"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Saturday, March 4, 2023


INTRODUCTION: Just as Jerusalem was taken in three sieges by king Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon, she was eventually, fully restored with three visitations: by Zerubbabel (EZRA 2:1-2), Ezra (EZRA 7:1-6), and lastly by Nehemiah (NEH 2:11) and the rebuilding of the wall around “the city of GOD”.

As we will see, the first part of this book involves the formidable task of removing the wreckage of the old wall and rebuilding it. This takes place in chapter 1 to 3; remarkably, this only took about fifty-two days to accomplish! Then the even more formidable task is attended to from chapter 8 to 13: the restoration of the people.

To see both the city as well as the people transformed from what they had become – the walls physically ruined, the people spiritually ruined – to once again become a GOD fearing people who love the LORD truly and prove it by their devotion and obedience to His commandments within the restored, strong walls and bulwarks that separated the Jewish people from the Gentiles who desired to see them fail. This entire work was commenced in 444 B.C. and was completed in 425 B.C. – totaling 19 years of toil and effort. The LORD saw to it that His people were restored politically as well as spiritually.

We see how the deeds of Nehemiah were in alignment with the promises and purposes of GOD:

Nehemiah proved himself as a true servant who prayed for his people (NEH 1:4) because GOD preserves His covenant (NEH 1:5).
Nehemiah planned for his people (NEH 2:6-8) because GOD placed those ideas in His servant’s mind (NEH 2:12).
Nehemiah persevered against Israel’s enemies (NEH 4:9,23) because GOD perverted these enemies plans (NEH 4:15,20).
Nehemiah pleaded for unity among his people (NEH 5:10-11) because GOD is pleased with unity (NEH 5:9,13).
Nehemiah perceived falsehoods but remained faithful (NEH 6:2,8,12) because GOD proclaims His Name among the nations (NEH 6:16).
*The above section comparing the servant of GOD with the LORD GOD was taken from a chart in NELSON’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts; pg. 163.
We left off where Nehemiah finally arrived at Jerusalem, and without delay he inspected the site, observing as far as the rubble would allow, all of the damage, assessing its extent and what it would take in labor and materials to see the wall restored. At that point, he kept these matters to himself, not yet sharing his vision with his fellow Jews. This is where we pick it up:

NEHEMIAH 2:16-18
16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the others who did the work. 17 Then I said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach." 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. So they said, "Let us rise up and build." Then they set their hands to this good work.

Up to this point (prior to Nehemiah’s involvement) the focus was on the temple’s reconstruction but because they were vulnerable, the work was slow going, and as a result the people became discouraged and distracted. They decided to devote their time to building their own homes and embellishing them.

Yet when Nehemiah showed up and shared his vision, born from extended times of prayer, closeted with His GOD Who Himself yearned for the restoration of Zion, the people caught the same fervency, the same determination.

Note that the priests, nobles, and the officials hadn’t been informed prior to “the Jews or the others”. This was something that would bring all the people of GOD together on an equal footing, with no one more or less important or vital to the work than anyone else.

In GOD’s kingdom there are no blue-bloods and commoners, no aristocracy, and peasants. We are a kingdom of Servant-Kings, following after the example of our LORD Jesus Christ, Who is the Greatest in the Kingdom! We who serve now in the nature of Jesus will reign with Christ then, having earned the right because we’ve allowed the grace of GOD to do His work in us, conforming and transforming us in Christlikeness.

This “distress” that they found themselves in was truly a calamity, a miserable circumstance that they struggled against for decades, and it seemed they got nowhere fast!

Just as walls protect us from the elements of this world’s weather, so also “walls of prayer and intercessions” can protect us from the elements of this world’s wicked rulers (EPH 6:12) who would see any work in the kingdom on our part demolished.

No ministry can be divorced from united prayer in concert among the saints. Personal and corporate prayer are required in any such endeavor. This is why it’s essential that any ministry be supported by spiritual intercessors who will bath such efforts in prayer. Only then can the walls go up that shield us from the onslaught of the haters of GOD.

Nehemiah explains that he not only received permission from the king of Persia to rebuild the wall, but that the LORD GOD Himself had prepared his way: “the hand of my GOD which had been good upon me”.

This greatly encouraged the people so that they – not Nehemiah – said “Let us rise up and build”! And so they set their hands to this “good work”.

The only goodness that saints can claim is that which comes from GOD, for who is good but GOD only (MATT 19:17)? Yet with the goodness that GOD instills in us by His Spirit, we’re led and empowered to work in His kingdom; we can’t help then but to produce good works. The same grace that saves us, grants to us the ability to perform good works:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Just as we are incapable of saving ourselves by our works (otherwise, heaven would be full of boasters!), we are saved solely by grace. Likewise we must rely on that same grace to work in GOD’s kingdom. The beautiful thing about this is that we are GOD’s workmanship (poema in the Greek – a knitted artistry, a poem, something crafted of beauty). As He beautifies us in His grace, we are able to produce good and beautiful works in building the kingdom of GOD, just as the Jews built up the wall!

But now things are about to get ugly…

But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, "What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?"

When Nehemiah was passing through the land from Persia on his way to Israel, he came “to the governors of the region” and presented his official documentation from the king. Three officials heard about this and what was their reaction?

…it grieved them exceedingly” Why? Because “…a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel” (vs. 10). The Hebrew wording expresses this “exceeding grief” as: “to be broken up (with any violent action), displeased, evil, harm, sad” and “greatly insolent”.

Since Satan usurped authority over the world from GOD’s appointed regent Adam, he’s had full sway over this system (apart from GOD’s sovereign interventions) that’s becoming increasingly antichrist.
The introduction of Israel is a Divinely appointed invasion in the midst of satanic sinful sovereignty. Of course Satan hates Israel – and that which the LORD produced through the nation: the Holy Scriptures via holy prophets of GOD (all Jews) and the birth of the Messiah from the tribe of Judah, of the house of David through the young virgin bride, Mary, the betrothed of Joseph (both from David’s royal lineage). These represent “a clear and present danger” that threatens the destruction of the kingdom of darkness.

This is essentially where antisemitism comes from; all bigotry is sin, but hatred of the Jewish people is most particularly sinful because such hatred invariably desires the ruination of the nation of Israel – this is in absolute opposition to the will of GOD!

We see it here with these three that oppose (and will continue doing so) Nehemiah and the commission from GOD he had been given.

Satan, like his servants, will laugh, mock, ridicule and belittle the work of GOD at every turn in an effort to demoralize the saints. They will also falsely accuse GOD’s people in order that they might incur punishment by the authorities (MATT 5:11; GEN 39:6-18; ACTS 19:35-41). At such times we must remember our LORD’s admonition not to premediate a self-defense, but trust that the Spirit of GOD will grant us wisdom in answering our accusers just as Stephen did (MATT 10:18-20; LUKE 21:12-15; ACTS 6:8-15).

Sanballat and crew accused Nehemiah of rebelling against the king of Persia. Some think that they misunderstood Nehemiah’s intentions, thinking that in the rebuilding of Israel, the Jews would occupy a place of fortification from which they could war against Persia.

I believe that these adversaries knew that the intentions of Nehemiah were completely benign posing no threat whatsoever to Persia, but that they wanted the king to believe it, and he would therefore bring the work to a halt. And this suspicion seems valid, judging from what happened later on.

So I answered them, and said to them, "The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem.

Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem might not have been aware that they were being used as mouthpieces for the devil, but Nehemiah was absolutely confident that he was an appointed spokesman for the LORD GOD!

He had sought GOD diligently, saw the hand of the LORD move on his behalf in gaining not just permission from the king to leave Persia and go to Jerusalem, but also in procuring the vast material resources required to accomplish this work! Thus, he spoke with absolute conviction that “the GOD of heaven Himself” would cause this endeavor to succeed.

Nehemiah, the servant of GOD had committed his way to the LORD, seeking His will and therefore could afford to rest and wait for Him to commence His plan of action. Likewise because of this, he had no need to fret or worry over adversaries that would seek to hinder the work of the Holy!
PSALM 37:4-9
4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. 7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret - it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
Heaven would have its earthly embassy of the Eternal GOD stationed in Jerusalem by the sovereign authority of the Almighty that overshadows the summation of satanic power in every way! Thus the servants of the Almighty – who have the living GOD backing them up – will work and build confidently without doubt or fear.

It’s very much the same with the church of the LORD Jesus Christ – though we are a “little flock” (LUKE 12:32), Jesus Who holds all power in heaven and earth says to us, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (MATT 28:18) and He sends us out as “sheep among wolves” (MATT 10:16).

As you are aware, sheep have very little defense against wolves; this is how the LORD sends us: not as “attack sheep” (“Lambo” someone once said!) but as those who would depend on the LORD and His defenses when persecution, even martyrdom lay in the path of His saints. And yet His saints are, from the eternal perspective, preserved (LUKE 21:17-19).

With such insurmountable odds against us, we saints need not fear or fret, but sow seeds of faith into our hearts and minds and refuse any seeds of fear (worry, anxiety, panic) and believe GOD, no matter if all the world is set against us (because, essentially, it is!).
PSALM 27:1-3
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies, and foes, They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
Vs. 20b “…you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem,” said Nehemiah.

Sanballat and Company had no inheritance, or allotment, or portion in Jerusalem; no moral right or grounds to lay claim to any place in Jerusalem; nor any recorded history that would validate any claim of prior occupation.

The contemporary application of this is rather obvious:

The United Nations, the European Union, even within the U.S. State Department there are powers and authorities that denounce Israel’s rightful claim to the land. The propaganda mill has turned out all kinds of disinformation to “prove” that the so-called Palestinians were there first and that the Jews were in “occupied territory”.

Yet Israel has proven through historical and archeological records that their heritage goes back thousands of years. The Palestinians can’t produce any!

For more on this subject, check out these articles from The RED PILL Consortium:


I had visited Israel twice before and we saw construction machinery everywhere, building apartment complexes and housing units – and quite often we saw them at a standstill. They discovered something underground that appeared to be very old, so they had to bring the work to a halt, call the Israeli Department of Antiquities who would then send their agents to determine whether or not the construction crews had stumbled upon an archeological find. When I asked our tour guide about this, his offhand remark was, “Oh yeah, that happens a lot!”

Israel has GOD’s own Word stating that it is His land (JOEL 3:2) and that He has given it to them, the children of Abraham (GEN 15:7-18). For the skeptic of the Bible, we know that this is GOD’s Word and we know Why We Believe The Bible.

So now we move on to Chapter Three: Because there are references to the various gates and areas surrounding the city, I thought it would be a good idea to have a map of the area as known in the days of Nehemiah (and Zerubbabel and Ezra).

1 ¶ Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They built as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and consecrated it, then as far as the Tower of Hananel. 2 Next to Eliashib the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.

To reiterate, Jerusalem means “city of Peace” but the word for “city” could easily be translated as “foundation”.
Why would any particular city be regarded as “the foundation of peace”? Because it’s this city that the Messiah, the Prince of Peace chooses to rule from, and has been so ordained of the Father (PSALM 2:6-9)!

Once He inaugurates His rightful rule, then will be brought to pass the praises of the angels who declared at the Messiah’s birth:
LUKE 2:13-14
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!
And of His reign there shall be no end (LUKE 1:33; it isn’t just for one thousand years!). Once the old Earth and heavens are destroyed and GOD creates all things new, I don’t think we’ll see the names of cities on the New Earth that we know today (i.e., New Philadelphia, New Berlin, New Tokyo, etc.) but we do know of one city that will continue to bear its name as it is today!
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
All are welcome to become part of GOD’s Kingdom by partaking of the “water of life” (REV 22:17) that is the Holy Spirit (JOHN 7:37-38) granted on the basis of the sacrificial LAMB of GOD (JOHN 1:29; 7:39) Who redeemed us to His Kingdom (REV 5:9-10)!

Consider throughout this series the names that are listed in the work of rebuilding. Names are very significant in Scripture; of particular importance are the names of GOD for they are quite revealing of His nature.

Even the name of Jesus or its equivalent of Joshua, which we would pronounce as Y’shua in its Hebrew origin – itself a contraction of YHWH’shua or “Our GOD is Salvation”. An exquisitely fitting name for our LORD!

At the very start of this chapter we have the high priest mentioned as he and his brethren went to the work. Eliashib was his name, and it means, “GOD will restore”!
The second tower where the rebuilding was happening has an interesting name as well: “Hananel” which means, “GOD has favored”. And next to Eliashib it was Zaccur who built, and his name means “mindful”.

As we get into the work of GOD, under His direction and guidance, we have assurance that “GOD will restore” any ruin we have suffered – if not in this life, most certainly then in the next! And the LORD will bring His “favor” to us who are committed to Him and His kingdom, and there is none greater and none more efficacious in the face of adversaries, obstacles, and weaknesses. With GOD’s favor, nothing shall be impossible!
And we have to be “mindful” of these things as we proceed in the work, amen?

We’ll look at more of these names as we continue in this study!

We see that the very first gate that is repaired is the sheep gate. Who are the first to be welcomed into the kingdom of GOD? The sheep of Israel (ROM 1:16; JOHN 4:22). And just as the high priest among the other priests set about this repair, we understand that our own high priest, the Good Shepherd, Who is also the Door (or perhaps “gate” is applicable here) brings His sheep in (and out) of pasture (JOHN 10:7-11).

And the LORD has other sheep to gather in as well (JOHN 10:16) and these are those in the New Testament who are also referred to as “fish” of sorts (MATT 4:19; 13:47-49).

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but I find it intriguing that the first two gates mended are the sheep gate (vs. 1) and the fish gate (vs. 2) that lead into the “foundation of peace” which we have with GOD as a result of salvation in Christ (ROM 5:1-2; PSALM 9:14; ISAIAH 60:18).

3 Also the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. 4 And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, made repairs. Next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. 5 Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord
(comp. w/ vs.12)

In all of these repairs, they had to first remove the rubbish, the wreckage of the ruined walls (NEH 4:10). They could not remain if the work were to commence.
Likewise sin has created so much rubbish and wreckage in our lives before Christ intervened. The foundation of His salvation had to be laid, and so, all of the former distress and destruction was swept away: no longer under the wrath and condemnation of GOD; no longer accused by the Holy Law of GOD. The vile fruit of sin was taken up and disposed of once the LORD brought healing to us in His wings (MAL 4:2).

Then and only then could the foundation that is Christ Himself be established in our lives and a wondrous construction of a new creation began for us! Having established the foundation of peace with GOD (ROM 5:1), the new born saint begins to build on it the various works (good works born of the Spirit) of their life.
11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 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.
Note that while the LORD saw all as being worthy to work at rebuilding the holy city, and accounted none of them as being higher or lower but equals in the work, the nobility of Israel felt very differently – they apparently disdained the idea of getting their royal hands dirty (compare this with vs. 12: Shallum and his daughters!

Vs. 12 And next to him was Shallum the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and his daughters made repairs.

Meremoth is the name of the man that built next to the sons of Hassenaah, and his name means “from the heights” – and Meremoth was the son of Urijah which means “flame of JAH”.
The names of son and father reminds me of what the LORD revealed in Mount Sinai – from the heights of that mountain, the flame of GOD was seen, His presence caused the Earth to move, His awesome power displayed. It was there that the Law was given, and with it, the promises of GOD that if Israel followed after Him, He would bless them abundantly by the covenant of Sinai!

From that place the pillar of fire led them to the promised land, and here in Nehemiah, the LORD is leading them on in the work of restoration.
So often when we’re right on top of our work, the tasks seem daunting; yet if we take a step or four back, we see it from a different perspective. And in the ministry of prayer, when we are caught up in the heavenly heights, anything that seemed daunting and dire takes on a far more diminutive and docile form!

“From the heights of a bended knee” we see things from GOD’s perspective and because nothing is impossible with Him (MATT 19:26), we plow with Him in His yoke (MATT 7:28-30) and are cheerful in disposition, not burdened; enthusiastic and optimistic, not disheartened!

Incidentally, the father of Urijah was Koz; I looked up his name in the Hebrew lexicon and it lists this as merely, “the name of two Israelites”. Doesn’t seem too significant does it? So, why did I bother mentioning it? Just koz I felt like it (sorry, couldn’t resist)!

More of these Hebrew names from vs. 4:

Meshullam means “allied”
Berechiah, (his father) means “the blessing of JAH”. This man was the son of Meshezabel which means “delivered of GOD”

Here again we have this admonition, that when we are “allied” together with the LORD GOD, working together hand in Hand, any such talk of opposition is rather laughable!
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us
What a “blessing” it is to work with the LORD “JAH” in His enterprises! I think about the LORD’s resurrection, and He was about to ascend up to the Father – how the disciples must have dreaded seeing Him leave – but He promised He would send the Holy Spirit AND as we read at the end of MARK’s Gospel:
MARK 16:19-20
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Working in GOD’s kingdom, building, and expanding it will cause the enemy to rear up and attack, as he and his reign are being threatened (much as were Nehemiah’s enemies and the disciples after Pentecost). Yet as with Nehemiah and the disciples, we shall be “delivered of GOD” at the appointed time! Some of us will be delivered from our adversaries as we continue the work; others will be delivered from this evil world, having completed the works GOD has ordained for us (EPH 2:10)!

So we shall end the study here and pick back up in Chapter Three, beginning with vss. 6 and 7!
Until then, may the LORD bless you way too much!

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