God was the One Who had done the work. This does not mean that Nehemiah and his men and the people of Jerusalem sat around and did nothing. On the contrary they worked with all their heart. The people had a heart to work. (4.6) They started work a the first light of dawn and worked until the stars came out. (4.21)
This was an amazing feat. That the work too place at all was amazing but if that was not enough it was completed in in 52 days!
Nehemiah had a vision of what needed to be done. Visions can be symbolic or they can be realistic. Sometimes God shows in a dream the finished product (Brooklyn Tabernacle/Carol Cymbala)
He heard about the pitiful situation of Jerusalem from his brother: Nehemiah 1:3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Later he would appoint his brother, governor over the rebuilt city. (7.2)
This was difficult work in and of itself. Rebuilding is often more difficult than building something new. Renovations are more challenging at times than new construction. From all the way to the excitement that accompanies brand new construction to the field being cleared and ready for materials to be brought in.
Nehemiah encountered opposition as soon as he arrived. Sanballet and Tobiah went to great lengths to disuade him from thr work.
He had problems within the workers.
I have heard some things about the decision with the Spanish Church. I may have failed in communicating this to you properly.
1. They are not taking over. We still hold the deed to this church and property. We can terminate the agreement anytime we wish with a 90 day notice.
2. No one is moving into the parsonage with me. The house owned by the church as wel is ours. I will be moving my study completely back to 1312 Pine Acres Blvd.
3. We will continue to worship upstairs at 10am. The Bible Studies will continue at their regular time.
4. The Spanish Church will completely take care of our building, grounds and expenses in this building. For instance they have several roofers in their congregation and the roof will be repaired by them at no cost to us.
5. I fully expect both congregations to flourish. Already movement has begun... I stopped in last evening on a group of half a dozen young adults who will begin to minister to the needy in the downtown Bay Shore area soon. More to come. December 11th... invite people to come to this dinner.
Catered by Exit 42 Deli...
There were even attempts to take him out- to kill him.
How is the work of God done? Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
It was the LORD Who had brought Nehemiah into a position in the Court of the King. Just like Moses and Joseph and Daniel and Esther, the LORD brings HIs people to a place where they can deliver thei people.
It was the LORD in answer to Nehemiah's prayers along with fastings for 4 months that moved the heart of King Artaxerses to let Nehemiah go and send him with letters for materials for the rebuilding.
It was the LORD Who gave the people a heart to work.
It is His Work and with Him doing it through us certain things happen.
1. We see it.
What did Nehemiah see?
He saw God answer prayer as he went before King Artaxerses. He had prayed for 4 months.
He saw God open the door for him to speak.
He saw God open the heart of the king to allow him to go.
He saw God open heaven and pour out blessing through the king for materials for the wall.
He saw the people work.
He heard the opposiition and continued with the work.
He listened to and acted upon the people's complaint.
He saw the work completed.
He kept his focus on why he went to Jerusalem in the first place. It is easy to lose sight of the goal if we pay attention to the disturbances and annoyances.
He remained very humble before the LORD.
We have been thinking of rebuilding a lot around here. It is amazing to me to see the plan of the LORD unfold. We began a year ago this September with rebuilding the house of God in Haiti and here. Both buildings have been worked on. More work will come... the roof will be done by the Spanish Church- they have roofers in their church!
The spiritual rebuilding has begun. We are thinking more about the future of our fellowship. The danger is now that we have relief financially we are tempted to relax. Let us turn the prayers for help with the finances to giving thanks for answering this prayer and then asking the Holy Spirit to continue now to bring in a harvest of souls. Let us seek the LORD to be all He desires for this portion of the Island. Opportunities abound!!! So does His grace and his Spirit!
John 7:38-39 Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.
It is crucial for us to allow the Spirit to flow freely from our lives to others. So many Christians have the Holy Spirit all bottled up inside of them. Let Him gush forth!
2. We colabor with the LORD.
This is a way of God.
This is how He works.
He wants us involved.
He wants others to join in.
He is building up His family.
3. The enemies of God see it!
They perceive it=to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider, discern, distinguish, give attention to.
Things that are said by our enemies about the work of God before it is done:
*How will they ever do this?
*Who do they think they are?
*They will never be able to this!
*This has never been done before.
"Anything God has ever done, He can do now. Anything God has ever done anywhere, He can do here. Anything God has ever done for anyone, He can do for you." - A.W. Tozer
After it is done:
Nehemiah 6:15-16 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. And it happened, when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations around us saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was done by our God.
Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.