When things are going well in a church, Satan will often bring attacks from the outside.
Perhaps a member will be falsely accused, or government will try to interfere. In many countries persecution will take place. When Satan fails to cause problems from outside the church, he will try to cause problems within the church. If Satan can cause unrest, unhappiness and strife within the church family, he will succeed in slowing down or halting the work of God.
When Nehemiah was
leading the rebuilding of the walls of
THE COMPLAINT OF THE POOR Vss. 1-5
Vs. 1 talks of two different groups of people working on the walls. There were the "haves" and the "have-nots". Notice that Nehemiah calls them "brethren". Even though they had different financial status, they were still bound together as fellow Jews. They were related through their ancestor Abraham. They were related in the sense of nationality. They were related in the mutual worship of their God. Today, we must remember that fellow Christians, no matter what their financial status, are our brothers and sisters. John tells us that all believers are children of God. If all believers are children of God, then we are related in Christ!
The poor Jews had some specific problems:
1. There was a shortage of food. Vs. 2
2. There were those who mortgaged their property. Vs. 3
3. There were those who borrowed money. Vs. 4
4. Because of the money loaned, the rich Jews were taking over the lands of the poor Jews, and some of the poor Jews' children were being sold into slavery because of the debts. Vs. 5
THE CONFRONTATION OF THE OFFENDERS Vss. 6-11
Nehemiah confronted those who were sinning against their brethren.
He pointed out their sin in a great public assembly. Vss. 6-10
He demanded that they make things right! Vs. 11
THE CORRECTION OF THE PROBLEM Vss. 12-13
Those who were doing wrong were convicted and promised to fix the problem.
THE CONDUCT OF NEHEMIAH Vss. 14-19
Nehemiah practiced what he preached. As governor, he did not require the traditional payments. He did not needlessly add to the financial burden of the people, although he could have. The reason he acted this way was because of his fear for the Lord (Vs. 15).
PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS
There was a time when there was a problem with a teacher in a Sunday School Class. He needed to be replaced for the good of the class. I was a layman in the class and confronted the teacher. I only caused hard feelings. My pastor came to the rescue and managed to have the man resign and replace him with another teacher. My pastor certainly showed his ability to solve problems. By the way the teacher that was replaced is still a very good friend of mine.
Every one of us has the need to be able to solve problems. Although we can't truly solve problems without the Lord's help, He does provide with skills that we can use to see difficulties resolved.
As Nehemiah was leading in the rebuilding of the wall, a problem came up. Nehemiah used his problem solving skills in order to see the matter resolved. When problems come, we should imitate Nehemiah's problem solving skills.
1. KNOW THE PROBLEM - Vss. 1-5
Nehemiah listened thoroughly to the complaint before he made any decision.
2. HAVE A PROCEDURE - Vss. 6-13
He Considered - Vs. 7a - He thought before he talked or acted.
He Confronted - Vss. 7b-11
He got a Commitment - Vss. 12-13
3. SET THE PATTERN (EXAMPLE) - Vss. 14-19
Nehemiah did not take advantage of others although he could have. He set a positive example of how others should behave. He was not guilty of the same sin that he was confronting others about.