Nehemiah’s Wall and What it Means for You

Raise your hand if you know who Nehemiah is.

Um, do I see any hands?

Oh there’s one, and another. Okay, if you took seminary this past year you better know who Nehemiah is! Poor Nehemiah gets glossed over so we can get to good Queen Esther. Here’s a short recap.

Nehemiah was a prophet in the Old Testament. His main objective was to get the Israelites to build a wall around the temple to act as a barrier, a boundary, and a protection. As is always the case when you are trying to do what is right, opposition showed up. Nehemiah’s enemies did not want him to succeed! Let’s look at some of the tactics they used to try to get Nehemiah and the Israelites to turn from their goal. Get our your scriptures! And a paper and pencil. We are going digging.

Turn to Nehemiah in the Old Testament and look up these scriptures. Write the references down on a paper and after you read them write down what Nehemiah’s enemies did.

Nehemiah’s Enemies

Nehemiah 4:1
Nehemiah 4:8
Nehemiah 6:2
Nehemiah 6:9-10

So what did you write down? Here are some things I came up with.

Nehemiah’s Enemies

Nehemiah 4:1 mocked
Nehemiah 4:8 threatened
Nehemiah 6:2 lured/false friendship
Nehemiah 6:9-10 deceived

Those sound an awful lot like what members of the church experience today isn’t it? We are mocked for our beliefs. Sometimes we feel threatened by all the opposing voices. Others try to lure us away from the gospel truths and use deception to do it. There’s a great lesson we can learn from how Nehemiah responded to his enemies. On another part of your paper write down these scripture references and just like before write down what Nehemiah did.

Nehemiah’s Responses

Nehemiah 4:6
Nehemiah 4:9
Nehemiah 6:3
Nehemiah 6:11-13

What did you write down? Here are my answers. Now watch the magic unfold. 🙂

Nehemiah 4:6 Work

Did you know that work is good for you? It keeps you busy and out of trouble. Elder John Longden, an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, quoted Herndon as saying, “Satan selects his disciples when they are idle; Jesus selected his when they were busy at their work either mending their nets or casting them into the sea.” Nehemiah and his people worked even while they were being mocked.

Nehemiah 4:9 Ask God

Now you probably put “pray” down here. There’s a reason I put down “ask God” which you’ll see in a minute. When we ask God for help we are showing Him we don’t want to rely on our own mortal strength to get through our trials. We need His help! In the Bible Dictionary under ‘Prayer’ it states, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.”

Oooo, did you get that last part? Prayer is a form of work! It ties into the first response Nehemiah had.

Nehemiah 6:3 Live the gospel

Nehemiah was too busy working on the temple, doing what he was supposed to do, he didn’t have time to go to his enemies. Why would he waste his energy meeting with them when there was more important work to do? In our day we should be too busy living the gospel, doing what we are supposed to be doing, to even worry about Satan and his followers. President James E. Faust said, “May we dedicate our lives to serving the Lord and not worry about offending the devil.” Keep on plugging along!

Now, finally, we get to the last scripture reference.

Nehemiah 6:11-13 Listen to the spirit

Nehemiah discerned through the Spirit that his enemies were plotting against him.

“Discovering how the Holy Ghost operates in your life is the quest of a lifetime. Once you have made that discovery for yourself, you can live in enemy territory and will not be deceived or destroyed. No member of this Church—and that means each of you—will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.” (Boyd K. Packer, How to Survive in Enemy Territory)

Did I mention that the Israelites at this time where living amongst their enemies? The king was allowing them to rebuild the temple, and in Nehemiah’s case rebuild the wall around the temple. He was able to live in enemy territory because he first learned how to listen to the Spirit. It is imperative you do the same!

stone wall

Now let’s take one last look at Nehemiah’s responses to what his enemies tried to do.

Nehemiah 4:6        Work
Nehemiah4:9         Ask God
Nehemiah 6:3        Live the gospel
Nehemiah 6:11-13  Listen to the spirit

Do you get the first letters of what Nehemiah did? He built a WALL! Not only was Nehemiah building a literal wall around the temple but he was showing us, in our day, what we should be doing to build a spiritual wall to act as a barrier, a boundary, and a protection around our temples, our bodies and spirits.

Now I hope you never again think, “Nehemiah who?” when you hear his name. Remember instead Nehemiah’s wall and what it means for you.

 

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Hello, I'm Montserrat. I'm a farmer's wife, mother of eleven, homeschooler, chocoholic, music lover, crafter, blogger, and like to play a good game of Scrabble.

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  • Annalee
    July 12, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    How neat!!!!!!!