Nehemiah 4:15 - 5:5

Opening Prayer Thoughts
Prayer of praise and confession.
     Praise God that He is present everywhere, all the time.  And that there is nowhere where we can go where He is not. Jeremiah 23:23,24, Psalm 139:7-10.
     Confess not owning this wonderful truth and, as a result, failing to use it when in need, or when contemplating sin.

Truth for the Mind and Heart
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 27 – In what did Christ’s humiliation consist?
Answer – Christ’s humiliation consisted in being born, and that in a poor circumstance; in being subject to God’s law; in undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God and the curse of death on the cross; in being buried; and in continuing under the power of death for a time.
This is taken from where you will find proof texts.
 – As God’s Son, when Christ came to this earth from heaven, He underwent the most astonishing humiliation, not only in taking upon Himself all the limitations of human nature, but also in experiencing a terrible sense of alienation from God.
Memory Verses to lay into your heart and mind. 
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word. 
James 1:2-4b, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete,”

Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read Nehemiah 4:15 - 5:5.
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Dr. Tim Donachie, with slight amendments.
Ch 4:15-23 – Victory.
Nehemiah had encouraged the people to be ready for the attack that their enemies were planning and to put their trust in the Lord. Whilst they were making preparation by organising themselves and by gathering together a variety of weapons, the Lord was secretly frustrating the evil plan. The attackers had planned a secret attack to catch the defenders unaware, but the Lord had ensured that the plan was revealed to Nehemiah and the defenders of Jerusalem. Even although the attack did not materialise, Nehemiah and his followers secured a very great victory:
                1. The work continued, v. 15. The whole purpose of the proposed attack was to prevent progress in the work. The very fact that the work carried on meant that the plan had failed.
                2. The people were prepared, v. 16-18. Some of the people carried out the building work, and some were prepared to defend should the attack come. So it is, in the work of the kingdom – the sword of the Spirit to repel the attacks of the evil one (Matthew 4:1-11), and the trowel to continue strengthening and building up the kingdom.
                3. The people were watchful and united, v. 19-23. Being aware that an attack could come at any time, the people took the precautions of making arrangements to warn one another, and to be watchful both night and day. So, the believer in the Lord Jesus needs to be watchful both for himself and for his brethren.
                4. They realised that they were doing the work of the Lord and had the confidence that the Lord himself would be fighting for them. It is easy to forget that, in the struggle against the enemy of our souls, 'those who are with us are more than those who are with them', 2 Kings 6:16.
Ch 5:1-5 – Problems.
At the end of chapter four there is a picture of harmony, dedication, courage, and determination to see the task completed. How quickly, however, the scene changes! Chapter five begins with such serious division amongst the people that the work on the walls is brought to a standstill. Verse one brings into view one of the saddest things that can happen within a body of God's people. They had coped with mockery and derision; they had been prepared to take up arms to defend themselves against attack and still continue to build; but when there was division and disunity, the work stopped. It seems that there were a number of financial difficulties facing the people. Money is often a cause of disagreement within the church; mostly, it must be admitted, because there is not sufficient to finish planned work. That does not seem to be the case here, for the materials for the rebuilding had been provided by the king of Persia, Nehemiah ch.1:8-9; the problem arose because of the economic difficulties faced by the builders themselves. The people had willingly and enthusiastically embraced the vision that Nehemiah had set before them of rebuilding the city walls, and perhaps some of them had not really counted the cost. There had to be a balance between the work done on the walls and the ordinary provision that had to be made for their families. In the work that believers do for the Lord, there is always the need to remember that the most basic responsibility that God gives to the believer is to care for, and to nurture, the family that He has given him (1 Timothy 5:8). It is sadly not unknown for believers to spend so much of their resources of time, money, and concern on the work of the church, that their families are neglected. That should never be!

Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 124. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Thank God.
Thank God that we can apply ourselves to loving and serving Him, in our home, workplace, college, and church. Pray that we would get the balance right.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC