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‘DOING A GREAT WORK’. Joining Nehemiah in Jerusalem. ENQUIRING & PRAYING ABOUT THE WORK. DEATH OF SOLOMON. ISRAEL DIVIDED it cannot last. ISRAEL UNITED Saul, David, Solomon. ‘a kingdom...divided against i tself ...cannot stand’ Mk 3.24. Zedekiah & the Jews were taken captive to

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doing a great work

‘DOING A GREAT WORK’

Joining Nehemiah in Jerusalem

ENQUIRING

& PRAYING

ABOUT THE

WORK

slide2

DEATH OF SOLOMON

ISRAEL DIVIDED

it cannot last

ISRAEL UNITED

Saul, David, Solomon

‘a kingdom...divided against

itself...cannot stand’ Mk 3.24.

slide3

Zedekiah & the Jews

were taken captive to

Babylon - Jerusalem

was destroyed.

70 yrs exile (586-516 BC)

defeated by

Assyria

defeated by

Babylon

slide4

BUT GOD MOVED BEHIND THE SCENES

THE MEDES & PERSIANS UNDER CYRUS

DEFEATED THE BABYLONIANS IN 530 BC

After 70 years the exiles returned from

Babylon to Jerusalem

slide5

First exiles returned with

  • Zerubbabel & Joshua,
  • the high priest
  • worked on the temple
  • came to a halt for 14 years
  • Haggai & Zechariah stirred
  • them up to work again
  • Under King Artaxerxes
  • Ezraled a group back in
  • 458 BC – worked with the
  • group around the temple
  • Nehemiah– born during
  • exile – returned to Jerusalem
  • to rebuild the wall & gates
slide7

IT ALL BEGAN WITH AN ENQUIRY

When did you last enquire about the condition

of the local assembly and the Lord’s people?

If you don’t want to be disturbed, don’t ask!

NEHEMIAH DARED TO ASK

& ITPROVED TO BE A LIFE-

CHANGINGEXPERIENCE

‘I asked them concerning the

Jews that had escaped, which

were left of the captivity, and

concerning Jerusalem’, 1.2.

slide8

‘Like large doors, great life-changing events can

swing on very small hinges…you never know what

God has in store, even in commonplace

conversation with a friend or relative; so keep your

heart open to God’s providential leading’. W.Wiersbe

his own

PRIORITY

God’s

PRECISION

NEHEMIAH’S

ENQUIRY

REVEALED…

the Jews’

& the city’s

PLIGHT

the

value of

PRAYER

slide9

GOD’S PRECISION

‘And it came to pass…’, v.1

it was

not by

chance that

Nehemiah

was…

in Shushan (Susa) the palace

in the month Chisleu-Nov/Dec

in the 20thyr of king Artaxerxes

the king’s cupbearer

God placed him there ‘for such a time as this’

slide10

NEHEMIAH’S PRIORITY

‘And I asked them…’, v.2

  • His priority
  • was not:
  • Persia
  • the palace
  • his position
  • BUT
  • the people
  • the place
  • God’s glory
  • His heart was
  • ‘beyond the
  • river’

‘And seekest thou great things for thyself?

seek them not’, Jer 45.5.

It’s possible to rise to prominent positions without

losing our love for the Lord, His people and the

local assembly.

slide11

THE JEWS’ & THE CITY’S PLIGHT

‘And they said unto me…’, v.3.

  • THE PEOPLE
  • they were in great affliction &
  • reproach – nothing appealing
  • or attractive about them
  • THE WALL
  • the wall (sing.) was broken
  • down = separation & safety
  • THE GATES
  • they were burned with fire
  • gates = entry – separation
  • does not mean isolation –
  • there were times when they
  • were open (7.3)

Not very attractive!

slide12

THE VALUE OF PRAYER

‘When I heard…I…prayed’, v.4.

When did you last pray about the

condition of the local church/assembly

and the Lord’s people?

‘I’m not

responsible

for present

conditions’

‘I wasn’t

born in the

city – I’m not

part of past

failure.’

NEHEMIAH

COULD HAVE

ARGUED…

BUT NO!

he identified

himself with

the people

- do we ?

‘Jerusalem

is a poor

exchange for

the palace.’

slide13

WHAT DOES

EFFECTIVE PRAYER

LOOK LIKE?

‘For out of much affliction

and anguish of heart I

wrote unto you with many

tears…that ye might know

the love which I have more

abundantly unto you’.

2 Cor 2.4.

  • Nehemiah:
  • sat down
  • wept/mourned
  • for several days
  • fasted
  • then prayed
  • It is impossible to
  • care for the Lord’s
  • people & not to
  • mourn/weep

there is no set posture for

prayer, but our body

language should show

reverence for the Lord

slide14

it sounds like confession

‘and confess the sins of the

children of Israel…we have

dealt very corruptly against

thee, and have not kept the

commandments’,1.6,7.

it sounds as if I know to

whom I am praying

‘I beseech thee, O Lord God

of heaven, the great and

terrible God, that keepeth

covenant & mercy’, 1.4,5.

WHAT DOES

EFFECTIVE PRAYER

SOUND LIKE?

it sounds like

intercession

‘wehave sinned against thee:

both I and myfather’s house

have sinned. Wehave dealt

very corruptly against thee’

1.6,7

it sounds as if I know

the Word of God

‘Remember, I beseech thee,

the word that thou

commandest thy servant

Moses’, 1.8.

slide15

it sounds as if I am

being persistent

‘the prayer of thy servant,

which I pray before thee now,

day and night’, 1.6

it was not a ‘one-off’ prayer

it sounds like a personal

request - at the end!

‘O Lord, I beseech thee…

prosper I pray thee thy servant

this day and grant him mercy

in the sight of this man’, 1.11

WHAT DOES

EFFECTIVE PRAYER

‘SOUND’ LIKE?

  • ‘For I was the king’s cupbearer’, 1.11
  • an advantage - close to the king – held his life in his hands
  • but vulnerable– he could have been viewed as disloyal
  • only the Lord could ensure a good outcome to his request – he
  • needed the Lord’s attentive ear (1.11) before he gained the
  • king’s ear (2.3)