When God’s People Do Right (Nehemiah 4:1-15)
Many works should be important to God’s people.
The rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall was important to Nehemiah. When Nehemiah heard the city’s walls were destroyed, he wept. Nehemiah asked King Artaxerxes permission to rebuild those walls, and the king granted that request.
Yet, the rebuilding of those walls was opposed, and let us this morning examine how God’s people
handled that opposition.
They Wronged No One, vv 1-5
God’s people were mocked. Sanballat mocked the Jews. When he heard the Jews were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and was intent on mocking them. He asked a series of rhetorical questions intended to mock their work. Tobiah said that if the wall received the slightest pressure it would fall.
God’s people will still be mocked. People mocked Paul. Acts 17:32. 1 Corinthians 4:13.
We will be mocked today. Much of what we believe and practice will be subject to ridicule. When I attended a worship service in Denver, I was ridiculed by my friends.
God’s people must commit these wrongs to God.
Nehemiah prayed and committed those wrongs to God. He prayed that God would turn their reproach on their own head. He asked that God would remember their iniquity and not blot it out.
God’s people today must commit wrongs to God. Jesus, after all, taught us to pray for those who spitefully use us (Matt. 5:44). We know God will execute judgment upon those who trouble us (Heb. 10:30).
They Worked, v 6
The Jews worked. The wall was rebuilt rapidly. This was because the people “had a mind to work.” Literally, the people “had a heart to work.” They put their hearts into this work.
We, too, must work. The Jews could have quit when they received ridicule, but they didn’t. When we receive ridicule, we must not give up.
They Wanted Protection, vv 7-9
God’s people had reason to ask for help. Their enemies were going to come and fight against them. Their enemies became very angry. Their enemies conspired together.
God’s people then prayed to God for protection.
We, too, have reason to pray. Enemies will conspire against us. When enemies conspire against us, we need to pray (Phil. 4:6). We need to pray because we have nowhere else to turn. We need to pray because God answers prayer (Matt. 21:22).
They Won, vv 11-15
The Jews won over their adversaries. The adversaries planned to kill the Jews and stop their work. The Jews who lived near these enemies heard what was going on and made it know. Nehemiah stationed men around the wall. God brought the enemies’ plan to nothing. The enemies never attacked because they could not win.
We, too, shall win over our enemies. Christ overcomes the enemy (Rev. 17:14). Christ shall defeat Satan (Rev. 20:10). We know that even if in this life we don’t win, we shall win ultimately.
We, as God’s people, must commit ourselves to doing right.
If you’re not a Christian, we encourage you to do right and commit yourself to Christ.
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.