Shared Work

Scripture: Nehemiah 3:1-32

Topics: Humility, Repentance, Work

Study Guide

Although this passage in Nehemiah may seem like a mere list of names, it has significance because the work God’s people were doing was significant. The wall they were building may have appeared small and inconsequential to the world; however, the work God was doing in their souls through obedient repentance would spark revival in their hearts and reveal God’s glory to the world.
Application
  1. We need to get to work quickly and close. Are you currently serving at church and in the community? If not, where can you start? If you are already serving, pray and consider if God is calling you to engage in any additional ways.

  2. Part of following Jesus is humble submission to ordained leadership. When have you struggled to come under authority? How so? Have you submitted to authority that you didn’t agree with? How did that affect you?

  3. Discuss the idea that “there is always a list.” Does this principle comfort you or cause you concern? How should this concept affect our everyday lives?

  4. In Nehemiah, God’s people had to start small. They were doing obscure work that seemed insignificant to the rest of the world. What would it look like for you to “start small” in your Christian walk? Is there an area of sin that you need to confess? Or has God burdened your heart about brokenness in the world? How can you take a small step towards helping one person?

Key Points
  • In Nehemiah’s context, the work he is doing to rebuild the wall is utterly unimpressive. However, obedience to God is rarely impressive to the world on its terms. It takes faith to see the significance of what God is doing.

  • Rather than trying to impress the world, we should be driven to be part of something that only God can do. Just as Jesus came to earth in an obscure way, so must we be willing to work and live in obscurity and obedience.

  • We are all called to serve God by serving others. Like the people of Jerusalem, we must be willing to pick up a rock and get to work quickly even when the task seems small.

  • God also calls us to submit to his ordained leadership and come under their authority. This may not always be easy, but it is a necessary element of following Jesus.

  • The Scriptures are full of lists. God and his angels are always watching us and taking note. This idea should both humble and comfort us.

  • In this passage, those who did the work of rebuilding also reaped repentance in their hearts. As a result, they saw revival in their midst, and God’s glory was revealed. Likewise, we must move towards God and his work as an act of repentance—this is how we manifest his glory to the world.

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