by Claude Thomas

Nehemiah 4:1-21

Introduction: Each year we have a holiday called Labor Day. It is rather curious that on that day labor is usually ceased. It is a day of rest for most Americans. Today we are going to learn from some folks who, I am sure, wanted to stop working. But they would have quit - not because there was a holiday - but due to discouragement. The didn't! Rather, they overcame the discouraging news and circumstances and beat the blues.

Transition Statement: Valuable lessons of encouragement are in this passage of scripture. First we see the ...

I. Source of Discouragement - vv. 10-12

Transition Statement: Set the time, place, people ... The time was a transitional period. Israel became prominent in 1000 BC. They went through periods of peaks, valleys, and a major division. The Northern Kingdom lasted until 722 BC. The Southern Kingdom - Judah - remained until 586 BC. Nebuchadnezzar invaded and Judah fell. Babylonian captivity began and Jerusalem was left in ruins. The temple and the wall were torn down! People were deported 800 miles to Babylon. But, God didn't forget them!

The Medo-Persian Empire rose under Cyrus of Persia and Darius of Medes. They invaded Babylon and overthrew the Babylonians. Cyrus made a proclamation that the temple in Judah be rebuilt, so the Jews returned to Judah. They went in waves, one under Zerubbabel; another under Ezra. Ataxerxes, the successor to Cyrus, then sent a group led by Nehemiah. The Book of Ezra is about the building of the temple. The book of Nehemiah is about the building of the wall.

The people were working to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. They were half finished, and they faced discouragement.

Explanation: From within the ranks - v. 10. Judah brought words of discouragement. Judah ... a leader amount brothers! Judah ... tribe of Shiloh/Messiah! Judah ... discouraging the workers!

Explanation: From outside the ranks - vv. 11-12. Jews bro ...

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