AM I PREPARED?
NEHEMIAH – GOD’S MAN IN TIMES OF CRISIS
LESSON # 3 – Nehemiah 2 (A complete lesson)
· Can you remember a time when you or someone else was not prepared to do something that was supposed to be done? What were the results? How would being prepared have made the situation better?
· Why is preparation especially necessary when handling a crisis?
In this chapter Nehemiah shows us how to be prepared for a project God has called us to complete.
HE INVOKED THE KING’S SYMPATHY – Vss. 1-3
· Nehemiah was the King’s Cupbearer – According to Cyril Barber, “As a cupbearer, he is in a unique position. He holds the offices of prime minister and master of ceremonies rolled into one. Fear of intrigue and the constant threat of assassination caused a king to lead a relatively lonely life. It was, therefore, quite natural for him to gravitate toward a man of wisdom, discretion, and ability. A cupbearer who had his monarch’s best interest at heart, and who stayed abreast of the times could frequently exert great influence upon his sovereign. Besides testing the king’s wine, he was also responsible for guarding the king’s sleeping quarters.” Cyril Barber, Nehemiah and the Dynamics of Effect Leadership, (Neptune, New Jersey, Loizeaux Brothers Inc. 1976), p 14
· Vs. 1 – Nehemiah had been praying for four months. Why did he wait so long before talking to the king?
· Why is timing so important in what we do? How do we know when we’ve reached the right time to do something?
· Although we are not to outwardly announce or display when we have a prayer burden (Matthew 6:6), it will often show.
· Vs. 2 – Why was Nehemiah afraid?
· Vs. 3 – Notice that Nehemiah’s answer showed that he was prepared for this moment.
· How does Nehemiah’s answer show tact? Why is tact so important?
HE CRIED TO GOD IN SUPPLICATION – Vs. 4
· This was an “emergency prayer”. Why do you think he prayed it now and not when he was initially frightened?
· What emergency prayer has God answered for you?
· When are emergency prayers appropriate? When are they inappropriate?
HE REQUESTED TO BE SENT – Vs. 5-6
· Vs. 5 – Why was Nehemiah’s request a great personal sacrifice?
· What are you willing to give up in order to get the Gospel out? (Answer God, not us!)
· I think it obvious that Nehemiah thought through and prayed through this request before he made it. It is part of being prepared.
· Vs. 6 – Why was granting this request a great sacrifice on the part of the King? Why do you think the king wanted set times of departure and return. Notice that Nehemiah had thought and prayed through that question before it was asked.
· Why do you think the king was pleased to send Nehemiah?
HE ASKED FOR SIGNATURES AND SUPPLIES – Vss. 7-8
· Why did Nehemiah make requests for supplies and approvals right away? Why didn’t he wait for another time?
· Why is it important to know what we need, even if it isn’t time to ask for it?
· Have you seen a project fail because proper supplies and permissions were not secured?
· If a person wants to do something for the church that is not already being done, what procedure should they follow?
HE RECEIVED A SUPPLEMENT – Vss. 9-10
· Nehemiah had been given a security force which he hadn’t asked for. Was this a valuable supplement? Why?
· Have you ever received more than you’ve asked for? What does this tell you about your God?
HE MADE A SURVEY – Vss. 11-16
· Vs. 11 – Why do you think Nehemiah wisely waited three days before doing or saying anything when he arrived in Jerusalem?
· Vs. 12-16 – Why did Nehemiah quietly make a survey of the walls and why was he so tight-lipped about it?
· What does this teach us?
HE WAITED FOR THE RIGHT TIME TO SHARE – Vss. 17-18
· When Nehemiah presented his proposal to rebuild the wall, he first identified the problem. The people needed to know that he knew what the problem was. The people probably needed to be reminded of the severity of the problem.
· Next, Nehemiah proposed that they, as a team, build the wall. What is the problem with one man projects?
· Nehemiah then told of all that happened previously and how God’s good hand had been upon them. He gave evidence that God was in the rebuilding program. After all, if God isn’t in it, why bother?
· Although it is not stated, I think there were probably questions and answers. Nehemiah had already surveyed the walls and provided for the supplies and the permissions. He could intelligently discuss the project.
· It was then that the people said, “Let us rise up and build”. Why is it important to have people you are trying to lead behind you?