Scripture: Nehemiah 6:15-16, 8:1-3,10, 17
The wall is restored
The city walls had been in ruins for 140 years. Nehemiah accomplishes in 52 days what others were not able to do in 140 years.
- 38 workers =named. 42 groups of people.
- 40ft high x 8ft wide x 2.5miles long with 10 gates
- Before lift-cranes, bulldozers, dumptrucks, cell phones, project management software
MASSIVE ENDEAVOR: What do we learn?
LESSON IN THE QUESTION: Gen.18:14 “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
All surrounding nations and opposition recognized the presence of God
(Spiritual) Hindsight is 20/20. It is easier to understand & recognize God’s activity after they have already happened, rather than when you’re in middle of them.
Nehemiah 6:16 “And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.”
The enemies acknowledged God’s presence.
No theophanies, no supernatural interventions, no visible manifestations, no inexplicable miracles.
Recognize God’s supernatural activity in ordinary.
Today, many people are conditioned to think that the indicator of God’s Presence is solely in the spectacular.
In Nehemiah’s context, it was
- Brick by brick, shovel by shovel, rubble by rubble
- Busyness, fatigue…
WHAT DO WE LEARN: God’s supernatural presence is often shrouded in the ordinary process. Consistency beats intensity. Daily Grind >> Brick by Brick >> chair by chair >> strum by strum >> $ by $ >> Cup coffee
After completion of the wall, Sanballat and his colleagues were not the only ones who recognized God’s presence. The people of Israel recognized it as well. Once wall was completed, they returned home to their towns and villages, But then the significance what happened dawned on them. God had protected and blessed 52 days of intense labor.
They were overwhelmed with guilt and gratitude.
- Guilt because they had ignored God’s Law with years of spiritual apathy.
- Gratitude because despite their disobedience, God had chosen to bless them.
Spontaneously people returned to Jerusalem. No religious celebration is planned. God had touched down in their midst so their faith has been kindled. As a result, it occurred to them that they needed to hear from God. They called Ezra to bring out God’s Word and read it to them.
Nehemiah 8:1-3 “1 And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. 2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3 And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.”
Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:17 “And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing.”
With the wall completed, Jerusalem is secured. The neighborhood is safe. They celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles/ Booths to remember the Hebrew people wandering the desert after freedom from Egyptian slavery. To remember God’s deliverance, protection, provision, and faithfulness.
NOT only that God will do something through you. But that God will do something in you.
The same thing happened with followers of Jesus
Luke 5:8-10 “8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
NOTICE THE REACTION:
Peter, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken”
RESPONSE: Awe, Fear, Conviction << RECOGNITION OF DIVINITY
RESULT: “And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.”
When the people built the wall, the Lord built His people.