In part one, dealing with the issue of proper planning, we saw the Head of the plan. Today, we see:
THE HELPERS OF THE PLAN
As great of a leader as Nehemiah may have been, it would have been nothing if the people did not follow him and do the work. They were willing to work Wherever. Everyone who wanted to work was allowed to. While some got to stay close to home and work, others had to commute to other parts of the city for their responsibility. Everyone did not necessarily work where they were trained/experienced – 3:8-9. Here, we see a goldsmith, a pharmacist, and a politician, working side by side the walls and the gates. One of the great aspects about a church is that you get all kinds of people, from all walks of life, whose paths would for no other reason ever cross, working side by side serving the Lord.
We also notice that They were willing to work Without Complaining. Some had to work in more difficult places, and did so with out complaining. Some did more work than others, without complaining – 3:11, 19, 21, 24, 27, 30. You notice a phrase that is repeated in these verses: another piece. These people did their responsibility – and then some. When it comes to the church, we need to understand that not everyone gives the same or does the same amount of work. But everyone does their responsibility, and those who do or give more don’t complain.
Luke 12:48 …For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required….
Instead of looking around and comparing what you are doing in the church compared to others – just do more!
Not everyone had the most desirable place to build on the wall, but they had a good attitude, a smile on their face that originated from their heart – 3:14. Here we read of someone from a royal family working in what amounts to their sewage system. Compare this to the following verse – 3:15. Wouldn’t you rather work near the fountain and not the sewer?! This just shows the heart of many who worked in that they did so without complaining, even when others had a “better” job than they did. Too many times today we get stuck with a difficult task, and instead of embracing it and tackling it we complain that we have it harder than others and that it is not fair. We need to have the attitude of 3:20. The word “earnestly” in the Hebrew means to glow, to be zealous. There are a lot of times where we may do what is right, but not earnestly with zeal. Let’s all find our place on the wall here at the church and work earnestly with a zeal and passion for the Lord.
Now, we see…THE HINDERERS OF THE PLAN
No matter how great and important a plan may be, there will always be those who try to hinder it. Satan is in the hindering business, and he uses people as his pawns for this purpose. We notice two hindrances here from chapter three.
The first hindrance we notice is that Some Refused To Work – the nobles – 3:5. The church is likened to a body.
Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
When a certain body has a part that does not function properly, that body is considered handicapped, or disabled. The same can be said about the church today when a Christian refuses to do their part in the work of the Lord. You are here today because God has led you and your family here. If you refuse to work, you cause this body of believers to be spiritually handicapped and prevent us from reaching the goals that God has set before us.
So, while some refused to work, we notice that… Some Returned to the world –Eliashib - 3:1, 20-21 ;13:4, 7-9. Here, we read about the sad case of Eliashib. It is sad because here was a man that was working on the wall, helped to repair the gates, and yet will eventually turn his back on his brethren. He was allied, or married into, the family of the enemies of Israel – Sanballat and was in alliance with Tobiah. As we will talk about this more when we get to chapter 13, this reminds us that it is not only important to start right, but to end right.
The Bible says there is joy in heaven when a sinner repents and is born-again, and I rejoice too. But the longer I pastor, the more and more I rejoice over those who remain faithful. Lets determine to not be a hindrance, but to get involved in the work, and not turn back,
By all accounts in reading this portion of Nehemiah, we can honestly say that it is not the most exciting chapter of the Bible. But when we consider all that is accomplished in this chapter, we can say that it is an unexciting chapter that leads to an exciting conclusion. That conclusion being the rebuilding of the walls and gates.
And I believe this is typical of our lives today.
For the most part, our lives are often not that “exciting.” The task of everyday living and fulfilling the plan we have in place for spiritual success can be sometimes monotonous. But it is through everyday consistency that God blesses and rewards the Christian. Have a plan – work that plan – and don’t allow yourself to be hindered from it.