1. Hello listening friends.
2. Welcome to this new series of programs.
3. We are bringing you a new series entitled, “From Rubble to Rejoicing”.
4. And it is from the book of Nehemiah.
5. So if you have a Bible throughout these series, open it to the book of Nehemiah.
6. Nehemiah was a man of devotion to God and prayer.
7. Nehemiah was a man who could motivate others.
8. Nehemiah was the man best known for rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem in only 52 days.
9. How was that done?
10. Because Nehemiah understood something that is very important.
11. If you understand it, it will change your life.
12. Here it is:
13. One, plus prayer equals a mighty power of God.
14. First I want to give you some background from I & II Kings.
15. In January of 588 BC,
16. The Babylonians surrounded the city of Jerusalem for 18 months.
17. Finally, in July of 586 BC,
18. The commander of the imperial guard of King Nebekanezer of Babylon entered Jerusalem.
19. He destroyed the wall surrounding the city.
20. He burned the gates and wrecked the temple.
21. That was not all he did.
22. II Kings 25 tells us,
23. That he took the Hebrew people into Babylon as exiles.
24. He left only the poorest people behind so that they could work the vineyards.
25. From 586 to 430 BC,
26. The city was in ruins and the people were in despair.
27. This was 75 years before Nehemiah returned from exile to rebuild the wall and the temple.
28. This return and rebuilding was the hardest thing the people of God had ever faced.
29. It was nothing short of a miracle.
30. But for miracles to happen there has to be a willing recipient of the miracle.
31. Nehemiah was born in exile.
32. He spoke the language of the Babylonians very well.
33. He was well-educated and hard worker and trust-worthy.
34. The Bible says that he was the cup bearer of the king of Babylon.
35. In those days the cup bearer was one of the most trusted members of the kings staff.
36. One of his duties was the guard the kings cup to make sure the wine was not poisoned.
37. He had the kings total confidence,
38. And as a trusted confidant, he had a position of great influence.
39. He was responsible for all that was going on in the palace.
40. Those who remained behind in Judea needed a friend in the court.
41. And Nehemiah was there by God’s divine appointment.
42. Now if you have your Bible please turn to Nehemiah chapter 1,
43. And let us read together.
44. Now I want you to notice several things.
45. In chapter 1 verse 2,
46. Nehemiah asked some visitors from Judea about the conditions in Jerusalem.
47. They replied that the remnant in Judea who survived the exile were in great trouble and distress.
48. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down.
49. And its gates were burned with fire.
50. The temple of the Lord was in ruin.
51. Now there are several ways people respond to bad news.
52. They can get angry and rant and shout to no real result.
53. They can get depressed and worry to the point of illness.
54. Or they can feel proper anguish that drives them to their knees.
55. The condition of the wall of Jerusalem was very important.
56. The brokenness of the wall signifies the vulnerability of God’s people.
57. The brokenness of the wall signifies that the people of God had no protection what-so-ever.
58. Some of you listening to me today may be feeling helpless.
59. You may have been relying on someone or something for a wall of protection and they let you down.
60. You may have been relying on someone or something for a wall of comfort and they disappeared.
61. Now that the walls are down in your life there is only one way that you can look and that’s up.
62. The times when you feel vulnerable in your life.
63. Can be the times when you feel the power of God and the hand of God for the first time.
64. The days when you feel helpless in your life.
65. Can be the days when you experience the miracle of God for the first time.
66. When walls are crumbling in your life or in your business or in your family don’t get angry.
67. Don’t be filled with despair.
68. God wants you to look to him.
69. God wants you to do what Nehemiah did.
70. Drop to your knees.
71. God wants to fill you with the power of the Holy Spirit.
72. God wants you to know the protection and peace that can only come to you when you surrender yourself to Jesus Christ.
73. In Nehemiah's time,
74. As they walked past the broken walls and burned gates of the city.
75. Unbelievers were asking the people of God.
76. Who is your God?
77. Where is your God?
78. And there was an irony here and it was this.
79. While the walls were down and the demons in hell were laughing and mocking,
80. And while the people were in distress,
81. The temple was still functioning daily,
82. Worship and sacrifices were routinely offered,
83. And people actually were going on with their business.
84. Think about this,
85. The walls were down,
86. But the average person in Judea didn’t seem to care.
87. In fact, they were spiritually paralyzed.
88. Like some believers today, they were not concerned about the spiritual condition of the people.
89. God does not work through people who keep God out of sight and out of mind.
90. Non-believers today are asking,
91. Where is your God?
92. What can he do?
93. If you are a believer and someone asks you that question tell him to wait.
94. Then get into your prayer closet and cry to the Lord.
95. And God will answer you.
96. Because, one plus prayer equal great power.
97. Today God is raising up Nehemiah’s all over the world.
98. God is raising up men and women who are anguish will drive them to their knees in prayer.
1. And just a queen once said about a humble man of God.
2. I fear this man more than all the armies of my enemies because he knows how to pray.
3. The world will say that about you if you know how to intercede before God.
5. Because God does business with the man or the woman who means business.
6. How did Nehemiah go about God’s business?
7. First he identified the problem.
8. The walls are down,
9. The gates are burned,
10. The temple is in ruins,
11. God’s people have been mocked,
12. And even worse God’s name has been mocked.
14. He took it to the Lord in prayer.
15. He did not lash out at this group or that group.
16. He did not take it out on this person or that person
17. He understood that he too was part of the problem.
18. He did not just pray for their sins.
19. No, he said, our sin.
20. Nehemiah had all the security and the comfort that any one man could want.
21. He was 1000 miles away.
22. Why should he get involved?
23. He was doing fine for himself.
24. Why should he be broken before God?
25. Why shouldn’t those who are in Judea stop being indifferent?
26. Why shouldn’t the religious hierarchy be concerned about this?
27. But Nehemiah said nothing of the sort.
28. He knew that these people had ceased to be spiritual.
29. He knew that they conformed to the Babylonian lifestyle.
30. He knew that they ought to know better than to be indifferent.
31. But none of that mattered to him.
32. What mattered was that Nehemiah knew that one plus prayer equal great power.
33. My listening friends, God is not impressed with numbers.
34. If you want to see God at work,
35. Give him a man or a woman who seek nothing but his glory.
36. And watch what mighty works God can do.
37. Do you know what really broke Nehemiah's heart?
38. It wasn’t the broken walls or the ruined city or the burnt gates,
39. But what really broke Nehemiah's heart was the name of God being disgraced.
40. The Bible said Nehemiah moaned and wept as he fasted and prayed.
41. My listening friend I want to ask you a question,
42. When was the last time you wept for the sin of those who were blaspheming the name of your Lord?
43. When was the last time you wept over your own sin?
44. When was the last time you wept over apostasy in the church?
45. When was the last time you wept when you heard the name of Jesus being mocked?
46. Nehemiah was anguished that the name of God was ridiculed,
47. So he dropped to his knees and he prayed a three-fold prayer.
48. And I want to tell you about the three-fold prayer in our next broadcast.
49. Until then I pray that you will learn how to weep over sin.
50. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.