Bible Lesson: Nehemiah rebuilds the wall
The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed for 140 years. The walls weren’t just protection; they were symbolic of what they didn’t want to lose, their worship of God, beliefs, etc… The walls being in rubble to them meant they–God’s people–were in ruins. In Babylon lived exiles from Jerusalem. Nehemiah was cupbearer to the king.
- Cupbearer = Glorified butler
- Tasted the drinks for the king to make sure they weren’t poisoned
- Word gets back to him about what’s happening in Jerusalem. It’s bothering him.
They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” 4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven…Nehemiah 1:3-5
Nehemiah get’s permission and resources from the king and heads to Jerusalem. Almost immediately when Nehemiah shows up to start the work a group of people come to stop him.
When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me. 10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.Nehemiah 2:9-10 NLT
Three things to know about building a legacy:
#1: Expect Opposition
Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, 2 saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”Nehemiah 4:1-3
#2: Remember who you’re fighting for
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”Nehemiah 4:14
#3: Ignore the critics
When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall and not a gap was left in it—though up to that time I had not set the doors in the gates— 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.” But they were scheming to harm me; 3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” 4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.Nehemiah 6:1-9