God's Purpose for you
Noah had us read Nehemiah chapters 1, 2, and 3 to prepare for the lesson.
Nehemiah was a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes around 445-425 BCE. This King conquered the people of Israel and enslaved them. There were approximately 1 million people living under his rule. Nehemiah had a dream/vision from God saying he was going to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and King Artaxerxes was going to help! For several months Nehemiah wrestled with this vision and eventually asked the king if he could leave his side and go rebuild the city. He also asked, with respect, for the king to provide the wood, stone, and safe passage for the project. Surprisingly the king agreed! Some people that wanted to return to Jerusalem joined Nehemiah on his journey, but did not know his true purpose.
Nehemiah was tasked with something that seemed overwhelmingly impossible, yet after lots of prayer he was able to conquer this 'little' question. His question was answered with more than what he could ask for, an approval and the king's blessing AND about 50,000 people to help build. Once they arrived at the burned and scorned city Nehemiah had revealed his plan to the people and they started work immediately. Just as quickly they were met with the opposition. Several groups of people in the area were upset that they were rebuilding for fear of rebellion, or distaste for these former Israelite's. However, despite the threats and attempts to attack, God provided protection by thwarting the enemies' plans every step of the way.
Nehemiah's tactics for working together as well as protecting the city is a huge exclamation to his leadership abilities. The people were instructed to rebuild the wall that stood directly behind their homes. The 'people' that worked were from all different backgrounds, and they all worked together as one team. There was a fierce determination to fulfill the city to greater glory, that even when burdened with carrying swords and spears they continued on tirelessly. Little did these guys, and gals, know that they were building a city that Jesus would be walking into. There were a few other large scaled constructions of Jerusalem, however they were mostly focused on expansion.
As we continue reading through Nehemiah we will see more leadership traits to discuss, as well as how to respond to problems that arise.