Today I want to go back to Nehemiah and look at some of the problems he faced in building the wall for God. We must realize that in the Lord's work problems are the normal! The devil is not going to sit idly by while God's people do a good work for God's glory. The question concerning problems in the Lord's work is not if but when. Therefore we must learn to deal with them in a godly manner, and refuse to allow them to hinder or stop us as servants of God. Many of the issues Nehemiah faced are still used by the devil today!
Let's consider some of his challenges.
I. Preliminary problems - Before the work could begin there were problems Nehemiah had to overcome.
Personal sin had to confessed to God (Neh 1.6-7)
He had to receive the approval of the God given authority in his life. (Neh 2.5-6)
He had to work under time restraints (Neh 2.6)
He had to obtain finances (Neh 2.7-9)
Transportation problems had to be worked out (Neh 2.12)
He had to establish a plan to accomplish the work (Neh 2.11-16)
He had to recruit or find willing laborers. (Neh 2.17)
He had to deal with mockery and ridicule. (Neh 2.19)
At this point no building has begun, although several problems and obstacles have been encountered. Sometimes the most difficult part is getting started.
II. Progressive problems as the work begins.
Those who won't work. (Neh 3.5)
Those unskilled (Neh 3.1,8)
Those who critical and skeptical (Neh 4.1-3)
Fear and danger (Neh 4.7-11)
Flexibility i.e.They had to learn to build and be ready to fight at the same time. (Neh 4.14-18)
Inconvenience (Neh 4.22-23)
Inability of some to do "their part" most likely due to discouragement (Neh 4.10)
Division among the brethren (Neh 5.1-13)
Enticement to come down from the work (Neh 6.1-5)
False accusations (Neh 6.6)
All of these problems were successfully dealt with before the work was completed. Had they not been handled in a godly manner or ignored the work may not have been completed!
III. Post-completion problems
Need for qualified leadership (Neh 7.1-5)
Need for understanding of the Word of God (Neh 8.7-8)
Need for an emphasis on spiritual joy. i.e. At times, God's people need to focus upon the good things of the Lord! The Christian life has it's hardships, but it's not all bad, there is joy in serving the Lord. Sometimes we forget this! (Neh 8.9-10)
Separation had to be maintained. It still does today. (Neh 9.1-2/ 13.4)
Need for the people to begin supporting the man of God again. When this happens the house of God will be neglected! (Neh 13.10)
Need to establish respect for the sabbath (Neh 13.23-31)
What I have identified to you is the problems Nehemiah encountered in his service for the Lord. What I didn't discuss were the solutions to the problems. That is your job. Go back, look, and learn how each challenge was overcome, and learn from it.