WHAT IS THE PASSAGE SAYING
I. Perseverance through Overt Opposition (6:1-9)
A.Nehemiah understood that the work he was called to do was so significant
that he had no time for petty distractions. v.3
B.The rumors offered a believable, alternative explanation as to why
Nehemiah and the returnees sought to rebuild the wall. The rumors had an
appearance of truth. v.6-7
C.Then he prayed that, rather than his hands dropping from the work, God
would strengthen them in the work. Prayer is a consistent emphasis in
Nehemiah. Nehemiah was constantly praying, but he did not only pray. He
prayed, and he took action. We want to cultivate a disposition of being
aware of God and turning to Him when in need, and we want to take action
where we can. v.9
II.Perseverance through Covert Opposition (6:10-14)
A.How did Nehemiah know that this prophet was not sent by God?
Nehemiah knew scripture. v.11
B.The prophet betrays Nehemiah because he values money more than God by
trying to lead Nehemiah astray. Make no mistake about it: People can be
led astray by money. Guard your heart. Do not be someone who will sell
what is most valuable because someone will give you money or a benefit
from their money. It is not worth it. v.13
C.Why did Nehemiah pray this way? Nehemiah wants mercy for those who
repent of sin and trust God and he wants justice for those who oppose God
and His purposes. He did not plan a counterattack against his enemies. v.
III.Perseverance through the Project with People (6:15-19)
A.Do not underestimate what you can accomplish if God has called you, if you
are serving Him, and if you persevere. Often things do not happen simply
because people do not start doing them and do not persevere in them.
Churches are great at starting programs and events but poor at persevering.
B.We want to be people who do things that can only be done because God is
helping us. We do not want to be people who do things that can be
explained away by ordinary human effort. We do not want the world to look
at what we have done and say, “anybody with financial means, market
savvy, and cultural sensitivity could pull that off. We do not want that. We
want people looking at our church, at our gospel efforts, and saying, Only
God could bring those people together. I knew of some of those people
before they got converted; only God could make them as loving as they are
now. We want people looking at us and being shocked that so many people
of such backgrounds and interest love one another the way we do. Only God
can do this. Only God can produce true conversion. Only God can convince
people that the Bible is true in the face of the lied and myths of the culture.
Only God can make sinners love one another.
IV.Perseverance after the Project with People (7:1-73)
WHAT IS THE PASSAGE TEACHING US
– Those who persevere to the end will be saved (Matt.10:22; 24:13)
HOW DOES THIS POINT US TO CHRIST
– Jesus is the rebuilder of everything that is broken.
• But who will reap the benefits of Jesus’ kingdom?
– Jesus also was opposed
– Jesus was also betrayed for money.
– But unlike Nehemiah, Jesus’ life was not just threatened, it was laid down for
WHAT CHANGES MONDAY
– We will not reach a day, this side of heaven, when we have done all there is to
– What work are you doing? Would you describe it as great work? If you are
doing what God has called you to do in the task of making disciples, you are not
doing things that the world thinks is of great significance— you are not even
doing something that can be measured like building walls— but God’s name is
at stake in your life now just as it was at stake in what Nehemiah was doing.
– Are there things that persistently distract you from what God has called
you to do?
– This is a great work: building up the body of Christ, until everyone attains to the
full stature of the image of the Lord Jesus Himself. That is what we are after
here, being conformed to the image of Christ.
– So if you are not a Christian, join us in this great work.
– For the Christian, persevere in this great work. Do not let the enemies distract
you from it. Do not let their alternative explanations of the world cause you to
back down from what God has called you to do. Let us persevere to the end
that we might be saved.