPOSITION - CH 4,5,6 & 13

This book shows us that faith in action will overcome opposition and lead to victory for God.

VICTORY COMES ONLY THROUGH GREAT TRAVAIL - WHETHER BATTLE IS AGAINST NATURE, ENEMIES, OR SELF!

  • Satan attacked by ridicule - 4:2,3 - and Nehemiah answered by prayer v.4 and people had a mind to work.
  • Then anger and threats - v.8, and Nehemiah prayed, and set out a watch - (watch and pray) v.9
  • Then infiltration and discouragement - 10-12 - So the people armed - 17 - and trusted 20, and v.23.

NEHEMIAH CONTINUALLY ENCOURAGED THE PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN IT MEANT A REBUKE - 5:-

  • Gossip 5:1 made Nehemiah angry  and he rebuked them - condemned their fear - v.9 and they went back to work.
  • He labored at great personal cost, not stopping - v.16 continually seeking the welfare of the city.
  • All he wanted was to be remembered by God for good - 5:19 & 13:14, 31 - what is this worth?

NEHEMIAH TOOK A NEW LOOK AT JERUSALEM WHEN HE RETURNED FROM PERSIA FOR A SECOND TIME - 13:6

  • He cast out Gentiles from temple - v.7, 8, - set things in order he had not seen before!
  • He closed the city on Sabbath - v.19,21 - set commerce in order and made merchants obey -
  • He cleaned the marriage problem - v.23-28 - pray that God will give us such leadership!

Nehemiah is one of two books to end in a prayer; we, too, need to copy this prayer for good!  31

IT CAN BE EXCITING TO STUDY THE BIBLE AND LIVE BY THE SAME FAITH TODAY!  TRY IT!

  • Do you dare make a change in your life - fresh start - new burden - vision?  Accept Christ!
  • Do you dare take a second look and clean up the Sabbath - your personal life?  Seek revival!
  • Will you pray with me as we walk the walls by night, seeking God's leadership?