Nehemiah 11-12

The Dedication of the Wall


Have you ever wondered why birds sing ?

A)It is something that we don’t think about very much at this time of the year – for the most part Birds are gone


B) But in the spring and summer months isn’t it a joy to wake up to the sounds of birds singing outside your window?


C) But have you ever thought about why they sing ?

1) Think about that for a moment: Think about what they are up against on any given day –


D) In reality they are concerned about the same things we are

1) Each day they have to deal with their need Provision. Taking care of themselves and their families


E) Parent Bird goes off to work – search for food.

1) They are concerned about Shelter – making sure the nest is in good condition



They are concerned about protection for the themselves and their families

A) To them it is a Bird eat Bird world out there ! – Struggle for position



B) I have told you about my neighbors Eucalyptus trees that hang into my back yard and drop hundreds of leaves each week

1) The ones that I wanted to poison after the last big storm – { The trees not my neighbors


C) The only redeeming value those trees have in my book is that they are the home to two different kinds of birds that frequent our back yard

1) The Tiny Sparrows and the Big Black Crows – 


D) Sparrow sing – Crows Caulk -  And the two don’t get along – they kind of Coexist


Not un common to see one of those Big Crows Chasing a little sparrow

A) And every now and then – You can see a couple of little sparrows chasing after a big black Crow


B) So in the Bird world something they have to deal with on a daily basis is Protection – Safety – Other birds  1) Also Cats – Sylvester and Tweety is real deal


C) Our Cat – Bird gifts – look what I did for you today.


When it comes to protection I would even say that for the birds that dilemma for them is an even bigger deal than it is for us

A) So every day like us – They are concerned about Provision / Shelter /

                       protection from outside influences

B) And they are concerned about their young – Is Jr. ever going to make it out of the nest –

1) Is he ever going to fly on his own / provide for himself -   Or is he going to be in our nest for ever!


C) Birds they deal with the up bringing of their young ones –

1) They have some sort of system in place for getting the birds out of the nest


D) And who knows once the little ones are gone – Perhaps they deal with their own empty nest syndrome !


My point is this – when you consider the birds – their challenges and responsibilities are not that much different from ours

A) Like us they deal with Provision Protection shelter caring for and training their young –


B) And yes they even have a Pecking order - 


C) But what is interesting is despite all of that – they sing

1) Daily they sing – there seems to always be a song in their hearts ! Why


C) Perhaps the words of Jesus give us some insight

Matt 6:26

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them

D) Maybe that is why the birds sing – they realize: Our lives are in His Hands ! –


E) That is our Lord’s Point here

1) Encouraging His disciples to not worry – then he adds this words


Matt 6:26-27 Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?


Worry takes the song right out of our Hearts – Stats on worry – 89 million people suffer Anxiety

A)Don’t worry- but let your heart be filled with wonder !  Why ? God has a hold of you


B) You are important and special to God

1) That point is made clear once again in our text here in Nehemiah Ch.11


C) What we have hear in Ch.11 is yet another list – 1) This time it is a list of people who were occupying the city and working there in


D) 5 groups are mentioned – Key names from each group 

1) Mentioned not because they were famous in biblical history

2) But each name represents a group that was important in God’s economy

                     People are Valuable to God !


RD V.1-2 Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities.2 And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.


A) What we see here is that they are re-populating the city – Draft of those who would live there in

1) 1 out of every 10 families was randomly chosen


B) People preferred the country – grow their own food – more peaceful –

1) but they needed people in the city – so this Draft was

Initiated .


C) But it is here that we are introduced to our first group

1) V.2 Those who came willingly chose to dwell there / Volunteers


D) Yes there was a draft – but in the mist of the draft there were those who said we want to be here

1) Those people are special to God !


E) Those who just were willing to show up – be a part of what was going on.




That might be some of you – here today out on Wed night or Wed morning prayer / home groups

A) We require for several reasons our Home group leaders to be here consistently on Wed .


B) Blessing to see those who just want to show up

1) Easy to stay home – kick back –


C) But God takes note of those who say – I want to be with the Body ! Blesses Him


E) Those who Volunteer to serve – and be involved – no compensation / not paying you –

1) You love the Lord and want to be used – He takes notice !              1st group – Volunteers


2nd Group those who worked in the temple v.10 the Priest

A) 822 Priest  who worked in the temple


B) We have people who just work in this Ministry .

1) Guys who clean – one guy every Saturday- he is here making sure the Sanctuary is ready


C) Tape ministry / Internet – Web site stuff


D) People who just work on that stuff


E) Guys come paint –



The next group are those guys who were working outside the temple v.15-16

A) Those who lead home groups / Parking lot guys / Jail ministry / Convalescing home ministry


B) High School campuses – Connected to this Ministry.

1) One on one Discipleship / Counseling


4th Group Mattaniah v.17 – He prayed with Thanksgiving

A) Prayer warriors – Women / Wed / Services /


B) People pray at home – no one knows about – Great prayer warriors


5th Group – The singers v.22-23

A) The worshippers – Important in God’s economy !


B) Those  that were just content to sing out and God took notice


C) We learn two things from this section:

1) Your ministry is marked by God – Heb 6:10

10God is fair; he will not forget the work you did and the love you showed for him by helping his people. And he will remember that you are still helping them. NCV


D) So first lesson we are reminded that God Doesn’t forget our service

1) #2  Your rewards are determined not by fan fare – but by faithfulness – Well done good …faithful….

Now as we move into Ch.12 – We see that there is yet another Celebration that is going on here

A) It is time to Dedicate the Wall !


B) The wall is built. The gates are hung. It is a well defended, beautiful city, filled with people

1) It is time to Celebrate !


C) Our Lord is into Celebrations – 1st Miracle – Wedding Feast


D)  First activity after Rapture is going to be a wedding celebration { Not a Funeral


Picture a wedding reception: Party music / dancing / food / fun / fellowship – whole atmosphere is festive

A) I think that Church should resemble that to a certain degree – CELEBRATION


B) Been in Some Churches where they never clap during worship – and yet the Scriptures declare


Ps 47:1-2 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

2 For the LORD Most High is awesome;


C) Did you know that we are encouraged to sing out

116 times in the scriptures

1) Rejoice 195 times

2) Praise 267 times

3) Gladness 48 times / also shout 48 times

Listen the Lord likes to see his people celebrating!

A) We saw in Ch. 8 – People were exhorted to not weep – conviction – rejoice because the Joy of the Lord was their Strength


B) Ch. 9 After more confession – Exhorted in v.5 Stand up and bless the Lord your God forever - 

   Next 33 verses – given reasons why


C)  Here again in Ch. 12 – Dedication service – Rejoice Celebrate – get loud


D) That is what is happening here in C.12 – pick it up in V.27  Read v.27– 47 make some comments


I want us to note several key ingredients in this worship service !


#1 Before they started they purified themselves ! v.30

A) There was a ritual of purification that would have involved the offering up of a Sacrifice !


B) They Purified themselves so that they could worship & rejoice !

1) We on the other hand can Worship & Rejoice – because we have been purified


C) The Work of Christ – Position Purified – Righteous today in God’s eyes

1) Practically – we still sin – But God has made it so simple for us to be cleansed again –

E) It is not by ritual of Sacrifice but by confessing our faults and believing that God has forgiven them.

1) It is that simple.


F)  Confess your failings, your sins, your mistakes. Admit them. Do not hide them.

1) Do not blame somebody else for them. Do not gloss them over. Confess them. Faithful to forgive & cleanse



The 2nd aspect of their Celebration is that it was marked by Joy !

A) In Verse 27, "The Levites were. . .brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully."


B) Note that the emphasis was on joyful praise on the part of all the people.

1) Singing is mentioned eight times in this chapter, thanksgiving six times, rejoicing seven times, and musical instruments three times.


C) One of the primary elements of true celebration is the expression of joy.

1) A general attitude of joy ought to characterize all Christians.

2) But It is amazing to me how many Christians never appear to be joyful.


D) They are always gloomy and grim. WW Some Christians  look like they have been soaked in embalming fluid!

I am reminded of what a little girl said upon seeing a mule for the first time: "I don't know what you are but you must be a Christian because you look just like grandpa!"


A) There are a lot of long-faced Christians around. The little girl and the Preacher –

1) Jesus a man of sorrows acquainted with grief -  Looked like you – wouldn’t come


B) The German philosopher Nietzsche said, "If the Christians expect me to believe in their Redeemer they have got to look a lot more redeemed!"


C) There are times of sorrow and sadness, of course,

1) but Christians ought frequently to exude a sense of joy because we have something to be joyful about.


D) We have been set free – We are Purified !

1) They were joyful that the wall of the city had been built –


E) we can and should be joyful that the wall of SEPERATION has been brought down !


The 3rd aspect of their celebration was that they marched on and around the wall – v.31-40

A)Two Choirs one led by Ezra / the other by Nehemiah


B) They split up and go in opposite directions singing on the wall – marching – ending up at the Temple


C) By marching on the walls, the people had an opportunity to see the results of their labors

1) They had a Chance to see what God had done –


 Let me suggest another reason for this march around the walls:

A)It was a symbolic act by which they “stepped out by faith” to claim God’s blessing.


B)  In that day, to walk on a piece of property meant to claim it as your own. God said to Abraham, “Arise, walk through the land...for I will give it unto you” (Gen. 13:17);


D) He said to Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” (Josh. 1:3).


E) This joyful march around the walls was their way of saying, “We claim from our God all that He has for us, just as our forebearers claimed this land by faith!”


Worship is a symbolically an act of the same thing! A) In worship we are saying – Lord I trust you I adore you my life belongs to you


B) – Song Yes Lord – Yes Lord Yes Yes Lord – I am believing that your promises are true

C) As I worship and acknowledge your greatness and wonder –

1) I am saying yes to all that you are and want to do in my life !!!


So the People engaged in this great time of Celebration their hearts were filled with Joy and thanksgiving

A) Thankfulness is always part of true celebration.  

       These people were thankful.


B) Grateful for the godly leadership of Nehemiah.

1) They were thankful for God's moving on the king of Persia's heart that permitted this whole project to come into being.


C) They were thankful for the wisdom of God that allowed them to overcome their enemies;


D) They were thankful for the spirit of unity and cooperation that prevailed;

1) They were thankful for strength to labor; and for the supply of food and shelter.


E) I think primarily they were thankful for the will to work,

1) which enabled the project to be carried through to completion.


They Rejoiced because they had so much to be thankful for

This raises the question: Are we properly thankful? A) Do we give thanks every day to God for the blessings we are enjoying at the moment? 


B) We are so trained by the media to grumble and complain, to insist on something we do not have,

Instead of focusing on all we do have.


C) One of the first signs of a growing, maturing spirit in young Christians is that they begin to give thanks to God for what he has poured into their life;


1) for the opportunities that are before them; and for the present blessings and liberties that they do enjoy.


C) Reasons to rejoice !

1) Purified / Provision / Protection / transformation / Great country / the body of Christ / God’s Patience !


D) Sing


The Friendship of Jesus !


At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.

He was out there, sort of like the president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know him.

But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was that He suggested that we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring but predictable ... It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, and it was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said,” Pedal."

I worried and was anxious and asked,” Where are You taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.


And when I say,” I’m scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance, and joy.

They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine.

And we're off again. He said, "Give the gifts away, they're extra baggage, too much weight."

So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first, to be control of my life, I thought He would wreck it; But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore, He smiles and says ... "Pedal."

From the book, "The Hidden Adventure" by Tim Hansel