Sermon Ideas Focus

Lewis Paul is proud pastor of the Liberty B.C. in Macon, Georgia. Hear ye him.


Last Updated July 25, 1999

Enter a
search word
e.g., Jesus

Chapter 6: 3

6:3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

   This text focuses on the people of Israel whose commitment to rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem resulted in it being done far ahead of schedule.
 Almost 100 years after the Jews had returned from Babylonian exile to Jerusalem, the walls around the city and the gates had remained in ruins. The people were disillusioned, in debt and intimidated by the awesome commitment that rebuilding the walls would require.  They had excused their failure to rebuild the walls on fierce opposition from surrounding nations and their poverty.
    Nehemiah refused to accept their excuses and despite the danger inspected the walls at night (2:15). He then called an assembly and convinced the people of the need for a building program. He was an excellent leader who demonstrated engineering knowledge and brilliant organizing ability (ch. 3). He encouraged them while reminding them that they would have to watch, fight and pray. The work began.
    Trouble arose from without and from within.  Sanballat, in league with other leaders of the area, opposed Nehemiah's rebuilding of Jerusalem. If the Holy City regained prominence, it would erode the powers of the surrounding cities. It was a political contest designed to keep Jerusalem from becoming the economic power and influence of its golden years.
    Sanballat and his friends tried to stop the work, but without success (ch. 4). The trouble from within was economic. Building the walls caused a labor shortage; farms were mortgaged. Many could not work on the walls or support the building program because they were plunged into their personal  financial woes. Even this did not dissuade Nehemiah. He sat out to improve the financial condition of the people so they could turn their interest toward rebuilding the wall. Some received direct financial aide that helped them become strong enough to help.(ch. 5).
    The people had a mind to work and the massive task of rebuilding the walls was continued. It was massive work requiring thousands of workers, spread out over miles of landscape. Even as the people worked, enemies both within and without kept a steady stream of delaying tactics flowing.
    As in the past, Sanballat had done all he could to stop their work through ridicule and threats. He then sent word to Nehemiah, saying: Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono (Nehemiah 6:2), about 28 miles from Jerusalem. But Nehemiah sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, and cannot come down. Why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you? (6:3).
    After Sanballat had made five attempts to meet with Nehemiah, he finally resorted to accusing him of rebelling against the king of Persia (6:5-7). When this failed to stop Nehemiah, Sanballat hired a prophet to prophesy Nehemiah's death. Nehemiah did not yield to their threats for he had faith that the God of Heaven . . . will prosper us. . . . So the wall was finished . . . in fifty-two days, far sooner than even they themselves had imagined.
    Theirs was a great work and continued despite opposition, in the name of the Lord.

Return to Main Bible Index

Home | Illustrations | Sample Sermon | Idea Exchange | Expositions By Wright | Bible Resources
Questions and Answers | Black Church Plays | About Us | Browse Our Catalog | Build A Sermon | Contact Us | Subscriber Login | News Articles
©2018 Sermon Ideas. All rights reserved.   Design by: Rebirth Designs