Nehemiah – Vision & Determination

We kicked off a 4-week class this past Wednesday night on the Book of Nehemiah in the Bible.  Here’s a brief recap of this week:

Apple went public selling stock in January 1984. At the IPO, It was valued at $3.83/share; but by mid-August of that year it had declined by nearly 50% to $1.81/share.  One year later, Steve Jobs turned 30 and after a power struggle at Apple, he was fired from the company he started.

By age 40, he was the responsible for a major hit movie using a new technology: Toy Story.  Animated movies would never be the same.  One year later he was asked to come back and lead Apple again.  By age 50 (6 yrs ago), Apple had successfully introduced the iMac, iTunes and the IPod and shortly after that:  the iPhone and then the iPad.

Apple stock is now valued at over $600 per share.  Many say that the story of Apple is one of the greatest comebacks in the history of American business.  It’s a story of vision and determination…  from a human perspective.

The book of Nehemiah is one of the great comeback stories in history…  from God’s perspective.  Nehemiah caught a vision, a divine glimpse of what could be and he took action.  Instead of being defeated by criticism and doubt, he saw victory and restoration for the city of Jerusalem.

Theme – Restoration

Introduction – After 70 years of exile in Babylon, the Jews were permitted to begin returning to Jerusalem.  The Book of Nehemiah is the story of the third wave of Jews returning from exile in Babylon in 444 B.C.  Nehemiah is appointed governor of the province of Judah with authority to rebuild the walls.

Setting – Nehemiah is in Persia. This is a story of two cities:  Susa, the capital city of Persia (one of the richest cities of it’s time) and Jerusalem, which laid in ruins.

The Story Begins – Nehemiah heard a depressing report about Jerusalem being in ruins.  He immediately went into a period of prayer and fasting.  As he prayed, he caught a divine glimpse of what God wanted to do and Nehemiah made a simple statement:

Now I was cupbearer to the king.”

The Vision that Nehemiah caught:

  1. Nehemiah knew that the walls of Jerusalem needed to be rebuilt.
  2. He realized that his position as a servant to the King of Persia  gave him an opportunity to make a bold request.
  3. He knew that God was able to use him to fulfill this vision of restoring Jerusalem.

There are always more questions than answers when God births a vision in our hearts.  There are always obstacles and there is always a lack of resources.”  Andy Stanley, Visioneering

Do you view your current circumstances as very ordinary and unimportant?  How are you preparing today to be ready for God to use your circumstances tomorrow?

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