Key points from the sermon:
In this passage, we see extensive taunting and threats and attacks (from without and within) against the Israelites. They are legitimately overwhelmed by the task ahead and the mounds of rubble. Their faith is weakening.
Amidst the opposition, we see that there’s freedom in confessing that what we’ve been called to is more than we can handle on our own (v. 10). There’s freedom in acknowledging that we cannot carry out God’s will by ourselves! God DOES give us more than we can handle, so that we might turn to Him in our weakness and that He will get all the glory.
Verse 14 concludes with a strong reminder to “remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” When circumstances are crushing us, we turn our gaze to the Lord for strength and renewal. He is strong when we are weak. He CAN handle what we can’t handle.
In this passage, we ultimately see that faith doesn’t minimize the rubble, but magnifies the Lord!
Scripture to meditate on this week:
“For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” -2 Corinthians 1:8-9
What themes or phrases do you especially notice when you read Neh. 4:1-14?
Have you experienced times in your life when there’s “too much rubble” (v. 10), times when God has indeed given you more than you can handle? Describe those times. How did God work in the midst of the rubble? Is there anything in your life right now that you need to confess is too much for you to do by yourself?
Verse 14 says to “remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” How can we practically (personally and together as a Church) “remember the Lord” amidst overwhelming “rubble”?
This week let’s practice confessing to God and one another that we can’t do things by ourselves. Let’s acknowledge (out loud) our need for God and then practice turning our gaze from the rubble to the Lord. Challenge yourself to read Psalm 121 every day for seven days in a row and particularly press into verses 1 and 2 as we practice lifting our eyes up to the Lord for help on a daily (hourly, minute-by-minute) basis.