It’s time for a worship service! Nehemiah has the prophet Ezra lead the people in a wordhip service to have the people focus on God and all that God has done for them. We see thus in Nehemiah 8:1-8. Not only did the people listen to God’s Word, they also listened to the explanation and application of God’s Word.

When we study God’s Word do we look for ways to apply it to our lives? Just reading it does not ensure we will live it out. We must make a conscious choice to follow the teachings we learn there. What will we learn and choose to follow today?

A whole lot of numbers going on! Reading through the rest of Nehemiah chapter 7 can be a bit challenging. Lots of names and numbers as scripture records the listing of people and their gifts. It can be tempting to overlook this chapter. However, a couple of exciting truths can be found here.

First, God is concerned about names. We may not know who these people are, but God does and He deemed them worthy to be included in scripture. Names matter to God. He knows our name and He records our names in the Lambs book of Life if we have believed in and followed Him. I can certainly appreciate that!

Second, there is a group of people who can prove their heritage. These people are excluded from everything until the time comes when a person will be able to inquire of God. It begs the question, can we prove our relationship with God? Do we have evidence that God lives and works in our lives? Now, unlike the people of this time, God knows exactly the state of our rerelationship with Him. Do others know and can they tell?

The wall has been built! However, Nehemiah’s leadership is not over. In Nehemiah chapter 7, verses 1 through 4, we see Nehemiah continuing to take a strong leadership role. However, he delegates his position to others in order to establish more of a long-term leadership solution. He doesn’t keep the leadership role for himself, instead he seeks to find capable people who he can entrust that role. He delegates his brother and another Godly man who he trusts to be the ones in charge of the wall that they have now built. The people put this together, but now they need to man it and make it strong so that others do not take advantage or still try to defeat that which God has built.Nehemiah gives instruction on how to do this.

Even when we see God’s victory in a situation, we must recognize that victory is but one part of the master plan that God has in store. We have taken a step and we have been obedient and we have seen God move, but God desires to continue doing so much else! We must work through this time and continue to be obedient step-by-step so that we are ready for whatever God has next for us. Nehemiah did just that. Will we?

Nehemiah and his group finally complete the work that God has given them to do. In Nehemiah chapter 6, verses 15 through 19, we seen the amazing and miraculous completion of this group of people dedicated to doing what God had them to do. In only 52 days they were able to completely rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Now that’s cause for celebration! Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean the end of trouble for Nehemiah.

Sometimes we think once we’ve actually completed the work that God gives us to do that means we’re free from persecution and strife. No. The enemy still is looking to discredit and to cause the downfall of anyone who’s been willing to be obedient to the Lord. We can’t let our guard down. We continue to need to rely on God every single day for the enemy knows if we were willing to be obedient and one thing, we will be willing to be obedient in something else. So the only thing to be done is for the enemy to continue to try to discredit us and cause us to fall. Just because we were victorious in our obedience to Christ yesterday, doesn’t guarantee that we will be victorious today unless we choose to continue to follow him. We cannot ever rest on our past successes for God always has something new that he’s calling us to and continue to be obedient to him every single day. Are we following Christ in obedience today?

In Nehemiah chapter 6 verses 10 through 14, we see yet another attempt by the enemy. They were threatening Nehemiah’s life. So one of their fake Prophets, comes to Nehemiah and tells him, “Look, go into the temple and hide. You’ll be safe there.” However, Nehemiah kew that what they were asking him to do was wrong. And doing the wrong thing even for a seemingly right reason, is still wrong.

The same holds true for us today. We must understand that God’s holiness demands that we be obedient to him in all areas. There will be some things where being obedient to God is not the easy or the comfortable choice, but it doesn’t change the importance of are obedience. In some cases, it’s even more important for us to be obedient in the difficulties, because others are seeing our example. Are we focused on doing the right thing at all times, even when it’s uncomfortable? We’ve been called obedient to God, how can we do anything less?

Distraction. Satan loves to use distraction to switch our focus off of what God has for us to do. In Nehemiah 6:1-9 we see the enemies trying to distract Nehemiah. The work is going well and nearing completion, but now the enemies are trying to get Nehemiah to leave the work and come to a meeting wth them. When he continues to refise, they spread lies about him. All things done to try to distract the Nehemiah from the purpose that God has given him. Nehemiah responded that he didn’t have time to be distracted and kept working. He turned their distractions over to God and got back to work.

How do we handle distractions? Are we willing to continue to move and obey, or to we spend precious time and energy worrying about them or trying to counteract them? That is all part of the enemies plan and instead we must turn distractions over to God and keep our focus on the work, just as it should be.

Do we model the Christian Life for others? In Nehemiah chapter 5, starting in verse 14 through 19, we see Nehemiah in a position of leadership setting the example for how a believer should act in a position of leadership. Nehemiah demonstrates and models that idea of servant leadership. He doesn’t use his power and authority to oppress the people or to demand more from them, he uses it as an opportunity to serve the people and to demonstrate what true servant leadership looks like.

Today, we can read book after book about the importance and the effectiveness of servant leadership. Nehemiah obviously knew God would have him lead. How do we lead? Do we set an example that others would desire to follow? Do we lead through service? No matter what position we hold, we always have the opportunity to be an example of how Christ would treat other people. What example are we setting today?

Do we get angry at the injustices we see around us? Nehemiah did. We continue on and Nehemiah chapter 4, we see in the first 13 verses of the chapter that there was some serious injustice happening among the Jewish people. The people had nothing. They had just been released from captivity and were coming back to their lands and their fields, and yet those people who did have anything we’re subjecting the others to huge loans such that people couldn’t possibly find ways to repay them. They were selling their children into slavery to try to repay these loans and all of these were loans that the Jewish people were exacting upon each other. Nehemiah was outraged and immediately thought to put a stop to this horrible injustice.

When we see injustices happening around us, does it make us mad? Do we get angry about the things that would anger God? We have such great opportunities to make a difference in the lives of so many people who are experiencing evil and injustice in this world, the question is will we take a stand? Will we be the voice for the voiceless? Nehemiah was, what will we do?

Do we live in readiness for an attack? As a believer in Jesus Christ, we should know that there is always an attack on the horizon. The world hates us, Satan hates us, and both are looking for an opportunity to strike at us. Nehemiah completely understood that feeling. As you read in Nehemiah chapter 4 verses 15 through 23, we see how Nehemiah responds to the threat of attack. He is already been warned that he has opposition to the God-given purpose of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. He knows they are planning an attack. So what does he do? He readies his troops and helps them understand that while the work must continue, they must also be ready to defend themselves and their God-given purpose. They are constantly in a state of readiness. They sleep with their weapons. They go get drinks of water with their weapons. They work with their weapons. Constantly, ever vigilant, ready for when the attack may come.

Do we live our life that way? We know there will be attack. But are we constantly in a state of readiness understanding that God has given us a purpose and that the enemy is looking for ways to thwart that purpose. We can have no other purpose than what God has given us, but we must be ready to defend ourselves from the enemy who will seek to attack. Maybe the attack comes through weapons as Nehemiah feared, but more often today the attack comes in more sneaky ways through words, reputation, money, etc. Are we utilizing the armor of God as listed in Galatians chapter 6? And are we ready for an attack?

Even though Nehemiah and his group withstand the initial frustration of the enemy, his enemy is by no means done. Continuing in chapter 4, starting with verse 7 and reading through verse 14, we see the enemy regroup and intensify their plan of attack. The Jewish people hear it, and this time instead of just Nehemiah being the one to pray, everyone is praying. The people all take precautions, and Nehemiah sets up some very practical responses to the threats that they face. But, they don’t stop the work! They continue on doing what God has given them to do.

As we mentioned before, we are going to face opposition when we seek to obey the Lord. Just because we withstand the initial attack of the enemy, that doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t try again. Our enemies are sneaky and cunning and seek to bring us down by any means possible. We must stay fixed on God and on his word. We can withstand the attacks, but we must continue the work that he has given us to do. Are we being obedient, no matter what?