605/8 BC Nebuchadnezzar – first exiles
597 More exiles including King Jehoiachin
586 Final destruction and death of Zedekiah
536/9 BC – Cyrus allows Jews to return (Ez 1:1)
516 Temple completed – Zerubbabel
458 Ezra leads another group back
445 20th year of Artaxerxes – 2:1
71 years since Temple restored
17 years since Ezra returned
City walls still not rebuilt
Nehemiah chooses to act
Some things will never happen unless you act
I. Position – What Unique Position Do You Have
A. 1:11 Now I was the cupbearer to the king.
1. In charge of king’s drink – not only in tasting it, but purchasing, storing, protecting
2. Position of Trust – influence
B. Ne 2:2–3
1. No one else, apparently had access, trust
2. Used it to do what God wanted
C. People in unique position – stand alone
1. Jesus – ultimate unique position
2. Noah, Moses, David, Paul
3. Jael – killed Sisera
D. What unique position do you have?
1. Mother, father, child, friend
2. All about trust – people who will respond differently to you than anyone else
E. Inspects walls and gates – rubble everywhere
1. Calls leaders together and starts building
A. Ne 2:19
B. People don’t want your protection
1. Want to keep you exposed, at risk
2. What walls does God want in your life?
a. What does he want to protect you from?
b. What protection should you provide others?
c. Protect: marriage, children, jobs, relationship w/ God
d. Walls for sex, internet, attitudes, influences – all kinds of sin
3. Who is served by preventing those walls?
a. Who is going to choose if you don’t?
C. Ne 4:7–8
III. Deal with your fear – face it
A. Ne 4:14
1. Half of people stood guard – other worked
2. Workers carried weapons while working
B. What are you afraid of?
1. How people will react. What they will say. How they will treat you. What you will lose.
2. If I restrict daughters phone I can’t imagine the fight- she’ll hate me
C. 2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
1. Rev 21:8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
2. Jesus favorite command: “Fear not” 21 times
IV. Frustration – People Who Should Help
A. People being plundered by own leaders
1. Ne 5:5
B. Violating Sabbath
1. Ne 13:15–16
C. Have to deal with it – never easy
1. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
V. Distraction – Keep Your Focus on Your Goal
A. Character assassination – attack motives
1. Ne 6:6–9
B. Whisper campaign
1. Ne 6:17–19
C. Serving God can be lonely
1. 2 Tim 4:9
2. Are you glad Paul made the sacrifices he made?
3. Who will be glad when you sacrifice?
1. Everyone leads/influences somewhere
2. Opportunity to lead toward God’s will
You must choose – no one will do it for you