Nehemiah (Letter 16, Larry Crabb’s 66 Love Letters)

Remember, Small Obedience is a Great Work

Whatever anyone does out of a sincere desire to know Me and draw others to Me is a great work. And as you engage in that work, sometimes you will be energized as you catch a glimpse of My plan unfolding. More often you won’t. Either way you are doing a great work. 

Nehemiah was prepared to do whatever he could at whatever personal cost to honor Me and seize that opportunity and persuade others to do the same. 

The wall was built in record time. But only a few years later, after Nehemiah had returned to the Persian court My people were not taking worship seriously. 

Nehemiah’s high was gone. But the glimpse he had seen sustained him. He knew he was doing a great work, just as parents whose children break their hearts must remember that the greatness of their work is not measured by the results they see but by their faithfulness to me. 

Nehemiah: Rebuilding the Walls – From Ray Stedman<-(click here for entire Bible summary)

The first six chapters cover the reconstruction of the wall, while Chapters 7 through 13 deal with the reinstruction of the people.
The walls of any life, of any local church, of any community, of any nation, can be rebuilt into strength and power and purpose again:
1. The first step, Chapter 1, Verse 4. It begins with a concern about the ruins. Nehemiah says: When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days; … {Neh 1:4 RSV}
You will never build the walls of your life until you have first become greatly concerned
about the ruins.
2. This is followed by confession. In Chapter 1 is Nehemiah’s wonderful prayer as he confesses that the nation has forsaken God, and acknowledges the justice of God’s dealing with them.
3. That is followed immediately by commitment.

These three principles of reconstruction – a display of concern, confession and commitment, and courage with caution – are basic to rebuilding.

Gate descriptions;
– First of all is the Sheep Gate. The Sheep Gate, of course, signifies the Lamb of God,
whose blood was shed on the cross for us, and, therefore, it reveals the principle of the cross.
– The account then moves to the Fish Gate. “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17 RSV). This suggests the witness of a Christian.
– The next gate is the Old Gate. I suggest that it represents truth and also God. Somebody has well said, “Whatever is true is not new, and whatever is new is not true.”
– The next gate is the Valley Gate, and you can see immediately what it suggests. It is the
place of humility.
– The Fountain Gate is next. – the flowing of the Spirit of God in our lives, to enable us to
obey his will and his word.
– This is followed by the Water Gate. Water is always a symbol of the Word of God. It doesn’t need to be repaired. It simply needs to be reinhabited.
– Then comes the East Gate. The East Gate faced the rising sun, and is the gate of hope, the gate of anticipation of what is yet to come when all the trials of life and all the struggles of earth will end and the glorious new sun will rise on the new day of God.
– Next is the Horse Gate, the need to do battle against the forces of darkness.

– The ninth gate is the Muster Gate or, literally, the “examination gate.” This was evidently the place where judgment was conducted. We need to sit and take a look at ourselves.

The book closes with the matter of resistance to evil. Your strength will be maintained if you will take the attitude that Nehemiah took for God. He was ready to say “No!” to the forces that would destroy what God was doing in his life.

Nehemiah – David Jeremiah (Understanding the 66 Books of the Bible)

Key thought: One person like Nehemiah, blessed by God with passion and leadership, can make a difference for time and eternity.

Key Verse: So the wall was finished … 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. Nehemiah 6:15-16

Key Action: All of us can become better leaders by studying the life and methods of Nehemiah.