Nehemiah 3:1-32  Working Together


Brother Hammer was appointed to preside over the Master Tool Convention. Brother Screwdriver objected, saying “Brother Hammer, you’re too noisy to preside over this meeting. You’re always driving home your point, always nailing people. I call for your resignation immediately.


Brother Hammer responded “Well, what about you, Brother Screwdriver? All you ever do is spin around in circles.”   


 “That may be true, said Brother Screwdriver, but al least I’m not like Brother Plane. His work is so surfacy, so shallow. What right does he have to even be here?”


“If you’re going to kick me out, protested Brother Plane, what about Brother Ruler? He thinks he’s always right, measuring everyone else by his standards”


“Well, if you’re going to come down on me, argued Brother Ruler, what about Brother Plier? He needs to get a grip!”


“At least I don’t rub people the wrong way, said Brother Plier,who was  staring at Brother Sandpaper.


Just then the Master Craftsman walked in. And, as He used each tool at the perfect time, He created an object of great beauty.

Often times the Church can resemble the tools in the tool shop in that story.

A)But the Bible clearly teaches us that we are all part of a body and Christ is the head – we all have a place

A function a purpose { He uses as He sees fit!


B)This Chapter at first glance just looks like a lot of names – but it is much more than that


C)This is a great chapter about cooperation.

1)How things get done when God’s pp are working together and following a Plan


In this Chapter we learn that to accomplish God’s purpose, 3 things must take place!

#1 we need a common vision, #2 dedicated leaders and #3 willing workers.   Break down 


#1 To accomplish God’s purpose we need a common vision for the task.

A)You can’t work together if everyone has a different vision of what you’re trying to accomplish


B)Here in Neh. the task at hand was to build a wall – for the security and protection of the city.

1)Wall wasn’t meant to be pretty just functional and durable.


C)It was going to be made of stone blocks… before it.


Now what if some of the pp wanted to construct decorative fence.

A)One group is quickly trying to get as many stones in place as possible – don’t care about looks – not pt


B)Other group is taking their time carefully positioning each rock – painting / planting

1)Result would be CHOAS & TENSION


C)What if some of the pp felt like the primary goal was to build an under water well –

1)Result would have been Division –


D)It was going to take a collective effort to get this done.

1)They had to have a clear vision and plan


E)Same thing is true of Any task – any ministry { Clear vision


Clear Vision of CCV

1.Glorify God.

2.Build up the saints here at CCV to use their lives and God given gifts to impact their world for Christ


So the task at hand for Nehemiah and the gang was to Rebuild the wall.


To accomplish God’s purpose they needed  #2 dedicated leaders are needed who can help everyone work toward the common vision.

A)8 leaders are mentioned in the Chapter and the work at 4 of the 10 gates was being spear headed by them.


B)Including 2 individuals who each controlled half of the city.

1)V.9 Rephaiah

2)V.12 Shallum


The Purpose of the leaders was 3 fold.

1.Set the example – doing the work!

2. Help delegate. 

3. Help motivate.



Motivation is a key to Productivity!

A)How many projects are sitting undone at home/or  on your computer /or at the office .. lack of motivation


B)The difficult thing about trying to motivate a group of pp is what motivates some might turn someone else off.


C)V.5 We read of the nobles from Tekoa who refused to participate.  Sticks in the mud!


D)Here is what is great – Nehemiah doesn’t expend any energy trying to convince the nobles from Tekoa to participate 


He is not trying to persuade them to join the Job

He is not trying to talk them into being involved

A)Nehemiah knows that they are embarking in A GREAT WORK! –


B)Their lack of participation simply meant that they were going to miss out on the blessing


C) Here is what is also interesting: Although their leaders weren’t into it – the rest of the Tekoites were

1)they actually built 2 sections of the wall

27 After them the Tekoites  repaired another section, next to the great projecting tower, and as far as the wall of Ophel.


Notice what Nehemiah did to motivate the people.

A)1st Nehemiah placed some of the people on a section of the wall that would interest them.


B)Example: The priest worked at the sheep gate

1)The gate where the sheep were brought to go to the temple to be sacrificed.


C)It was essential for their calling -  - So the sheep gate was of interest to them.


2nd Others worked close to their homes:

10 Next to them Jedaiah…. made repairs in front of his house .


23 After him Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house . After them ….made repairs by his house .


28 Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house . 29 After them Zadok made repairs in front of his own house .


V.30 After him Meshullam…. made repairs in front of his dwelling.


It is true that pp need to be willing at times to serve in areas that don’t interest them –

but it is also true the Lord gets the most productivity out of us from the areas we are the most interested in.


That is why the Lord often strategically seeks to place us in areas where we are going to thrive.

A)I am learning Key to leadership– trying to get pp into areas where they are gifted in let them go for it.


B) We can often make the mistake of trying to fit a person into a box they weren’t made to fit into.

1)Experience, age, maturity -


C)Different gifts – let them go for it with their gifts


I love the things that happen around here pp using their gifts & passions

A)Tom Mangonie – Every Halloween


B)Linda Barret – Jail ministry Julie – 45 women



C)Jamie Williams – 30 pp working on a Play


D)College students – 43 pp at first meeting


Jim Westby - 2nd mission trip Costa Rica

Matt Scott – Guatamela

The Hills – Africa


Geoff – Movie nights Saturday nights

Ole – Skateboard


So the Project had a clear vision –

Dedicated leaders

#3 Willing workers


The People were willing to work! Ch.2 v.18 The pp heard Nehemiah’s vision and responded – Let us rise up and build.

A)What is really interesting is there was a whole group of pp who came from outside the city


B)The wall would be of little benefit to them since they lived on the outlining areas outside of the city


C)They came to work for the overall cause so that the Lord’s name would be glorified.


D)It is great to see pp serve in the areas where they have a vested interest.

1)But it is amazing to see pp serve in areas where there is no vested interest.


E)The Noakes – 20plus yrs Kindergarten

Kids are all grown {Love the Lord / His kids

1)School board guys – Kids all grown – Love the teachers – love the kids – value Christian Ed.


It was important that the workers were willing and it was also important that they cooperated together.

A)Everyone couldn’t do the same job – Some worked on gates others worked on the wall.


B)1 Corinthians 12 The body is not one member but many each having different functions

1)Hands function is different from the foot – but both are important


C)Some of the workers were willing to work outside their areas of strength.

1)The Priest built on the sheep gate – I guarantee you they didn’t learn that in seminary

2) Politicians v.9,12 rolled up their sleeves


C)V.8 goldsmiths and perfume makers – who were not used to this rugged labor


D)My Pt God blessed their willingness to serve

Rd in Ch. 6:15 Record 52 days .

Here is the amazing thing – some of the workers were willing to do the less than glamorous jobs

A)In V. 14 we read of Malchijah who made repairs at the refuse gate – the Dung gate


B)The Dung gate was the place where all the garbage and human waste was burned – it led to the Kidron ValleyValley of Gehenna


C)Type of Hell – Always burning – horrible stench

Someone had to do it

1)Probably a lot more volunteers at the fountain gate


What is amazing is that Malchijah was a ruler who controlled ˝ of the city – Big wig

A)Drives a Lincoln town car – Onterouge


B)V.31 tells us he was a goldsmith by trade { Humble


This Chapter teaches us that God’s work gets done in a powerful way when willing people make themselves available to carry out God’s prescribed vision


C))A Body that is functioning together following a set goal and vision is Powerful!


Philippians 1:27  “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”

Now there is one more thing I want you to see tonight before we dismiss – this Chapter illustrates for us a wonderful picture of the journey of the Christian life

A)Seen in the gates { Looked at last time in depth

We spent 2 weeks on this.



A) Jesus declared in John 10He was the Sheep Gate – the door into the sheep fold of God – He is the entry point  Salvation begins with Him


B)Sheep gate was the place the sheep were brought thru for sacrifice – Speaks of Christ sacrifice

1)The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


After the sheep gate V.3 the FISH GATE

A)Once saved you naturally want to tell others what Jesus has done for you.


B)Christ calls us to be fishers of men.


After the fish gate – V. 6 the OLD GATE

A)The old gate speaks of the timeless truths of the word of God.


B)Often follows witnessing – pp ask you questions you don’t know how to answer – time to dig

1)Time to find out what you believe and why


1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.


D) The old gate speaks of our need to be grounded in the word of God !!!

1)Lives built on the foundation of the word.


After the old gate V. 13 VALLEY GATE

A)The Valley gate speaks of trials


B)Times of testing / times of temptations / times of difficulties

1)Times where you wonder – what is going on –


C) but those times of trial are necessary – They Produce Muscle development

1)Faith becomes purified.


After the Valley gate comes the V.13 Refuse Gate

A)Refuse Gate – waste that which stinks – the stuff that needs to be destroyed


B) This is fitting – because the valleys reveal what we are really made of. –

1)When times get tough – the refuse / the dung comes out of us.


After the refuse gate comes v.15 The fountain gate

A)We see the refuse and we realize that we need cleansing.  Fountain for Cleansing

B)And We need empowering John7:38 Jesus "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers [ fountains] of living water."


After the Fountain Gate we come to Richard Nixon’s favorite Gate V.26 

THE WATER GATE  = Refreshment from the Word


One of the things that often happens in the life of a Believer after they have been filled with the Spirit – greater thirst for the Word

A) Where the Old Gate spoke of the Doctrinal side of the Word of the God –


B) The Water Gate speaks of the Devotional side of the Word

1) The need that we all have to sit and allow the Word to touch us in the deepest parts of our hearts


C) It is one thing to study the WORD to become equipped – that is important

1) But it is an entirely different thing to have the Lord’s word speak to and Refresh your heart


Psalm 119:25   My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.


D)The Old gate speaks to us of the Worth of the Word the water Gate speaks to us of the Word that works

1)It refreshes us – it sustains us – it is that treasure that keeps us moving in the Lord

After the Water Gate came the HORSE GATE V28 also known as the eastern Gate The Horse Gate speaks to us of the Rapture of the Church and the 2nd coming of Christ----


1 Thessalonians  4:16-18   16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. { Believers comfort – No Tribulation { All believers accept 144,000 Jewish men – Special mission


1 Corinthians 15:51-54 

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed --52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.


The Book of Revelation tells us that AFTER we have been taken up by Jesus into heaven, having spent seven years with Jesus in a honeymoon

A) During that time the earth is going to be going thru 7 yrs of intense tribulation – like the world has never seen

B) Everyone who didn’t believe in Jesus – wasn’t walking with Jesus is going to be left behind –

1) Endure this horrific time – If not shortened no flesh would survive


C) After which we are told in Revelation 19 that Jesus is going to come back to the earth riding on a white horse

1) We are going to be coming back with Him also riding on white Horses


D) Jesus is going to restore the earth – to it original beauty – we are going to rule and reign with Christ

1) This life the Prelude : the story before the story 1,000 yrs


Now when Jesus returns we are told something radical in Zechariah  14:4

“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east.

And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,

From east to west,  Making a very large valley;

Half of the mountain shall move toward the north

And half of it toward the south.”


A) Then, according to Ezekiel 44:2, Jesus will enter into the city of Jerusalem  through the East Gate.

1) Which is why This is the next gate mentioned.

        THE EAST GATE V.29


B) Upon His return, Jesus will enter the EAST GATE with His glory, and with authority.

1) When the Turks had heard this, around the year 1100 AD said: “If that is the gate that the Messiah of Israel is to enter upon His return, then we will seal it up so that He can not re-enter it.


C) But in so doing, they fulfilled the very prophecy of Ezekiel 44 which said that the EAST GATE will be sealed before He comes.

1) If you go there today, you can see that gate sealed up with brick.


D) But Jesus will return , the gate will be opened, He will rule the earth for 1,000 years, and we will be with Him.


What happens after this : V.31The GATE OF MIPHKAD 

Miphkad = Judgment or inspection

A) 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad


B) JUDGMENT SEAT is the Greek word “Bema”. It was the place where awards were given in athletic events.

1) It was NOT a judicial place where sentences were handed down. It was a place of rewards.


1 Cor 3:12-15  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss;


C) So we who are in the Lord are going to be judged for our work here on the earth – MOTIVES – gold silver stone –that endures

1) Wrong MOTIVES - Wood hay stubble burned up


Now for those who don’t know the Lord they have a different Judgment that they are going to face {

A) Rev 20 – Most of the Chapter deals with this Judgment – God is going to gather everyone throughout history  small & great


B) They are going to be judged on the basis of rejecting His Son


C) Simple: Test is there name written in the Lambs book of life

1) Not in that book – they are going to be thrown into the Lake of fire


2nd Death – Experience eternity – living in place of torment


D) Outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth

1) This is what we commonly call – HELL


E) But I didn’t know someone might Protest – Well Revelation 20 also tells us that the Books are going to be opened

1) Play back of your life – every rotten thing – AND every time you had the opportunity to receive Christ and didn’t


F) As the books are opened it will be revealed why your name is not written in the lamb’s book of life !!!


Obvious question is how to I make sure that my name is written in the book of Life -  BACK TO THE SHEEP GATE

A) Full circle – Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega the Beginning and the end – the first & the Last Author & finisher of our Salvation


B) Starting point – the Door – the sheep gate – the shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep


C) The shepherd who leaves the 99 to go and find the one lost


  Living for Now – Or the bigger picture – Eternity