Destiny Leadership, Show #310, Part 1, Replay

Transcript from show #310, Part 1, Replay 

(Please note that the transcripts are written pretty well as they were delivered on air).

Radio Show...

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Opening Narrative

In my Bible devotion recently, I found myself in the book of Nehemiah – again. I’ve been there before and I know that some of you have also.

It is a fascinating story of a people, a nation, trying to rebuild itself after a long captivity in a strange land that had been ordered by God as punishment for much disobeying and rebelling.

It has been the subject of many a sermon over the generations – ours included – but I will do a take on it today focusing specifically on the actual time of rebuilding, as to the difficulties and adversities that took place… and which take place with many of us who are in the work of God and the Kingdom.

I’ve entitled this message “Destiny Leadership”, because it’s all about leadership -- strong leadership.

So let's remember to always read this book with an open mind and patience.

First, let's listen to this wonderful opening music...

(Opening Music interlude on the live radio show)

(Let us pray...
The Lord's Prayer...
Praise God Doxology...
Worship Music...)

Narrative #1

Alright... I’ve divided the book of Nehemiah into two main parts:

Part 1 – From Nehemiah’s learning of the tragic state of Jerusalem to the building of the wall.

Part 2 – From the completion of the wall to Nehemiah’s religious and civil reforms.

So today I will go through Part 1 which is to the building and completion of the wall…

So Nehemiah is in the Palace of king Artaxerxes I, serving as cupbearer around the year 445 B.C. after the release of the captivity of Babylon.

Now, a cup-bearer was an officer of high ranking, in royal courts whose duty it was to serve the drinks to the king and at the royal table. Because of the constant fear of plots and intrigues that went on in those days, such a person would have to be regarded as thoroughly trustworthy to hold the position. He would guard against poison in the king's cup and was sometimes required to swallow some of the wine before serving it. His confidential relations with the king would give this person a position of great influence. The position of cup-bearer was greatly valued and given only to a select few throughout history.

Nehemiah is a contemporary of Ezra who had gone about 12 years earlier back to Jerusalem along with an expedition of Jews, several of them important men and their families. Ezra was a priest and proficient scribe in the books and laws of God. Nehemiah was a builder and an administrator who was totally dedicated to the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

One day, some of his brethren from the land of Judah came to visit Nehemiah, and brought with them tragic news about the state of Jerusalem at this time. We read in Nehemiah chapter 1 and verses 1-3:

1, The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah, And it came to pass in the month Chisleu (Kislev-Nov/Dec), in the twentieth year (of the reign of Artaxerxes I), as I was in Shushan the palace, (now this would be in Northern Iran today).

2, That Hanani, one of my brethren (actually this was his brother which we find out later in chapter 7 verse 2) came, he and certain men of Judah);

and I asked them concerning the Jews that had returned, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3, And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

(The bad news was that these who had returned from the 70 years of the captivity of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, were in a state of great affliction and reproach and the wall of Jerusalem also was broken down and all the gates had been burned down. This had been the situation ever since they had returned – some 12 years earlier.)

The bible tells us that Nehemiah was devastated and wept greatly, and being the Godly man that he was, immediately took this situation to God in prayer.

Something we should learn or get into a habit of doing when bad news come our way or things don’t go too well in our lives – if we are sincere and love God as we are told with all our hearts, mind and strength.

His prayer is recorded in verses 4 – 11)

4, And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5, And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6, Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7, We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

Notice how Nehemiah prays for his people and confesses the sins of the nation. Something else that we ought to learn to do.

Verse 8, Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9, But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

(God is a God of mercy – Nehemiah appeals to God on the basis of this condition from God… that if the people would return to God, He would re-gather them… that’s where we are as a people right now!

(Nehemiah appeals to God in the same way that Moses did when he intervened for the people before God… and reminds God that he had redeemed the Jews then. He calls upon the faithfulness of God… for those who fear Him)

Verse 10, Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11, O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

(Nehemiah asks God to move upon the heart of the King for mercy and favour toward his request.)

And then in chapter 2, after 3 months of anguish and praying about this, we read the story of when the King granted the request and let him go to Jerusalem…

Think about this, for 3 months Nehemiah prayed and agonized about this burden that ad been placed on his heart.

More often than not, most of us give up before God’s time occurs… we live in a “fast food” era, where everything is fast and fleeting and we move on to something else because we just can’t wait on the Lord long enough. Then we wonder why we can’t find His will in our lives. In business, in sales training seminars, we’re often reminded that sales people quit at 90% of their efforts to reach success. We do that elsewhere also throughout our lives, missing very important timelines that God has for us.

(Music Interlude and Station ID)

Narrative 2

So continuing on in chapter 2, and picking up from verses 11 to 20, we read about Nehemiah’s arrival in Jerusalem and his surveying of the wall’s damage…

Verse 11, So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

12, And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

(Obviously Nehemiah did not want to incite the wrath of the enemies before they began to work on the wall… that’s another hallmark of strong leadership… knowing when to keep something quiet until the time is right…)

13, And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.

14, Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

15, Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.

(So Nehemiah inspected the southern part of the wall at this time.)

Verse 16, And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.

But at the right time he did…

Verse 17, Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

18, Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me.

So Nehemiah tells them how God’s hand was and is in this…

And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

(in other words they strengthened one another to give their hands to do this work).

(but when one begins a work for God there will always be opposition.)…

Verse 19, But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?

20, Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

(these were from Samaria, so they’re told they had no part in Jerusalem – they had set themselves against God.)

Now we’re going to skip over the next chapter which is the extensive list of the builders in all of chapter 3 – which again I encourage you to read, even though it might seem boring to read all these names… but it has a lot of very interesting details along the way about these people and which are of the wall they were working on…

The names of the builders are given along with each their portion of the wall that they worked on – from the Sheep Gate (3:1) in the Northern part, around Westward and Southward all the way down to the Dung Gate (3:13) in the Southern point of the wall, around the corner upward along the Eastern wall right back to the starting point in the North.

Now this is around a city, not a yard, and I didn’t check what the mileage would be….

(Most of the builders mentioned are nobles and priests – they were the leaders along with their team of workers)

(But not all the rulers nobles joined in the work as we read in another chapter)

(Music Interlude)

Narrative 3

So, let’s move on right now to the actual building of the walls in chapter 4:

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Whenever someone sets out to accomplish something for God’s work, there will always be those who will oppose the work. Here Sanballat is infuriated and he and his opposing group mock the Jews, laugh at them and humiliate them.

2, And he (that is Sanballat) spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?

This building of the walls has a great economic and political impact on Samaria (Liberty Commentary p. 886)

So Sanballat and his followers use all sorts of mockery and criticism as a means to stop and discourage the Jews.

3, Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

Then Tobiah gets in on the harassment and criticizes the quality of the work.

So, Nehemiah takes his cause to the Lord in prayers again:

Verses 4-5:

4, Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:

5, And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders.

Opposition is not pleasant but always brings God’s people to their knees. In times of adversity and discouragement, we must turn to God.

Interestingly, in these passages of scripture we can notice that Nehemiah is driven to prayer 8 times during the events taking place.

The request of Nehemiah to ‘turn their reproach upon their own head’ is a request of deliverance according to the justice and righteousness of God, according to the sins of the enemies of God. We see that often throughout the Word of God.

Here the sin of these people is that they have provoked God to anger before the builders. According to the Liberty commentary on this scripture, this literally means that they have vexed with alarm the builders.

But in spite of all, the Jews continued their work:

Verse 6:

6, So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

This means that they built the wall until the height of it had reached halfway. The people were united in this work and were determined to get it done.

7, But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,

8, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

9, Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

10, And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

They were overwhelmed with praying, working and watching the enemy.

11, And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see (anything), till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

They were continuing in their work but in fear that at any moment their enemies would strike in battle.

12, And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

13, Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

14, And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

Wow this is powerful… he’s saying don’t be afraid, keep fighting, we’re doing this for our sons and daughters, our wives and our houses and everything that we have…

That’s what we should be hearing in some places today, where we have given up fighting for our rights and freedom…

verse 15, And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

So when the enemies knew that the Jews were not afraid of them, and their counsel to God came to nothing, the builders returned to the wall to continue the building.

16, And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons (shi-reon=body armour); and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

And from that time forward, half of the workers continued to work and half of them were ready for war holding spears, shields and bows and body armour.

17, They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

And all them, those who built, those who lifted and those who carried the loads, everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other.

This is symbolic of Christians who are involved in building for the Lord and are at the same time fighting the devil who tries to stop the work or the ministries.

18, For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

And there was one who sounded the trumpet going alongside Nehemiah to warn of any approaching enemies.

Verse 19, And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

20, In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

21, So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.

22, Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.

23, So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me (his body guards), none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

I think we get the picture of how difficult that battle was…. We today have the same difficulties except that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

It’s a spiritual warfare, but just as these people were relentlessly fighting, Christians are never to lay aside our armor… we are to always be ready to go to battle at any time when needed.

(Music Interlude)

Narrative 4

And in the next chapter we hear that after all this, as if what they had gone through wasn’t enough, there were other problems on the homefront…

Chapter chapter 5:

And I’m going to read verses 1 to 7…

1, And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews.

2, For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live.

3, Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth.

4, There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards.

5, Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards.

6, And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

Sometimes we need to get angry before we will do something about injustices…

7, Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.

So Nehemiah got them all together and put them all to shame for what they had done to the people and requested that they restore their lands and vineyards and oliveyards, their house, part of the money they had extracted from them, and so on …

And praise God they did!

Verse 12 :

Then they said, we will restore them and will require nothing of them; so we will do as you said. Then Icalled the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.

An then we read about the selfless, dedicated life of the leader Nehemiah:

From v.14 to 19:

Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the Lord. And the people did according to this promise.

14, Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.

15, But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

16, Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.

17, Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.

18, Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

19, Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.

And, if that wasn’t enough, the enemies are still trying to stop them, with even more attacks and vicious plotting… just like we’re seeing happening today in some places…

But I will continue from here in the next program..

Yes we all have battles – nationally and individually… and we need strong leaders to go to after we’ve gone to the Lord in prayer… and then we need to work together to overcome the troubles…

As Job said: Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

And there’s a lot said about trouble in the New Testament and being in the end times, we are warn to expect a lot more yet…

But the good news is that the Lord told us to not “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Are you going through a time of trouble right now? Are you giving it all to the Lord who will fight your battles?

If not, and you have received the message today in that true story which represents many similar situations in life… and if you want to turn to the One God who cares for you and ask Him into your life… just say this prayer after me:

Lord I come to you right now, I have done everything on my own to get out of trouble, but it seems that nothing is working out… I realize that I need to come to you and receive you into my life… I repent of my sin and I ask you to come into my heart, I turn to you sincerely and humbly and turn everything into your hands, today…

In Jesus name, amen……

Closing Narrative…

Before I dismiss the service today, I want to read to you the Blessing that was read to the people of God in Numbers 6:24-26 which is the benediction from God to you today:

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

I hope and pray that you will come back next Sunday at, 7 am and 7 pm pacific time. And if you want to hear the service again at any time, you can go to my website at, and click on the Radio Shows navigational tab along the left side. The replays are available there for five weeks, then they are transcribed into articles as new radio shows are put up.

I encourage you to go to your Bible and read further on the scriptures that were given throughout the program today. And if you like these programs and you've been blessed, call or write the station and let them know... if you said the prayer and have accepted the Lord or you've been healed or touched in some way by the Holy Spirit, write to me on the contact form of this web site...

...and this web site is also where you will find the Free Offer of the “Christian Growth and Maturity Chart” that I talked to you about in the last weeks... you will see the graphic on any page called “Get your free CGM Chart”, click on it and it will take you to a page that will tell you about it and how you can subscribe to my newsletter to get your free copy of the Chart sent to you.

Until next week, Maranatha, the Lord is coming, very soon. Goodbye and Blessing.


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