Nehemiah lesson 3
Look boldly into the text. What jumps out at you?
Good leadership represents a balance between healthy human initiative enveloped by a healthy dose of realization of God’s sovereignty: Prov. 21:1.
Is America the modern day broken Jerusalem?
overall the western church has shriveled and shrunk; it has ceased to count as a community force; the faith of which God made it a trustee is largely unknown to the man on the street, and when known, it is largely ignored; and the godliness that the church set forth as true humanness is rated in popular culture as a comic, old fashioned oddity. The church appears to be a ruined city, like Sarajevo or Beirut after the fighting, and like Jerusalem as Nehemiah found it.
Note the compulsion to accomplish a worthy goal: See I Cor. 9:16
How few the strong men in these days who can weep at the evils and abominations of the times ! How rare those are , who seeing the desolations of Zion, are sufficiently interested and concerned for the welfare of the church to mourn! Mourning and weeping over the decay of religion , the decline of revival power, and the fearful inroads of worldliness in the church are almost an unknown quantity. ..Nehemiah was a mourner in Zion.
The Problem with Decay… Just ask my dentist !
What’s missing in Jerusalem?
Over the 130 years that Jerusalem had laid in ruins, the people of God had become reconciled to their sorry state of affairs.
The word for disgrace in OT(herpah)= abuse, scorn, or disgrace and appears 70x in OT; here in 1:3;4:4;5:9
What’s needed was an outsider to see what those living in the difficulty cannot see.
What’s needed is authentic faith, hope, and actions of integrity.
TRUTHS TO PONDER
What do you make of his examination by night?
Why stealth? What might be gained from this?
The need to understand the goals, and the ability to articulate them through doable objectives: In Nehemiah’s case, the goal revolved around rebuilding the walls to reinstate the qualities of worship and daily covenant living so lost in Jerusalem….
Is there a value in learning to work under pressure?
Work here is seen as: Prevalent (2:16,18;3:5;4:11,15,16-17,19,21;5:11;6:3,9)
Work viewed by God as:
Wholistic: ( not compartmentalized)
(vs. 13) what aspects of our present and past must be addressed before we can move into the future?
What do you make of the specifics?
The evaluation completed and compiled. What was the essence of the report? (audit)
He gives an honest evaluation
He gives them purpose
He gives them hope
He gives them encouragement
He gives them a chance to respond
He gives them an identity with the project.
Are there any of these that cannot be applied to the church?
Getting out in the field is the best way to discover the real state of affairs. ( consistent with a. Lincoln’s oversight during his administration, especially during the Civil war).
Keeping our vision (project) a secret gives us time to measure the cost, assess our available resources, determine our own level of involvement.
Holding “the rubble” in our own hands is a great way to see the issues clearly. [ What it once was, what it now is, and what it can be again]