Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It is Finished? Neh 6:1-7:4

So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. Neh 6:15

We (KingdomBuilders leaders) have met twice since I updated you last on our journey through Nehemiah, so I am combining both studies here.

The main deal I got out of Chapter 6 and part of 7 is that Nehemiah doesn't rest on his laurels, you know what I mean? Here he is, he's completed what many before him have tried and failed to complete; restoring the wall around Jerusalem. Some would say it is THE work he was put on this earth to do. It's a huge structure requiring hundreds of people to clear rubble and burnt doors and THEN build the wall. On top of that he was hounded by constant opposition from within and without.

With all that he uses 16 words (at least in the ESV) to describe this massive work that only took 52 days. I think I'd have used at least 52 words, you know what I'm saying? What we came up with is that Nehemiah was able to deadpan the whole thing because:

  1. Nehemiah knew the work wasn't done yet. This part of it was done, which I'm sure he was glad about and rejoiced, but there was more work to be done to organize the people and to point their hearts towards Jesus. Alas, the leader's work is never done.

  2. Nehemiah found complete satisfaction in God rather than his job. Sure it was neat that they accomplished so much in so little time, but it sure pales in comparison to our great and awesome God!

  3. Nehemiah wanted ALL the glory to go to God. Waxing eloquent about his accomplishments would have taken the focus off of God and put it on him and his team.
This is a hard word from the Lord who gives us Nehemiah as an example of working hard for the Lord, finding satisfaction in only him, and not being a glory thief. We'll find there is quite a bit more work for Nehemiah to do and he continues to be faithful. It's so hard in this day and age with Yahoo banner ads telling us our dream job is a mouse click away, to be content in the job God has given us and to only find satisfaction in him...not a job. Most of all as selfish sinful broken people that want attention and accolades, it is very difficult to not be a glory thief.