Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611



Nehemiah was taught by Dr. James Modlish






A. Ridicule & mockery (1-6)
B. Physical threat (7-9)
C. Discouragement in the tribe of Judah (10)
D. Intimidation & fear (11,12)


A. He took steps to defend their ground, physically. (13)
B. He encouraged the troops. (14)
C. He reminded them of the cause. (14)
D. He maintained his defenses even after the imminent threat had apparently dissipated. (15-18)


A. Nehemiah briefs the people. (19-23)
B. Don't spread yourself too thin. (19)
C. Your strength is in the Lord. (20)
D. The work was more than 8 to 5. (21)
E. Nehemiah pulled in the troops and tightened security. (22)
F. There was no real rest.

    [1]. They worked by day, stood guard by night.

    [2]. They never removed their clothing and weaponry.

"No leader is exempt from criticism, and his humility will nowhere be seen more clearly than in the manner in which he accepts and reacts to it." - J. Oswald Sanders

"Anyone who steps into the arena of leadership must be prepared to pay a price. True leadership exacts a heavy toll on the whole person and the more effective the leadership, the higher the price!" - Charles Swindoll

God's will for Nehemiah was to build the wall. He appointed men to various tasks to accomplish that great project. Everyone had a job to do. Shortly thereafter the opposition to the work intensified. God's will didn't allow the wall to be built without opposition ... enter - the critics!




Obstacles and opposition are building tools. They present a challenge, and when the challenge is met confidence and inner strength are secured by accomplishing something that once appeared impossible. These obstacles are well and carefully placed in our lives to build and strengthen us.

Sanballat was criticizing God's work! Who was the fool? Tobiah was mocking the God inspired work of one of his servants! (vs. 3) Critics constantly look at situations from a human point of view, they don't stop to thing that they may be opposing God's directive will. Criticism is never a good reason to stop the work, criticism will come, you can count on it.

Nehemiah faced it and prayed about it. The human thing to do is to get mad and retaliate. You are never more successful than when you are on your knees in prayer. Nehemiah not only prayed but he stayed with the task at hand, good old fashioned persistence!

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he falls, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Jack Hyles once said, "If someone's kicking you in the seat of the pants you know that you are in front of them."

We see:

[1]. It is impossible to lead anyone without facing opposition, in fact the leader usually is the one Who has, in the past, successfully met with opposition.

[2]. It is essential to face opposition in prayer.

[3]. Prayer is not all that is necessary if opposition grows. Prayer is no substitute for hard work.



Opposition brings discouragement. Look at the word... discourage. Webster says courage is, "that quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and" difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart; valor; boldness; resolution.

Discouragement says, "Is it really worth it?" or "Why should I go any further?" or "I can't do it" or "It' hopeless." Desire is blunted. Notice that the discouragement comes from within the tribe of Judah. In (Gen. 49), Judah was prophesied to be the leader.

Those that got discouraged first were those that lived closest to the enemy. Day after day they heard their threats. You cannot constantly hear negative talk without being affected by it. If you are prone to discouragement you cannot afford to run the risk of fellowshipping with those who traffic in discouraging information.

What Causes Discouragement?

[1]. Loss of strength - (vs. 10) "...strength is decayed." The people were getting tired. The newness of the challenge had worn off and it had become just plain work.

[2]. Loss of vision - (vs. 10) The people saw the rubbish, they no longer had the vision of the completed wall.

[3]. Loss of confidence - With strength and vision lost, the work becomes merely a human undertaking. The empowerment of the Spirit of God is not evident and "the flesh is weak." "I can't do it", no you can't.

[4]. Loss of security - Fear is a result of insecurity. No one likes to live looking over their shoulder. Fear of the unknown can lead us to run: physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally, which in effect is quitting.

Overcoming Discouragement:

As a leader Nehemiah could not afford to show his discouragement. There's nothing more demoralizing than seeing the leader discouraged. Many of the same thoughts and emotions that went through the people's minds-went through the mind of Nehemiah. How did he deal with this problem?

Nehemiah employed five techniques to deal with discouragement before it ran rampant:

[1]. He unified their efforts again toward the goal. Nehemiah unified the workers according to families and gave them a common goal - self preservation. Nehemiah briefly stopped the work to survey the situation and regroup. Oftentimes one must back off from a situation to take a good look and be more objective in your evaluation.

[2]. Nehemiah directed their attention to the Lord. (vs. 14) Nehemiah took charge. Nehemiah took their attention off themselves and focused it towards the Lord.

[3]. Nehemiah maintained a balance of thought and action. There is a time of fight. There is a time to turn the other cheek. There should be a good balance of building and battle.

[4]. Nehemiah determined there must be a rallying point. What was the rallying point? (Verse 20) says there was a place and a sound and a God. Nehemiah knew they individually could not stand.

[5]. To dispel all signs of discouragement, Nehemiah had to get the people involved in serving others. Helping others with their problems has a tendency to minimize one's own. Most people need to have cause before they'll really get to work. The Jews had one.

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