When Building a Life... How Nehemiah Can Change What You Thought Was Possible
A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. Nehemiah is a book filled with life-changing principles, principles we will learn as we study these scriptures. Artaxerxes was king of Persia from to BC. He seems to have been a thoughtful, compassionate, caring king who sought the wellbeing of his people more than his own personal welfare.
On account of the constant fear of plots and intrigues, a person must be regarded as thoroughly trustworthy to hold this position. His confidential relations with the king often gave him a position of great influence. Nehemiah spoke with certain Jews who had arrived from Judea and asked about the people still living there, and about Jerusalem. Their report was heart-breaking:.
When Nehemiah received this message, he was devastated. He wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed see Neh. His prayer is of particular interest in this treatise. It prepares us for our first principle from Nehemiah:. He had heard about the sorrow and suffering of his brethren in the land and he sought the welfare of Israel. I believe the Lord will always assist us in our endeavors and respond to our prayers when our desire is to seek the welfare of his people. This would be true in home and visiting teaching and in presiding and in our family history endeavors, and in our efforts to hasten the work of salvation.
After his arrival, Nehemiah spent 3 days surveying the city and contemplating the work that would need to be done. He rode around the city by night but gave no indication to his people of his purposes in Jerusalem until he had a clear understanding of the nature of the work before him. The king of Persia had made Nehemiah governor over the land of Judea but he knew he could not do the required work alone. He therefore spoke to the priests, the nobles, the rulers, and the rest of the remnant see Neh.
At the conclusion of those three days. And they said, Let us rise up and build. There were those who opposed the work, of course, the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land laughed them to scorn and despised them, But the people were not deterred. For a lot of years of study I considered the 3 rd chapter of Nehemiah one of the most boring and uninteresting chapters in the Standard Works.
The chapter is a recital of those who helped rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem, beginning at the sheep gate in the northeast corner of the city, moving counter-clockwise around the walls, and ending with the name of those who built next to the sheep gate in the northeast corner. In early readings of this chapter, my feelings often were that I did not care much who built the tower of the furnaces or who built next to them.
But in a conversation several years ago, a close friend pointed out the principle to me. It is a great principle! The purpose of the walls of the city was to protect Jerusalem from the encroachment of enemies. Thus every section, every wall, indeed every stone was crucial to the safety of those within the walls.
What would happen if one portion of the walls was left unbuilt and an enemy attacked? Like the arrow that killed King Ahab in 1 Kings , a tiny gap might give an implacable enemy all the space needed to enter and destroy. Chapter 3 teaches us that we must all do our part in building the walls of protection around the people of our wards and stakes, around the people of Israel.
The following quote comes from the October General Conference:. You cannot build arks and temples, you cannot gather Israel and establish the kingdom of God, on one principle of the Gospel alone. You cannot make a watch or clock go with only one of its wheels. You cannot make the human body active by separating the head or the feet from it. The body as created is perfect, in beautiful symmetry, and it cannot be complete if we take one part of it and reject the rest; it takes the whole to make the perfect man.
Taylor, p. Primary teachers and stake presidents must do their part to make sure that the wall is complete and the required protection in place. Notice the chapter heading for Nehemiah 4: Their enemies seek to prevent Jews from rebuilding walls of Jerusalem—Nehemiah arms the laborers and keeps the work going forward. But things changed a little:. Brethren, set a watch and make a prayer and go about the work of the Lord.
Do not be drawn away to respond to enemies. In a word, ignore them Boyd K. The walls of Jerusalem were completed in an amazing fifty-two days! When we pay attention to that concern, a picture begins to develop of what could be and should be. A vision starts to be born. You will hear or see something that gets your attention.
A thought related to the future will generate an emotion. Something will bother you about the way things are or the way things are headed. Unlike many passing concerns, these will stick with you. You will find yourself thinking about them in your free time. You may lose sleep over them. You may not have realized this, but God has been at work birthing a concern — a vision — in your heart.
God always works by giving someone a concern or a burden for a need.
when building a life how nehemiah can change what you thought was possible Manual
He gives them a picture of what could be and should be. Somebody saw what was. They saw what God would like it to be. They saw a picture of what could and should be, and they got to work. They paid the price, and began to work to live out that vision. Did you notice that nobody else seemed to be concerned about the wall? For years, the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down. But as I read Nehemiah, I get the impression that no one else was crying about the broken-down walls. You look around and see what could be and should be, but other people see what is.
If God has given you a concern, you had better act on it. Others might not even see the problem. Listen to God. Begin to birth that vision. Stop waiting for other people! God has given you that concern for a reason. Question for you: do you think that anyone else had tried to rebuild the walls? Some had even tried, but had given up.
Who wrote the book?
But I imagine that many had the concern and had done nothing about it. Talking and doing are two different things. The city walls had been in ruins for years. Others had tried to fix the walls before, but had given up. Maybe they lacked the leadership skills. Maybe they lacked resources. Have you ever noticed every time you try to accomplish something, ten people can tell you why it can never happen?
As a result, the walls had been lying in ruins for years. Even those who had a concern were no longer taking any action. So on October 2 the wall was finally finished-just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized that this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah God may have given you a vision. Why should I do anything about it? Obey God. You may be the person that God has uniquely placed to do something about it. Not everyone will share your concern. Some people will share your concern but do nothing about it.
One more observation:. Why not? I already have a lot on my plate.
RSM Primary English
What difference can one person make? Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king. But God has been preparing you, shaping you, working behind the scenes. God gives the vision. God also gives the means to carry out that vision. When God calls us to do something, we never have to worry about how. God takes care of that how when we begin to follow in obedience.
Nehemiah 6 – The Walls Completed
You may not see the connection. But God may be birthing within your heart a vision — a burden, a concern, that will gradually grow to be a burning passion. What has God placed on your heart? What do you see that troubles you, and you know it could be different? Pay attention to those things. Vision often begins with the concern. I want you to identify this week that burden, that concern on your heart that you feel God is calling you to address.
A priest in tsarist Russia was walking along minding his own business when a royal guard stopped him at gun point. Why are you here, and where are you going? You were designed to live a life of purpose.
- Criss-Crossed (Wyckid Fruit Book 3)?
- Where are we?.
- DERRIÈRE LA FAÇADE - Un cadre de direction au placard - (Roman et société) (French Edition).
- Complete Works of George Eliot;
- Building a Life of Purpose (Nehemiah 1:1-10; 6:1-3);
- How to Live a Life of Vision (Nehemiah 1:1-4).
God has given us all a unique contribution to make. The most important step that you can take is to give your life for eternity. And I want you to come into my life and I want to follow your plan and purpose for my life for the rest of my life. I turn away from my sins and follow you, and ask you to take charge of my life, beginning today. Father, I pray that as we begin to look at something to live for, as we read the story of Nehemiah — I pray that you would begin to birth a vision within us.
Help us to see our contribution to what could be and should be. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Welcome to DashHouse. I also write a column for The Gospel Coalition Canada.
There are two reasons why we need to learn how to live a life of vision: 1. Andy Stanley writes: You will hear or see something that gets your attention. Visioneering You may not have realized this, but God has been at work birthing a concern — a vision — in your heart.
A few observations about concerns or burdens: 1. A second observation: 2. Then Nehemiah came along. Listen to what Nehemiah was able to accomplish: So on October 2 the wall was finally finished-just fifty-two days after we had begun. One more observation: 3. What is your name? Why are you here? And where are you going? Share this: Click to share on Twitter Opens in new window Click to share on Facebook Opens in new window Click to email this to a friend Opens in new window Click to print Opens in new window.
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