A Systematic Expository Study of the Word of God
COMMITMENT TO THE RESTORATION OF LOST GLORY
Nehemiah was a wise, intelligent, diligent and determined believer who laboured in prayer and building for the restoration of lost glory. Thus, to achieve his goal, he recognised the need to labour and partner with the wise, hardworking, faithful, courageous, noble, zealous, passionate, single-minded and purposeful people. We must watch the kind of company we keep. When we live and relate with champions and nobles, our thoughts, ideas and thinking will become noble. But those who enjoy walking with lazy, indolent, ignorant, unfaithful, careless, carefree and scorners who are resistant to Godís word cannot be committed to getting His work done.
Through commitment, Nehemiah and his brethren repaired the gates and built the walls of Jerusalem. There is still a gate for us to repair today. This gate refers to the church and the congregation of Godís people. The house of God is the gate of heaven, a place where believers are prepared for heaven. It is necessary for us to take a cue from Nehemiah and start building our gates today. In building the gates of salvation, repentance, righteousness and life eternal, we must learn from their cooperation, coordination and concentration until they finished the task. It is only people of praise, power and purity that can build for Godís glory. Nehemiah and his brethren repaired those gates and restored them to their original state, security, height, beauty and glory. They also fortified the walls. We need to rise and build our personal lives, faith, family, church and ministry the Lord has given us.
GOD-GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY DEMANDING THE SAINTíS CONSECRATION
Nehemiah 3:1-6,8,9,12; Jeremiah 45:5; John 3:30; Philippians 3:13; Nehemiah 2:20; 4:19-23.
Nehemiah had a great responsibility which he concentrated on. He divided Jerusalem into two for easy completion of the work. The people did not question his action because they believed he was led by God and did everything for their interest. Believers should avoid arguing on non-essentials and concentrate on the work the Lord has given them to do. There are seven lessons we need to learn from Nehemiah: (1) Devotion to the Lord. Nehemiah recognised that his devotion was to God, not to any man or himself. He knew his calling was from the Lord. Hence, he gave the work adequate concentration to get it done. We should be devoted to building the gate of ministry, righteousness and purity. Devotion to the Lord entails that we do everything to His glory. (2) Decision and directives by Leadership. The portion for each worker was assigned, recorded and supervised by Nehemiah and leaders delegated by him. Each section was built according to the same standard and specification to meet the expectation of a perfect piece. Nehemiah had the whole picture of the work in his mind. There is a global picture of Godís work. Leaders should help believers who are engaged in different sections to bring the work to global perfection and limit. We should give the leadership the liberty and freedom to give direction and take decision. (3) Division of Labour. The priests, Levites, rulers, merchants, tradesmen, families all took their share in this glorious work. Selfishness has made some believers to be too over-protective. They donít want anybody to interfere with their area of work in the ministry. This kind of attitude is detrimental to getting the task of the great commission done. We should be concerned about the eternal destiny of sinners and collectively carry the message of hope to them. Division of labour with the spirit of unity helped Nehemiah and his brethren to get the task done. Everyone was happy when the different sections were making progress in the work. There was no rivalry or dispute among people working in the different sections.
(4) Dedication to their Lot. Concentration is an important principle in Christian work. The greatest results were achieved because Godís people continued to expend all their energy towards the divinely assigned work. It is of greater consequence to do one thing well than to do many things indifferently. A man of one Book, one goal, one ministry and one pursuit will succeed. (5) Demonstration of Loyalty. No man is omnipresent. Although Nehemiah was not everywhere at the same time, through loyalty from the people they were able to face their enemies squarely. Through loyalty, they expressed their purpose to build the wall and they proceeded immediately to carry out the resolution to build the fallen capital to restore the lost glory. (6) Discernment by the Leadership. There was discernment on the part of the leadership to enlist those who had the mind to work. Although Nehemiah was new in town, he was able to recognize those with contrary spirit. We must have Nehemiahís kind of discernment so that we donít commit the work of God in the hands of people with contrary spirit. The labour of the hand is not acceptable when not accompanied with the circumcision of the heart. To take part in Godís work, our hearts must be circumcised. (7) Devotion of the Leader. As a leader, Nehemiah was dedicated and devoted to the work. He did not abdicate his office or responsibility: he was constantly available until the work was completed. He was an exemplary leader who laboured with the people.
GLORIOUS RESTORATION THROUGH SUSTAINED CONCENTRATION
Nehemiah 3:16-32; Judges 8:4; Acts 14:21,22; 26:19-22; Revelation 2:25,26.
Nehemiah and his people had a mind to work. And through sustained concentration, they were able to finish it. When the work of God is divided for us to be able to finish it within a specified period, we donít need to argue as sanctified people. Sanctified people are selfless: they do not engage in carnal comparison or judgmental spirit. Like Nehemiah and his people, we must make ourselves available and continue with the work of God until it is finished. This is not the time for relaxation and recess in doing Godís work. Leaving the work undone is dangerous. We must reject every form of tiredness, fearfulness, discouragement, disappointment, pressure, conflict, pain or pleasure and continue with the work. The Lord expects us to continue with His work till He comes.
GREAT REVELATION FOR OUR SOLEMN CONSIDERATION
Nehemiah 3:1; 13:4-9; Jude 1:3.
Christís warning that the first shall be last and the last shall be first calls for solemn consideration. The departure of Eliashib, the priest, from the faith and going into alliance with Tobiah towards the end of his life and ministry should be given a serious thought by every believer. He used his privilege as one having the oversight of the chamber of the house of God to make a place for the enemy in Godís house. As believers, we should be watchful so that we will not abandon Christ and His word, and team up with the anti-christs and false prophets in the latter part of our lives and ministry.
It is dangerous when believers compromise or shift ground to suit their selfish interest. We must not enlist people with contrary spirit into Godís work. We must uphold the same standard of teaching and preach the same message of salvation to sinners. We must ďearnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saintsĒ. And with unity, concentration, agreement and cooperation among us, we will be able to finish well and get rewarded both now and in eternity.
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