Step One: I admit that my life is a mess and I am out of control.
I arrived in Jerusalem. After I had been there three days, I got up in the middle of the night, I and a few men who were with me. I hadn’t told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal with us was the one I was riding. Under cover of night I went past the Valley Gate toward the Dragon’s Fountain to the Dung Gate looking over the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken through and whose gates had been burned up. I then crossed to the Fountain Gate and headed for the King’s Pool but there wasn’t enough room for the donkey I was riding to get through. So I went up the valley in the dark continuing my inspection of the wall. I came back in through the Valley Gate. The local officials had no idea where I’d gone or what I was doing–I hadn’t breathed a word to the Jews, priests, nobles, local officials, or anyone else who would be working on the job. Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come–let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” I told them how God was supporting me and how the king was backing me up. They said, “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work. When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they laughed at us, mocking, “Ha! What do you think you’re doing? Do you think you can cross the king?” I shot back, “The God-of-Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding. You can keep your nose out of it. You get no say in this–Jerusalem’s none of your business!” Nehemiah 2:11-20
– Nehemiah started out as a government worker, then became a building contractor called in to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem
(You never know what God has in store for you)
– His coworker Ezra was a scholar and teacher of the Scriptures
(Nehemiah knew what his purpose was)
– Through 52 days of rebuilding the wall together the Jews rebuilt relationships
(When we work together we change)
– After the rebuilding Nehemiah called on Ezra to teach the people from the Sriptures showing them how to rebuild their lives
(Recovery apart from God doesn’t last)
Focus Verse: Nehemiah 2:17 Then I gave them my report: “Face it: we’re in a bad way here. Jerusalem is a wreck; its gates are burned up. Come–let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.”
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT MESS
1Ti_1:19 (CEV) Some people have made a mess of their faith because they didn’t listen to their consciences.
Deu_31:29 (MSG) I know that after I die you’re going to make a mess of things, abandoning the way I commanded, inviting all kinds of evil consequences in the days ahead. You’re determined to do evil in defiance of God–I know you are–deliberately provoking his anger by what you do.”
Jdg_10:14 (MSG) “Go ahead! Cry out for help to the gods you’ve chosen–let them get you out of the mess you’re in!”
Job_8:3 (MSG) Does God mess up? Does God Almighty ever get things backwards?
Psa_9:7 (MSG) God holds the high center, He sees and sets the world’s mess right.
Psa_40:17 (MSG) I‘m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing: make something of me. You can do it; you’ve got what it takes– but God, don’t put it off.
Psa_71:2 (MSG) Do what you do so well: get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation.
Psa_79:9 (MSG) You’re famous for helping; God, give us a break. Your reputation is on the line. Pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins– do what you’re famous for doing!
Pro_13:17 (MSG) Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things, but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.
Ecc_7:29 (MSG) God made men and women true and upright; we’re the ones who’ve made a mess of things.
Rom_3:24 (MSG) God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
Rom_8:3 (MSG) God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it.
1Ti_1:19 (MSG) Keep a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in. There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith.
Jas_3:16 (NIrV) Are you jealous? Are you concerned only about getting ahead? Then your life will be a mess. You will be doing all kinds of evil things.