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Nehemiah Week Chapters 3-4


Chapter 3 of Nehemiah records all of the men and women who followed Nehemiahs leadership in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Repeated over and over again is the phrase: made repairs in front of his house. As the people went out to do the work of rebuilding, they started with the rubble right in front of them.

Its intriguing to think they had seen this same rubble in front of their houses day after day for years. They clamored over it, trudged through it and detoured around it for decades. Why? Because rebuilding seemed hopeless and they felt helpless in the face of it. What do we do when things seem hopeless and helpless? Eventually, we stop thinking about it and find a way to adapt to it. However, adapting to obstacles is not the way of the Overcomer. At Gods heart-stirring, through the leadership of His man, the peoples minds were changed and their lives were moved into action. They started with the ruin right in front of them. What a great principle for where we are today. Individually, we cant fix the massive amounts of brokenness throughout the world; but we can begin the work right where we are. Nehemiah 4:6 says the people built the entire wall, up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. Imagine what could happen if each of us had a mind to work and we started with the brokenness right in front of us. Wow. Im convinced God would use that work to change this world.

Day One:
Today, well see the building of the walls from the Sheep Gate to the House of the Mighty (Davids Mighty Men). Lets read verses 1-16. 1) Write down the six gates you see mentioned.

2) Nehemiah encouraged all of the people to work. What types of people are recorded in the list of workers?

Who refused to do the work?

Why do you think they refused?

Day One: (continued)


3) What do you find significant about the proximity of the people working on the wall?

4) Go back to verse 1. Notice who Nehemiah begins with in his list of workers: Eliashib, the H___________ P_____________ and his brethren. They started building at the Sheep Gate. Sheep were brought into the city to be taken to the Temple for sacrifice. How interesting that the rebuilding work starts at the way of sacrifice and by the High Priest. When reading passages like this, my former pastor used to exclaim, Dont you just see Jesus?? He always told us, You can see Jesus on every page of Scripture. And he was right. In thinking of the rebuilding work starting with the High Priest at the entrance of the sacrifice, how are we reminded of Jesus and His rebuilding work? (See Isaiah 53:7 and Hebrews 7:23-24).

5)

In the pattern of rebuilding, God was building a pattern of prophecy into the hearts of the people. The Sacrifice was coming. The Ultimate High Priest would do the work, offering Himself as the payment for all the brokenness in the world. In your life, your work, your service in the Kingdom, God is building in you a pattern of prophecy as well.

How do you see your faith growing as you learn more and more of Gods Word?

How about your anticipation for the return of Christ?

Is it becoming more and more apparent to you as you learn and grow?

Day Two:
Today, well complete our walk around the wall in chapter 3. As we see the walls and examine the gates, think about the work God has set before you. God calls each one of us to the work of His Kingdom. At salvation, each person becomes a part of the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27) At salvation, each person is also given the gift of the Holy Spirit as well as a spiritual gift, or ability, through which he/she serves the Body. Just as the people of Jerusalem had to work together to build the walls, each of us must work together with other believers, in the Body. We are commanded to serve one another and God in the Spirit and through the gifts He has given us. When we follow Gods plan, the world sees His Kingdom in action. We become the hands and feet of Christ to the world. As you study today, think about your place in the Body of Christ. Are you working to build or refusing to work? Are you using your spiritual gift or leaving it in the box? Ask God to show you your place to serve, and start the work He has set before you today.

1) Starting at verse 17 in chapter 3, walk through each verse through the end of the chapter, taking note of the people, their positions and the wall sections they rebuilt. 2) ***In this passage, we see many of the rebuilders beginning their repairs in front of their own houses. The principle to be learned from their example is the importance of the rebuilding work starting at home. Proverbs 14:1 is a Truth every woman should have inscribed on her heart. Copy the verse here and describe how the wise woman is like the wall builders of Nehemiah 3.

3) There are two thrilling accounts of home rebuilding found in Acts 16. Lets read verses 11-15 and 25-34. Paul and Silas brought the Gospel to Philippi. They shared with Lydia, who was leading a womans prayer group. Lydia believed in God; but did not know Jesus as Messiah. Paul and Silas explained Jesus to her and she believed in Him as Messiah, repented of her sins and was saved. Later, Paul and Silas were locked away in prison. As they shared the Truth with the jailer; he too believed, repented and was saved. In both accounts, we read of the conversion of their households. This means everyone in their home who understood the Gospel, believed and repented, were also saved. Rebuilding began at home for both Lydia and the jailer. Their impact was eternal. What about yours? What impact/ difference has your salvation and your growth in Christ made on the building (or rebuilding) of your household?

Day Two (continued)


4) After her salvation, Lydia immediately began to practice her spiritual gift of hospitality. She invited Paul and Silas to stay in her home with her family. She would not take no for an answer. They stayed for a time and returned to Lydias to meet with the other believers after their miraculous prison release (16:40). Beginning your building at home can also mean in your home church. Where has God called you to serve, to use your gift in service to Him by serving His Body? Take a look at the ministries within your church. Pray about how God would have you serve in one of them. Make a list here of two or three ministry opportunities, pray over them and set a goal to begin serving by a certain date:

Day Three:
As soon as the people were working together and making great progress, the enemy stepped in and turned up the pressure in order to stop the work altogether. Today and tomorrow, well see how Nehemiah handled the intense pressure and encouraged the people to continue the work. Over the next two days of study, consider the pressures you face. Begin to apply the approach you see Nehemiah taking and discover how to press on when opposition presses in.

1) Read Nehemiah 4:1-12. The original two bullies, Tobiah and Sanballat, showed up to harass the workers; but verse 7 reveals they also brought friends along to help. Who joined them in their efforts?

2) What does verse 8 say about the tactic, approach and purpose of the enemies?

3) God gave Nehemiah a strategy. What does he do in verses 4-5?

How about in verse 9?

Day Three: (continued)


4) The people initially responded with determination to continue the work (verse 6). They completed the entire wall, up to half the height. This infuriated the enemy and they redoubled their efforts to stop the work. After setting a watch, the people became discouraged. According to verses 10-12, what happened to their mind to work?

5) Psalm 83:3-5 describes a situation similar to what the builders were facing. David certainly knew what it meant to feel the pressure of the enemy. How did David face opposition and become victorious over it?

How can you and I do the same thing today?

Day Four:
Discouragement is a threat to any great work. It can come after an enemy attack from the outside; but it can also come from within when we are physically and mentally exhausted. Today, well see how to face discouragement head-on.

1) Lets read Nehemiah 4:13-20. Remember, yesterday we saw the outside forces making their threats and plans to attack Jerusalem with the purpose of creating confusion and an end to the work. We also saw in verse 10 that the people became discouraged because suddenly the task looked too great for them. They felt overwhelmed at the work that remained. They were exhausted, scattered throughout the distance of the wall, feeling isolated and afraid. In response, Nehemiah regrouped and brought encouragement as well as a new plan to re-focus the people. How did he reposition them in verse 13?

How do you think it helped to have their families with them?

Day Four: (continued


2) After repositioning the people, Nehemiah refocused their minds. He reminded them of their purpose and their Protector. Starting with the leaders in verse 14, what did Nehemiah say to help them?

3) Verse 15 is a victory verse. The enemy heard that God was fighting for Jerusalem. The people returned to the work. God is in control. Take a look at Job 5:12. What does this verse say about God?

4)

In verses 16-20, Nehemiah set the people to work; but he also set up a system of protection. He made a way for the people to come to the aid of anyone in danger; kind of an ancient alarm system. This protective plan (v. 20) brought comfort to the people as they worked; but the Ultimate Truth of Nehemiahs statement about God at the end of verse 20 brought security to their hearts. Copy the last sentence of verse 20 here:

5) God fighting on our behalf is an awesome Truth! Remembering this in the heat of your battles will bring comfort to your spirit and peace to your mind. Take a look at the following passages: Exodus 14:14, Exodus 14:25, Joshua 23:10 and 2 Chronicles 2:29. How would your outlook change if you really believed that God will fight your battles for you?

Day Five:
God led Nehemiah to encourage the people by uniting them, re-focusing their minds on Him, equipping them for battle and reminding them God was still in control. He also established a way for them to protect one another. This method of rebuilding in the face of opposition is still applicable today. As believers in the battle, we are called to work together as the Body of Christ. The difference today is far too many Christians forsake the call, abandon the work and leave the Body to go it alone. We were never meant to operate like that. God has a design for His people. His design is the Church. We should work as a Body and live as brothers and sisters, loving and serving one another so that His Word and His work will be fulfilled.

Day Five: (continued)


1) ***Jesus tells the disciples it is imperative that they love one another. Read John 13:34-35. What does He say the world will know by seeing this love on display?

Why is it important for the world to see us as His disciples?

2) Go back to Nehemiah 4:21-23. Describe the work at this point.

How committed were the people?

What do you think made the difference?

3) As a Christian woman, many times its tough for us to do a building work because we have not let God do a demolition work in our own lives. We often build walls that should not exist and neglect the walls that should exist. Think of some walls women build that tend to keep others out and cause the building work to remain undone. Does your mental list look something like this:

Insecurity Doubt Anger Bitterness Defense Independence Over confidence

Prestige Glamour Perfection in Performance Perfection in Appearance Possessions Family Name Over Compensation

Shyness Extroversion Toughness Knowledge Education Protection Distance

Could you add more to the list? Do you see any walls you may have built up in your own life? If so, circle those and ask God to tear them down today. He will. And in their place, He will build walls of security, protection and peace. The difference will be His walls wont feel cold and confining. They will feel warm and comforting, just like His hands wrapped around you and holding you tight.

Day Five: (continued)


4) When we let God construct our walls and we work within His design, serving Him becomes a delight rather than a duty. His Body, the Church becomes more than a collection of names on a church roster. We become a community, a family. One of the greatest joys well ever experience on this earth will come in serving alongside other believers, our spiritual family, in the work God has for us. There is a wonderful passage in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that demonstrates Gods design for our community. Read this passage and think about the people in your life right now. Do you have this type of bond with other believers?

5) At the end of chapter 4, it didnt matter what position in life the people held. What mattered was their position in the Lord. They all joined together for a common purpose. Go back to Nehemiahs motivational speech in chapter 2, verse 17. Why does he say they needed to rebuild the walls?

Our sole purpose for living is to magnify the name of our God. In your 52 minutes of prayer today, ask God to show you how you can become part of magnifying His name in every aspect of your life and work.