DAY 7 STUDY TIME!
Chapter 7 is mostly a record of accounts of who went back to Jerusalem during all three of the returns, or the census. (The 3 returns were under Zerubbabel 557 AD, Ezra 458 AD, and Nehemiah 444 AD) The first few verses we see Nehemiah's administration of hanging the gates and setting up the watch (security) for future success. The very last verse (73) of this chapter is so beautiful:
The task was complete. The people were back in their land, living in their cities, without fear. Wow. So Chapters 1-7 really covered the building of the walls, and the people getting into their positions. Here is a cool layout from Dr. Constable's notes over at www.soniclight.org outlining Nehemiah's Administration in the chapters leading up to this moment.
We would be wise to follow this example. OK, time to read through the chapter!
READ NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 7
I have two major thoughts about this chapter. So today, I'd like to share those and see what you think about them.
When Nehemiah planned and administrated his task, the task was not the only thing in mind. He saw futuristically how to keep the city safe after things were rebuilt. He had to have had the future security of the city in mind before he built. The goal was not to build the walls. I know that sounds funny, but the goal was bigger than just rebuilding them. The goal was to ensure the success of them staying up. So he made a plan, carried it out, and then had a plan to keep the city safe after it was all said and done.
Im going to suggest here that he possibly had to start the plans even though he didn't have all the pieces figured out in the first place. I mean, I think he was a smart guy, and very wise and had a lot figured out ahead of time but think about this: If the walls were torn down before, what means they wouldn't be torn down again? Did he use different wood? Different stones? Better mortar? I don't think so. I think that this is what happened.
I think that His "yes" to the task came first, and the future plan unfolded as the opposition came at him. I think that all the intensity he faced gave him the wisdom for setting up the system he gets in place by the end of chapter seven. Think about it. The night watchmen were not established until they were threatened. (verse 4:9)
Look at this outline of what he went through and see what happened that dictated the Establishment of the Day & Night Watch:
The second thing that seems evident to me here is that when the Lord gives us something to do, we better have a plan to protect it after our role in it is completed. I'm telling you this from a lot of experience having "started" many things. My desire is that anything I start, especially for the Kingdom, doesn't die with me or fall apart when I leave or move on. If I start something in the name of the Lord, I would hope that I have raised up the support system to continue fostering its growth. Thats what Nehemiah is doing here. Looking to the future now that the main part of this task is completed.
Your turn. What do you think about those two thought I shared? Are you sometimes afraid to step into things because you don't have it all figured out yet? Is it o.k. to say "yes" when you don't know how its all gonna play out? Do you trust the Lord to work in the midst of the process? We sometimes refer to this as, "Building the ship at sea." I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Today I just want to speak a blessing over you. Place your hand on your heart and receive this:
Today I receive the blessing of God over my life. Thank You Father that You have invited me to partner with You in Kingdom "tasks". I am blessed today with wisdom, insights, and faith from heaven. I say "yes" to Your plans and purposes in me and for me. As I submit to You, You will enable me to accomplish all that You have set out for me. (Eph. 3:16, Isa. 55:11) I receive a dose of faith today to trust Your plans for my life, my future, and all the spheres of influence around me, in Jesus name! Amen.