This was a sermon shared at my church sometime ago.


Moses is a man who had ascended many mountain in his days. This study is not just about Moses, it also refer to our faith. We have all been to and seen high mountains in our lives.  Whenever we ascend a mountain we can behold a spectacular view and be in a beautiful surrounding. However if we do not work hard at climbing we will never reach the top of the mountain 

Similarly the mountain can also represent the pinnacle of faith. One must work hard to reach the top. . Let us consider the different mountains which Moses had climbed and what we can learn from it.

1st Mountain : Mount Horeb

“Now Moses was tending the
  flock of Jethro his father-in-law,
  the priest of Midian. And he led
  the flock to the back of the desert,
  and came to Horeb, the mountain
  of God.  And the Angel of the Lord
  appeared to him in a flame of fire
  from the midst of a bush. So he looked,
  and behold, the bush was burning
  with fire, but the bush was not consumed.

   Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and
  see this great sight, why the bush does
  not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he
  turned aside to look, God called to him
  from the midst of the bush and said,
  “Moses, Moses!”

   And he said, “Here I am.”

   Then He said, “Do not draw near this place.
   Take your sandals off your feet, for the place
   where you stand is holy ground.”” – Moses (Ex 3:1-5)

These verses talk about the choosing of Moses . God first called out to Moses from Mount Horeb.  40 years ago Moses thought that it was his time to lead Israel, but God had not chosen Moses at that time. That is why Moses had to flee Egypt and to live 40 years in the wilderness. During that 40 years God trained Moses. When God appeared to Moses in Exodus chapter 3, he was 80 years old.

It was his faith that make him climb that mountain . For he saw a bush burning afar. It was burning for a long time and yet it was not consumed. Moses wanted to find out why the bush was not consumed . He wanted to see it. But God told him not to come close,  for it is a Holy place.

That is when God chose Moses to lead Israel , for he had matured over the 40 years. Moses accepted that calling at Mount Horeb .

Related Article :  The God Who Dwelt In The Bush

What can we learn from this story?

As our faith matures we need to understand why God chose us to be his servants. We need to know that we must do our duty for the Lord. We must understand  what we are called to do, just like Moses.

In order to fulfil the will of God he is willing to forsake all that he had and return to Egypt.  That was because he had reach one of the pinnacles of his faith .

Today we ought to build up our faith and understand what we ought to do. We read of how Paul suffered for the Lord and how he knew God had chosen him for duty. It was that calling that make hm serve God .

This is something we ought to do, let us not look down on ourselves and claim that we are too young or too old to serve. We must serve God with all our strength. If we are youth we serve God with all our strength and our energy, if we are matured let us serve God by guiding the youth and advising them what to do,

For God had chosen us to serve him and let us do our duty diligently.

2nd  Mountain : The Mountain Of Rephidim

The Second mountain was recorded in Ex 17

“Now Amalek came and fought
  with Israel in Rephidim.  And
  Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us
  some men and go out, fight with
  Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on
  the top of the hill with the rod of God
  in my hand.” 1So Joshua did as Moses
  said to him, and fought with Amalek.
  And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up
  to the top of the hill.  And so it was,
  when Moses held up his hand, that
  Israel prevailed; and when he let
  down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”- Moses (Ex 17:8-11)

At that time Israel fought against Amalek and the battle took place in a place called Rephidim. God told Moses to go up to the mountain. As Joshua fought, Moses went up the mountain. At the end Israel was able to overcome Amalek and for then Moses was on to mountain praying for them.

During the time in the wilderness journey. Amalek came up against them from behind and they attacked the slow and stragglers at the back. Therefore God told Moses to stand ground and fight.

Who are the Amalekite in our life? Today they are just like the lust that tempt us to goes against the will of God.

How do we fight it? We need to look from the mountain and see our enemies. Therefore we must go out to the mountain to see the movement of the enemies. For if we do not destroy our enemies they will destroy us.

For example, there are still many things  that we lust for that is not in the will of God. Sometimes we choose to hold on to our weakness, we choose to go against God at times. But the bible tell us if faith is perfected we will be able to see our weakness.

There is something important that Moses carried with him as he ascended the mountain. He carried the Rod Of God onto the mountain. It was as if he had carried the power of God with him. For the Rod symbolises the power of God. Moses uses it to part the waters of the Red sea. Once when Israel was thirsty, he was able to use the rock and struck the rod for water.  So from here we know that the Rod of God is powerful.

What does the Rod of God represent in our present context?  It is now the power of the Holy Spirit.

IT can also represent the word of God. It is full of power just as Paul once told Timothy

“All Scripture is given by
  inspiration of God, and is
  profitable for doctrine, for
  reproof, for correction, for 
  instruction in righteousness, 
  that the man of God may be
  complete, thoroughly equipped
  for every good work.” – Paul (2 Tim 3:16-17)

Here it talks about uses of the scriptures. It can be used for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for  instruction in righteousness. It must be use as the foundation for our faith. it can tell us the areas where we can improve.

Therefore, how do we fight the Amalekites in our lives? We need to rely on the  Holy Spirit to fight against it.  for Paul once talk about it in the book of Romans

For if you live according to
  the flesh you will die; but if
  by the Spirit you put to death 
  the deeds of the body, you will live. “- Paul (Rom 8:13)

Here Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit can help us put to death the deeds of the body. That is why we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to put to death our carnal self. This is something we need to learn in our lives

For only by seeing the our enemies we can overcome them. That is why we need to increase our faith to see our weakness. If we see our weakness and want to change ourselves, we need to hold on to the Rod of God. so with the power of God we can overcome our enemies.

Related Article : Thoughts about The Battle At Rephidim

3rd  Mountain : Mount Sinai

“Then the Lord came down
  upon Mount Sinai, on the
  top of the mountain. And
  the Lord called Moses to the
  top of the mountain, and
  Moses went up.” – Moses (Ex 19:20)

Why did God call Moses to go up this mountain? For God wanted speak to Israel. He wanted to give them the 10 commandments so that they can keep and not trespass it. Therefore God said to Moses

“Now therefore, if you will indeed
  obey My voice and keep My covenant,
  then you shall be a special treasure to
  Me above all people; for all the earth is
  Mine.” –Moses (Ex 19:5)

If they keep the covenant and the commandment of God they will be a special treasure of God. Likewise today Christians are spiritual Jews and the special people of God. But we must obey his commandments.

Many a times people who are weak in faith will find it hard to see the will of God. For they did not put in effort to ascend the mountain and to increase their faith. It will help us keep the commandment of God and to become the special people of God.

4th Mountain : The Mountain Of God

“Then Moses went up, also Aaron,
  Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy
  of the elders of Israel, and they saw
  the God of Israel. And there was
  under His feet as it were a paved
  work of sapphire stone, and it was
  like the very heavens in its clarity. 
  But on the nobles of the children of
  Israel He did not lay His hand. So
  they saw God, and they ate and
  drank.” – Moses (Ex 24:8-11)

This is the mountain of God. This incident happened at the foot of Mount Sinai (ex 24:16). In this incident where they saw the God of Israel.  What can we learn from this?

From here we know that they are able to see the Lord because they had spiritual eyes. Today we can also behold the glory of God if we have spiritual eyes, Likewise we can see the glory of God within the church. That is why we see some rejoicing within the house of the Lord. For they can see the glory of God. For the spirit of God fills his church. That is why they must increase faith whenever we come to church.

Many who claim that going to church is a waste of time are usually without faith. but those who have faith will rejoice like others. They will be full of joy not only in church but in their daily lives. They will be able to rejoice even then life is bad. For they are able to behold the glory of God in all situation

5th Mountain : Mount Nebo

“Then Moses went up from the
  plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, 
  to the top of Pisgah, which is
  across from Jericho. And the
  Lord showed him all the land
  of Gilead as far as Dan,  all
  Naphtali and the land of Ephraim
  and Manasseh, all the land of Judah
  as far as the Western Sea,  the South,
  and the plain of the Valley of Jericho,
  the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar.  
  Then the Lord said to him, “This is the
  land of which I swore to give Abraham,
  Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to
  your descendants.’ I have caused you to
  see it with your eyes, but you shall not
  cross over there.” – Author Of Deuteronomy (Deut 34:1-4)

This is the last mountain that Moses have to climb. It is at Mount Nebo where God showed Moses the promise land. God wanted to show him that his faith in him is not in vain, for the promise land is real. What is most important  is that God had prepared a home for him in heaven.

Likewise when we have succeeded to defend our faith, God will bring us to the promise land in heaven. Why is it that some are unable to see it? It is because they have not grow in their faith and they have not ascended the mountain,

It is difficult for the faithless to see the promises of God. We need to increase in faith before we can see the promise of God.


The mountain represent the highest level of faith that one need to attend. Only by ascending the mountain we can see the promises of God, at the same time we could see our weakness and we need to rely on God to overcome them.

We have studied the 5 mountains which Moses had ascended. Let us learn from them and continue to climb up the mountain of our faith.

Recently, the Chinese version of this song keep coming to my mind. I remember that the original tune was Japanese. So I went to look for the background of the song. The original singer of the song is a lady known as Rimi Natsukawa. She was from Okinawa and she is best known for her 2001 single. 涙そうそう. The song title is taken from an Okinawan phase meaning "large tears are falling" 

The tune sound like a folk song and part of the song is played using Shamisen. The song was originally written by a Band called Begin for a singer known as Ryoko Moriyama. But it was Rimi Natsukawa’s version that is more popular.

The song reminded Moriyama of her older brother who died. The lyrics is talking about a person who was flipping through an old photo album looking at the picture of someone who died. She  was thankful to them for they have encouraged her often. It expresses a hope that they will meet again some day. The thought of it reminds me of the many funerals I have attended.

Interestingly, as a Christian we often comfort the bereaved family during the memorial service telling them that one day we would meet the departed again when we are gathered before the Lord. In fact Christian funerals are meant to remind the bereave that their departed had ended their work on earth and now there is a crown of life waiting for them. While we remember the sad for we are unable to see our departed for some time. But we know that this separation is temporary.  For we know we will meet them once again during resurrection.

Paul reminds us  so that we would not be overcome by grieve

“But I do not want you
  to be ignorant, brethren,
  concerning those who have
  fallen asleep, lest you sorrow
  as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus
  died and rose again, even so
  God will bring with Him those 
  who sleep in Jesus
  For the Lord Himself will descend
  from heaven with a shout, with
  the voice of an archangel, and
  with the trumpet of God. And
  the dead in Christ will rise first.

  Then we who are alive and remain
  shall be caught up together with
  them in the clouds to meet the
  Lord in the air. And thus we shall
  always be with the Lord.
  Therefore comfort one another
  with these words.” – Paul (1 Thess 4:13-15,16-18)

Therefore even though it is sad to see a loved one departing from us. But Christians will always have the hope of meeting them again at the feet of Jesus.

As I do not have expertise in Japanese language I just edited some part of the English translation slightly. .Kanji lyrics & Roumaji lyrics and English translation from


Title: 涙そうそう Nada sou sou
Artist: 夏川りみ Rimi Natsukawa

Title : Tearful
Artist: Rimi Natsukawa
Stanza 1  

Furui ARUBAMU mekuri
Arigatou tte tsubuyaita

As I Flip through an old photo album

I whispered "Thank you" softly in my heart

Itsumo itsumo mune no naka
Hagemashite kureru hito yo

To the one who is in my heart

Who is always there for me

Hare wataru hi mo ame no hi mo
Ukabu ano egao

On clear days , on rainy days

I  think of your smile

Omoide tooku asete mo
Omokage sagashite
Yomigaeru hi wa nada sousou

Though my memories fade into the distance

I’ll look for the traces you left behind

And remember you with my endless stream of tears

Stanza 2  

Ichiban hoshi ni inoru

Sore ga watashi nokuse ni nari

I pray to the first star in the night.

It’s become a habit of mine

Yuugure ni miageru sora
Kokoro ippai anata sagasu

Looking up at the evening sky

And searching for you with all my heart

Kanashimi ni mo yorokobi ni mo
Omou ano egao

It sadness , in happiness

I think of your smile

Anata no basho kara watashi ga
Mietara kitto itsuka
Aeru to shinji ikite yuku

If you can see me from where you are

Then I’ll live on

Believing that we’ll meet again someday

Stanza 3  

Hare wataru hi mo ame no hi mo
Ukabua no egao

On clear days , on rainy days

I think of your smile

Omoide tooku asete mo

Though my memories fade into the distance

Samishikute koishikute
Kimi e no omoi nada sousou

Its lonely without you
I am yearning for you

As I think of of you with my endless stream of tears

Aitakute aitakute
Kimi e no omoi nada sousou

I miss you, if only we could meet –

As I think of of you with my endless stream of tears

I found the M

I found an original clip featuring Ryoko Moriyama


So far we have covered 4 factors behinds the success of Nehemiah.

1st Factor : He realised his commission and he prayed to God to help him  (Part 1)
2nd Factor : He was able to seize the opportunity and he was well prepared.  (Part 1)
3rd Factor : Nehemiah visited the ground to gain a personal understanding (Part 2)
4th Factor : Nehemiah encourage the Jews To Work For The Lord (Part 2)
5th Factor : Nehemiah knew how to make everyone work together (Part 3)

Let us study the 6th factor behind his success.  As the 6th Factor is quite long, we would study them in 2 post

6th Factor : Nehemiah Knew How To Rely On God To Resolve His Problems

When Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, he faced both internal and external threats to his work. The book of Nehemiah Chapter 4 tells us of how his enemies attacked him. In general, his enemies took a 2 pronged approach to attack him, and today we will study the first of this approach. The chapter begin with the introduction to that first approach

“But it so happened, when
  Sanballat heard that we were
  rebuilding the wall, that he was
  furious and very indignant, and
  mocked the Jews.” – Nehemiah (Neh 4:1)

Both Sanballat and Tobiah mocked the Jews and their words are meant to attack the Jews. There are 3 objectives that they wanted to achieve by mocking the Jews. Let us look closer into their words

1st Attack : To Make The Jews Lose Confidence In Themselves

“What are these feeble Jews doing?
  Will they fortify themselves?”- Sanballat (Neh 4:2)

These words are meant to make the Jews lose confidence in themselves. For the wall of Jerusalem was destroyed and the city was burnt with fire. This words are meant to make them faint hearted as well as to lose their will to continue the work. For they did not have the faith and courage to rebuild these walls initially. They found courage and strength after the return of Nehemiah. When they heard his encouragement it gave them strength to rebuild the wall. But the enemies wanted to attack their confidence by their mockery.

In another words, their comments will sound like this, “ Do you think you can protect yourself? If you are fortifying to protect yourself, your work will be in vain. For if you could indeed defend yourself, why was the walls destroyed in the first place? There will not be a need to rebuild this city.” 

Their mockery is meant to make the Jews doubt their strength to complete the work. For History had proven that they were unable to defend themselves as well as the city. That will mean that there is no need to waste time rebuilding this wall.

If the Jews were to accept their mockery, they will admit to their own helplessness. If they accept those comments,  they will never have the will to finish the wall and to continue working.

Likewise today as we are trying to rebuild the kingdom of God we will face mocking from others challenging us. “You claim you want to rebuild the apostolic church and you claim that this church will spread throughout the world. But what have you accomplished so far? Your success is miserable compared to others”

Indeed if we consider the weakness within the church and if we were to Google for comments against against Christianity, we will find a lot of mocking and jeering from many individuals. Indeed the church is full of weakness but we do not not rely on the strength of man to finish this work. We are relying on the Spirit of God. Even though we see our weakness but we know we have a God who is behind us. We believe that he will help us finish the work.

For the work is not started by us, it is the will of God and it is the Holy Spirit that moves man to work. God had promise his people just as he once spoke through Prophet Zechariah

During that time, the Jews were facing great difficulties in rebuilding  the temple. The Angel of the Lord pleaded with the Lord to have mercy on Jerusalem.  He pleaded saying

O Lord of hosts, how long
  will You not have mercy on Jerusalem
  and on the cities of Judah, against which
  You were angry these seventy years?” – Angel Of The Lord (Zech 1:12)

God answered with good and comforting words. in verse 13. The Angel instructed Zechariah to make 3 proclamation.

“I am zealous for Jerusalem
  And for Zion with great zeal.”-YHWH (Zech 1:14)

This is important as the zeal of God is different from the zeal of man. While mans zeal is limited and could be put out by mocking, jeering and a wet blanket. The zeal of God is continually burning and can never be quench. In that zeal the Lord proclaim

”I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy;
  My house shall be built in it,
  And a surveyor’s line shall be
  stretched out over Jerusalem”
  My cities shall again spread out through prosperity;
  The Lord will again comfort Zion,
  And will again choose Jerusalem.” – YHWH (Zech 1:16,18)

This tells us that the work of rebuilding Jerusalem is the work of God and he will see to it that it will be completed.  Our faith needs to be built on these promises of God. We cannot deny the weakness seen within the church, but we need to see the promises of God.

We need to see the abidance of the Holy Spirit and we need to be assured that his work will eventually be completed.

Today we read of this same message therefore let us not be discouraged by the mockery of others. Let us not give up for we have heard the promises of God and the abidance of the Holy Spirit. It will become our hope and comfort.

2nd Attack : To Make The Jews Lose Faith In God
“Will they offer sacrifices? Will they
  complete it in a day? Will they revive
  the stones from the heaps of rubbish
  —stones that are burned?”- Sanballat (Neh 4:2)

These words are made to make the Jews lose faith in God. Indirectly they meant

“Do you think by relying on God you can rebuild the wall in 1 day? Do you think you can fix the stones that are already burnt? If God had helped you, your walls would be still standing this very day. Even if you were to sacrifice to God he will not help you, he will not defend this wall. It is meaningless to sacrifice to him and rely on him. For History have proven that the Lord did not help you. Look at this wall? Isn’t it a testimony of God ignoring you?”

If the Jews were to listen to this and look at the fallen wall. They will begin to feel hurt and indignant in their heart. They will question why God allowed this to happen and they may even murmur against God saying “If God is with us, why are the enemies mocking us like this?”

The same thing happened during the period of the judges. Then the Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites and God sent An Angel to meet Gideon  at the threshing floor. The Angel greeted him and he said  ““The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

But how did Gideon respond to that greeting?
“O my lord, if the Lord is with us,
  why then has all this happened
  to us? And where are all His
   miracles which our fathers told
  us about, saying, ‘Did not the
  Lord bring us up from Egypt?’
  But now the Lord has forsaken
  us and delivered us into the hands
  of the Midianites.”- Gideon (Judg 6:13)

Gideon did not thank God for allowing him to see an Angel. But he  questioned God’s power. He claimed that God had forsaken them and have delivered them to the Midianites. Indeed that was the time when the faith of Gideon as well as the faith of Israel are at  their low. That is why Gideon was unmoved even when God appeared before him.

Indeed the words of the enemies can make one lose faith in God. This is true especially when they see many misfortune and failure before them. They will ask “Why wont God work with us? Why wont God help us?”

This type of attack is worthy of our note and we need to understand how to handle such attack.

3rd Attack : To Make The Jews Lose Faith In Their Effort

“Whatever they build, if even a fox
  goes up on it, he will break down
  their stone wall.”- Tobiah (Neh 4:3)

These are the words of Tobiah and it is meant to make them lose faith and confidence in the work they do. Indirectly he is saying “Why are you putting in so much effort to rebuild it? You are wasting your time, your work will not withstand the test of time even a fox can topple this wall.”

The enemies wanted the Jews to think that their work is futile and they have laboured in vain. If one is unable to see the value of the work he is doing, he will not want to do it. He will not continue to pay the price and sacrifice to complete the work.

We all remembered how Elijah fled and pleaded with God for death. He had met a setback which makes him give up all hope in life.  He had just perform 2 miracles. His prayer allowed rain to fall on the land of Israel. He had lead Israel to slaughter the false prophet of Baal and Asherah. These are all work of great value and it had its great effect in reviving the faith of Israel.

But he had this misconception about the value and the effect of his work. He was thinking to himself. “Even though I did all these but what is the use? Jezebel wanted to kill me, and not a single man stood up for me.No one spoke against Jezebel or wanted to stop her from killing me”

As the result he fled on his own, and he felt that his work is pointless. So what if he had prayed for rain and so what if he had killed the false prophets. This is why he felt that he is useless.

“It is enough! Now, Lord,
  take my life, for I am no
  better than my fathers!”- Elijah (1 King 19:4)

When one is unable to recognise the fruit and the value of his work, he will not put in effort to work anymore. He will instead ask God to take away his life. The enemies of the Jews are aware of their weakness. that is why they used their words to strike down the confidence of the Jews.

they choose to attack and strike their confidence in all areas. be it in themselves, in God or the work they do.

Today as we read this story let us not neglect the effect of such mocking and jeering. For we know of many good and zealous Christian losing their zeal when they encounter such mocking and jeering. They ended up discourage and they gave up on their work,

Understanding Nehemiah’s Response

How did Nehemiah respond to these mocking and jeering from Sanballat and Tobiah?

So we built the wall, and the entire
  wall was joined together up to
  half its height, for the people had
  a mind to work.” – Nehemiah  (Neh 4:6)

Nehemiah did not allow their mockery to anger him nor does he contend with them and fight them. For doing so will make the situation worst and hinder the work that he is trying to complete. He choose not to be discouraged or to stop his work because of their jeering. Instead he took all their words and presented them before the Lord.

“Hear, O our God, for we are
  despised; turn their reproach
  on their own heads,”-Nehemiah (Neh 4:4) 

He told God of their mockery and jeering. This is something we do as human beings at times too. For we would often share our troubles with our friends and receive strength and encouragement from them. Indeed friends ought to stand by each other and support each other in times of need. But many a times our friends were unable to help, for they too have their problem to face, their pain to bear.

Therefore we need to remember to bring our problems before God but as we do so we must not stop working. For many after entrusting the matter to God just adopted a wait and see attitude to see if God will do anything to help them.

So when they do not see any response from God, they become disappointed, but Nehemiah is different  He did not just pray and wait to see if God will help him, he does not sit passively waiting for God to take action. After his prayer he continue to lead and mobilised the co-workers to focus on the work of building the wall. As the result the work continued and the wall was half its height.  For everyone focus on their work and not allow the jeering to affect them.

If they were to stop work and wait for God to act, then the work will be paused and they will have given the enemies what they want. Even though they may think “I am not stopping work, I am just waiting for the Lord.” But if they stop working they would have fallen into the trap of their enemies.

Their enemies can continue to say “Continue to wait, lets see if your God would punish us”

But Nehemiah did not fall for their trap , he just prayed and entrust the matter to God. Even though he is not sure how God will help them or when he will do it.  But since he had already prayed to God regarding it, they only need to continue working.

This is something we ought to learn as we face jeering and mocking as we serve God. We do not need to accept their bullying or suppress our emotion when being attacked. But if we allow their words to affect us and to depress us we would have fallen into the enemies trap and that is what they want.

So why must we allow ourselves to be trapped by them? Why must we allow their words to press heavily upon us?”

Was Nehemiah A Vengeful man In His Prayer?

We understand that there is no need to take revenge on our enemies but we need to tell them to God. We need to entrust the problem to God and to continue working. As we work, we wait on the Lord for deliverance. But yet Nehemiah’s prayer will have appeared hostile to us who are reading it.

“turn their reproach
  on their own heads,
  and give  them as
  plunder to a land of
  captivity! “- Nehemiah (Neh 4:4)

Do we think that it was a vengeful remark? Aren’t the children of God not to take revenge on their own? Why did Nehemiah use such vengeful words in his prayer?

Let us understand that Nehemiah is not the aggressor but a defender. For even as Sanballat and Tobiah continue in their mocking he did not challenge them or take revenge against them physically. He was praying to God to judge them with his righteous judgement.

This is similar to us receiving a parcel that we do not like to receive. Therefore we return the parcel back to the sender, for we refuse to keep what they have given to us. It was the enemies who started to slander and jeer the Jews as they worked. Nehemiah is merely returning what they have said back to them.

“Do not cover their iniquity,
  and do   not let their sin be
  blotted out from before You; for
  they have provoked  You to
  anger before the builders.” -Nehemiah (Neh 4:5)

Some would view this prayer as judgemental and it is a clear indication of Nehemiah’s unforgiving nature. Is that how a child of God ought to behave? Where is his forgiveness?

Let us understand the content of his prayer fully. He is not praying from the perspective of man but he is speaking on the side of God. For these people did not just insult and humiliate the Jews. they have attacked God. that is what Nehemiah meant by  “for   they have provoked  You to  anger before the builders”

These men were destroying the work of God and the Holy City. Nehemiah is merely judging them base on the fact that they have went against the will of God.  This prayer reminds us that we need to be watchful whenever we pray. We need to understand the boundaries that we ought to keep. Let us not speak out of anger but pray in accordance to Gods righteousness.

If we are just thinking from the perspective of man than we ought to let go and forgive. For it is a mere conflict between human. But if we were to look at the matter from Gods perspective, they are disrupting his work and going against his will. It is even worst as they are trying to destroy the temple of God. The children of God must never allow them to attack the Holy City and the temple of God

Indeed if these man are just making personal attack on us, we can forgive and let it go, we ought to forgive and not condemn them. For there will come a time we ill make a mistake and we desire the forgiveness of others. That is why we need to seize every opportunity to forgive others, so that we will be forgiven too.

But this is a different situation in Nehemiah’s case, for he saw them attacking the work of God. He is judging them base on the perspective of God. He is not saying those words because these men had humiliated and attacked him. But because they have went against God in their action.

That is why God is pleased with his prayer and is willing to work with him. This is something we must see whenever we read the story of Nehemiah.

Conclusion So Far

Today we only learnt half of the 6th factor behind Nehemiah success. We shared earlier that his enemies attacked him from 2 angles. Today we look deeply on one of the aspect of the attack which is their jeering and mockery to the Jews.

We have covered the 3 direction of their mockery, how they wanted the Jews to lose confidence in themselves, their work and in God.

We studied how Nehemiah responded to their attack. He did not attack and take revenge physically, instead he brought their words before God and he wanted God to judge them for the words they speak. After he entrust the matter to God, he did not stop working. He continue to lead the children of Israel to complete the work and the wall was completed to half its height.

We have also studied deeper into the prayer of Nehemiah to see if his action is done out of a vengeful spirit.  We understand that he is praying to God not because they have insulted and humiliated him, but rather he saw their attack as obstructing the will of God and going against God.

He is merely returning  their attack back to them by asking God to judge them for their sins. And their sin is not about them attacking and mocking Nehemiah personally, but it is about them going against the will of God and insulting God.

Let us remember this lesson especially today as we try to serve God and rebuild the church of God. For we will likewise face constant jeering and mockery within and outside of church. We need to realise the value of our work and be willing to continue to work with God to complete it.

We need to trust that it is God’s will to rebuild his church and he will finish the work . We need to continue to serve him and not allow the mockery and jeering of others to affect us.

In our previous blog post, we have began our study of the sixth miracle of Jesus in the book of John. We have looked at the brave testimony from the blind man and we have also compared his testimony with the ones that are from his parents.

We have also learnt about the hard heartedness of the Pharisees and their unbelief even though they are aware of the miracles.  From there we discussed the importance of believing in Jesus and worshiping him. Let us now continue our study with 2 questions that may arise from this miracle.

Qns 1: Why did Jesus chose to heal him using such method?

It may be tempting to say that saliva, clay plus the water from the pool of Siloam is the secret to healing the blind. But we all know that it is not true. That is why we question “Why did Jesus make use of such methods to heal this man.

Throughout the bible, we have seen Jesus healing many blind men and the method he uses are different.

Case 1: Matt 9:28-30

Over here Jesus simply ask them “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” and he just touched their eyes and these man could see. There is no clay and saliva used in it.

Case 2: Mk 10:51-52

This is even simpler Jesus did not touch the man and he only said “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” and the man is healed instantaneously.

Case 3: Mk 8:22-25

This case is a bit special, the man wanted Jesus to touch him. That is probably due to the fact that he had heard how Jesus perform healing. So he begged Jesus to touch him. But this time Jesus chose a different method, he spat on his eyes, and put his hands on him. The man could see partially only.  Later on he touched his eyes again and his sight is restored. I believe that it happened not because Jesus was too tried or he was not powerful enough. But rather Jesus chose to do it deliberately.

Jesus used many different ways to heal the blind. Therefore the healing  lies not in the method used. The real question is about whether these man choose to believe in the words of Jesus. In another words “Are they willing to follow the instruction of Jesus?”

If they believe in Jesus and are willing to follow his instruction, they will be healed. But those who choose not to believe will not receive the grace of healing. If these men were doubtful, they will question “Why must i go through so much trouble to be healed? For Jesus had spoke and many received their sights” .  Some others will ask,  “Why must i go to the pool to wash my eyes?”. 

To the doubtful, they will take it that Jesus was trying to make life difficult for them.

But we see that this man having complete faith and followed all the instructions from Jesus. That is how he received this amazing grace of healing. 

The Question Of Obedience

If we continue in this train of thought. We will reach a conclusion that Jesus had different will for different people. Similarly, he wanted to test to see if they had faith and if they are obedient. Therefore regardless of which method that was chosen, we need to ask ourselves “Are we willing to believe in the words of Jesus?”

If we truly believe, we will be willing to follow his instructions, even though we may not understand why he had to put saliva on our eyes and why we need to go to the pool of Siloam to clean our eyes. We will gladly do it for we know that it is beneficial to us. A person with that attitude will accept his instruction when no one else can. For he will view it as a test from Jesus to see if he have faith and if he is willing obey him.

On the other hand,  It is easy to use logic to deny the Lord. Such logic often make us question God by asking “Why is it that you just spoke to him and yet you give me so much trouble”

Sometimes Christians fell for the same doubt, especially when we see others around us having an easier life of faith. That will lead us to think “We are all believers of Christ, but why did God make life easy for him and difficult for me? Why do I need to go through so much tribulation and why is my way so hard? Did Jesus love him more than me?“  Thoughts like this lead us to doubt God and murmur. That will prevent us from accepting, enduring and to remain prayerful in our life of faith. 

But if we recognise the fact that God had different ways for us to tread, and that our encounters in life will be different. We will know that God wills for us to believe and be obedient to him.  If we adjust our perspective,  we can tread better in this journey of faith 

Qns 2: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

The disciples asked an interesting question. A question that sometimes we would ask as well.

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or
  his parents, that he was born
  blind?”- Disciples (Jn 9:2)

Since ancient times, man had often struggled with question why are there suffering in this world. Every philosopher and every religion strive to give us answer, but be it eastern or western philosophy, people tend to think that suffering is a result of sin.

Many believe that bad events are retribution for our sins and we ought to suffer through it. The Jews had an similar concept. This is why the disciples felt that it was either the man or his parents who had sin.

The Answer Of Jesus

But Jesus corrected their concept that all illness is a result of sin. Therefore he answered

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,
  but that the works of God should be
  revealed in him.” – Jesus (Jn 9:3)

There are some skeptics who misused this verse to claim that God allowed the man to be born blind so that God can manifest his power through him.

But how could man worship a God that is so cruel? A God who disable us for the sake of his glory. That would mean God created man as a tool to glorify himself. If it is true, than our God is unfair and unjust.  

So what does Jesus actually meant?

This man had encountered a great misfortune, but he could rely on God and God can perform a miracle for him. Even though it is not a guaranty that God will heal him. But God will be able to help him in ways that we would not expect.

Therefore instead of asking “Who sinned and brought this misfortune?” we should ask “How can we rely on God to overcome difficulty”?

If we readjust our attitude, it will allow the words of Jesus can bring comfort to those who are suffering. For when one encounters a misfortune, it is a reminder for the to return to God. It is an opportunity for them to learn to rely on God and to receive his grace.

This would result to the power of God being manifested and it can bring benefits to our lives. 

The Blind Choir

There is a blind choir that went around to sing, they spend their days testifying about Christ the saviour. They bore witness about how Jesus had manifested his power among these blind men and how he saved them so that they can join the choir and travel around preaching the gospel of Jesus.

Once there is a reporter who asked “You claimed that Jesus had saved you, but you are still blind and he had not healed your sight.”

But the choir replied “He did not open our eyes, but he opened our heart. He allowed us to see that he is truly the saviour and he can forgive our sins. As the result we will not face judgement in the future. We see how he had given us eternal hope and we can enter heaven in the future”

“We are all blind but you can also see our attitude in life, the peace that we have, compared to those who can see but are without the hope of eternal life, compared to those who only had emptiness and the despair of facing death, we are more fortunate and blessed”


Today when we encounter suffering, let us not cry and ask God why it happened. Let us dry our tears and ask “How can I rely on you to overcome this suffering? How can I preserve my faith so that others can see and give glory to God?”

Let us ask God to help us so that our faith will not fall and allow his name to be shamed. this is what we ought to learn whenever we encounter suffering. We need to believe that Jesus will help us not to be overcome by our suffering but be victorious over them. He will do it so that we can stand up and worship him even in the midst of suffering.

“For I know that this will turn out for
  my deliverance through your prayer
  and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus
  Christ, according to my earnest
  expectation and hope that in nothing
  I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness,
  as always, so now also Christ will be
  magnified in my body, whether by
  life or by death. “- Paul (Php 1:19-20)

Paul was preaching the gospel and he was thrown into prison by those who opposed him. He may be released or he may be executed. But even as he is facing life and death, he believed that if God is willing, God will save him and he will be free. But if not he may be dead. But he said “Be in by life or by death, God will be magnified in my body”

Some version said “I will use my body to glorify God in life or in death”

Paul went on to say if he was released, he can continue to preach and it is good for the church if he were to die and he return back to the Lord it is far better. He understood that believing in Jesus is good beyond compare for he can forgive our sins so that we will not face the judgement in the future.

For Jesus had given us eternal life and we can enter the kingdom of God. So we can give thanks in life and we can do the same in death. So we can magnified Christ both in life or in death.

May God help us so that we can know him and believe in him so that we can remain as his faithful disciples. 


So far we have covered 4 factors behinds the success of Nehemiah.

1st Factor : He realised his commission and he prayed to God to help him  (Part 1)
2nd Factor : He was able to seize the opportunity and he was well prepared.  (Part 1)
3rd Factor : Nehemiah visited the ground to gain a personal understanding (Part 2)
4th Factor : Nehemiah encourage the Jews To Work For The Lord (Part 2)

Let us study the 5th factor behind his success.

5th Factor : Nehemiah knew how to make everyone work together

Nehemiah did not just inspire the Jews to work for the Lord. He knew how to get everyone to work together. If there are only workers and no leaders, everyone will just act as they will. They will not be able to cooperate and collaborate with each other.  As the result their work would produce bad result. That is why there is a need to have leaders to help the work to be done effectively.

Leaders must set the direction to work and to plan for the work. He needs to allocate manpower to finish the work. Let us look at the group of people involved in the work.     

The Work Of Priest And Officers

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.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:1)

Here tells us that high priest Eliashib and his brethren built the sheep gate. In fact the work started from the high priest and the others priest. The high priest is a man of status, and we know that the other priests serve in the temple. These are men with special status.

Yet they are the first who rise up to build the wall. They are willing to serve in the temple and they are willing to let go of their, they rolled up their sleeves and they began building the sheep gate. They are not the only priests who took part of the work.

“And after him the priests, the 
  men of the plain made repairs.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:22)

Here talks about the priest who lived in the plains. They are the priests living in the eastern side of the Jordan. When we study the book of Joshua there are 2 tribes living on the eastern side of the Jordan. They lived in the cities of refuge which were given to the Levites. These priest only cross the river Jordan when they are assigned to serve at the temple. But over here they came over to help to rebuild the city walls.

“And next to them Rephaiah the 
  son of Hur, leader of half the 
  district of Jerusalem, made repairs.
  And next to him was Shallum the son 
  of Hallohesh, leader of half the district 
  of Jerusalem; he and his daughters 
  made repairs.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:9,12)

Here is records the leaders of the district of Jerusalem building the wall. At the same time Neh 3:14-19 also records of the leaders of the various districts coming to participate in the work. There are a total of 7 leaders from each district, all of them are men with power and authority.

These are men who usually give orders and have workers to do the work. Yet they are willing to do the work and to take part in the work of rebuilding the wall.

The Work Of The Goldsmith, Perfumers, Merchants

“Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah,
  one of the goldsmiths, made repairs.
  Also next to him Hananiah, one of the
  perfumers, made repairs; and they fortified
  Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
  After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths,
  made repairs as far as the house of the
  Nethinim and of the merchants, in front
  of the Miphkad Gate, and as far as the
  upper room at the corner.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:8,32)

Here records of tradesmen and businessmen helping to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. All of us know that workers and businessmen had a primary focus in making money. But here we see them coming to do work for free. For they had this realisation that life i not just about making money. For there not all work have a monetary value. There are occasions where we need to work for God and not to make money.  There are times we need to offer ourselves and serve God with our abilities.

This is where we can see how Nehemiah encouragement to the Jews are successful. For he is able to move both officers as well as common man. He is able to move high priest and district leaders. He is even able to move businessmen who are usually interested only to make money. He made all of them realise that they need to put in effort to rebuild the wall. None of them regarded themselves as high ranking and do not need to work. Nor are those in the lower ranks feel that they are too lowly to join in the world. Everyone understand that it is the time for them to put in effort to rebuild the walls of the house of the Lord. Nehemiah used the words of God to move them, and they were stirred up in their heart by the spirit of the Lord.

Likewise today as servants of God, we must rise up and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Only those who are not part of the household of God do not need to get involved with this work. They may even choose to oppose and run away from the work. Let us continue to study another group of workers who took up the work.

The Nobleman Sons, Daughters And Grand Children

And next to him was Shallum the son of Hallohesh, 
  leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and 
  his daughters made repairs.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:12)

Here records of a daughter of the leader making repairs. The work of building the city wall is a manual work. It is a work often done by men. Most women and ladies work at home, but here we see the children of the leaders, they are nobles who had not did hard work in their lives before. They are from the second generation born with a silver spoon, but here they are willing to help their parents with the work. They choose to let go of their status as the rich man to do their part.

For they know that before God they have no special status, in the eyes of God they are also the children of God and they must do their duty.

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” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:4)

Here we see Meremoth, he is the son of Urijah the grandson of Koz. Even though the bible did not tell us what he did, but we can see that he is a 3rd generation. In the church we often see the first generation of believers with strong faith, and some may be able to keep their faith into the second generation.  But many families are unable to keep their faith at the third generation. But over here there are third generation believers working for the Lord. This is a sight that is rare to see.

Today as we read how the Jews were working, it moves us and motivate us. Telling us that everyone , regardless of their status and background had one heart and one mind and they are set to complete the work. This includes Jews who are staying on the east side of the Jordan river, outside the city of Jerusalem. They share a common responsibility for they regarded Jerusalem as their home.

The Importance Of  Being A Part Of Jerusalem

Today if we want to be a part of the city of Jerusalem, we must play our parts as well. This is similar to the reminder to the Jews from Nehemiah. If you do not rise up and build you will have no heritage , right or memorial in Jerusalem (Neh 2:20). Therefore we need to ask ourselves, “Do you want to be part of this city of Jerusalem?”. Perhaps it is true that the church is weak , it had many problems and sometimes we are affected by the problem personally. It makes us feel disappointed to the extent that we do not want to be a part of it anymore.

But we often neglect one point, that if we choose not to participate in the work of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. By the time when the new Jerusalem appear from heaven. As everyone is taken up into heaven, will we be among those who are in the new Jerusalem? 

We need to preserve our faith and ensure that we remain in the church. No matter what happens.  For there are many who comfort themselves saying “I have not left Jesus, I just left the church. I choose not to take part or to have anything to do with the church. But I will still preserve my faith and to love God forever”

But do we still remember the vision of John in revelation?

“Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod.
  And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure
  the temple of God, the altar, and those who
  worship there. But leave out the court which is
  outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it
  has been given to the Gentiles. And they will
  tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months. “ – John (Rev 11:1-2)

When God told John to measure the temple, he need to measure those who are worshipping there. Leave out the court which is outside the temple for it is given to the gentiles, the outsider.  If those outside the courts are the children of God, they will realise their responsibility and they will enter the temple and worship. if they choose to remain outside then do not measure them.

Usually, we find these words harsh. If the speaker were to say this, we will judge him as a bad speaker. We will question him asking “How can you judge others? He only left the church why do you regard him as a gentile?”

But this is the words written in the bible, we just read it together in the book of revelations. We need to keep this image in our heart. For Jesus instructed John only to measure those who are in the temple worshipping. We need to strive and keep our faith within the church for it is the house of God. It is the temple of God. We need to put in our effort to serve in the house of the Lord.

The Simple Task And The Difficult Task

The Book of Nehemiah also recorded the work schedule done by Nehemiah, it tells us how he divided and assigned everyone to work. Everyone had an area to work, and some of the work are easy while some of the work are difficult.

“Also the sons of Hassenaah built
  the Fish Gate; they laid its beams
  and hung its doors with its bolts
  and bars.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:3)

The sons of Hassenaah had to lay beams and hung the doors with bolts and bars. it is a complicated work. There are some who are assigned the simple work of building a wall, while there are some who are given the task to work on the gates which require more effort. If we are assigned an easy task we can relax and thank God. But what happens when we are given the difficult work? How would we react to it?

There are some work which require great strength and it is tiring.

“And next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua,
  the leader of Mizpah, repaired another
  section in front of the Ascent to the
  Armory at the buttress. After him
  Baruch the son of Zabbai
  repaired the other section, from the 
  buttress to the door of the house
  of Eliashib the high priest.”-Nehemiah (Neh 3:19-20)

There are sections of the wall that are uphill and some are in the turns. If you are assigned an downhill or flat area it is easy, but if the wall you are building is curved it will be heart. Sometimes working uphill and the turns are difficult, just like the city gate. But when we see the people accepting their duties even if they are assigned difficult areas. Even though the work is hard and tiring they are willing to put in effort. Even though the work is hard, someone would have to do it.

If everyone wants easy work and they choose to push away the difficult work for others to do Then others will also want to push away their duty and not work on the difficult work. Therefore we need to have the right attitude when it comes to doing the difficult work. Even though we are assign a difficult task, we will be able to finish it with the help of God.

Let us also consider something else.
“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.
  After him Meremoth the son of Urijah,
  the son of Koz,, repaired another section,
  from the door of the house of Eliashib to
  the end of the house of Eliashib” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:4,21)

Over here we see a 3rd Generation believer, Meremoth, he is allocated 2 different area. It is already difficult work to be assigned with one section of the wall for work. Looking at the allocation he is probably a priest. If Meremoth was indeed a priest, it would have been exemplary. For it is already good that he was willing to do the work, yet he put in extra effort to complete 2 parts of the wall.

While some of us may think that such allocation is unfair, but here we can see the faith of Meremoth. He is willing to work and he did not complain even when there are extra work to do. He is willing to do extra work for the Lord. This is a trait often seen in 1st generation believers, therefore it is rare to see that in a 3rd generation believer.

On the surface, it may appear easy to divide the work and for everyone to work together. But in reality this is difficult. For there are easy work as well as difficult work, and sometimes it is easy to see the boundary of the work and there are times where the boundaries are grey and hard to define. We need to remember that all the section must be joined together and who would be in charge of the joining?  The joints within the wall is an important aspect especially when one is building a city wall.

From here we know that there are many grey areas and it is hard to allocate all the work fairly. Therefore whenever we are assigned a difficult work, we need to be understanding and accept the work. We must be willing to  put in the extra effort for we know who is our real master.

Let us not be calculative and not be complainers, but we ought to remember our master. For if we do not do so, we will allow our imagination to run while and we will have a feeling that we are being bullied. Often these are test to see if we truly know who we are serving while we serve. Are we working for Nehemiah or are we working for God? If we are unable to answer this question we will continue to be unhappy with our work allocations. That unhappiness will eventually lead to conflict with others.

Different Gifts But The Same Master

There was a story that I would like to share. In a carpenters workshop there were a quarrel among the tools. The wooden plank is protesting complaining about the nails are too sharp and they were trying to hurt him. But the nails replied in defence “I am not trying to hurt you, it was the hammer forcing me to do so. It was the hammer that made me pierce you. When Hammer heard it, he replied “I did not force the nail to poke you, but it was the ruler who decides where I should hammer.” While everyone is staring at the ruler. The Ruler replied “Please do not accuse me of hurting the plank, my work is to give the right measurement” But the saw got angry and he spoke “He claims that he had the right measurement , but in fact he asked me to saw the extra off. While I am working non stop, I became hot and angry”

While all the tools are still fighting, the carpenter entered the workshop. He took the ruler and measured the plank. He took the saw and saw the wood. Then he used the hammer to nail the nails based on his measurement. The carpenter is trying to make a pulpit, for there will be a special service tonight, and the speaker will be using the pulpit to preach the gospel of Jesus.

This is what the bible is trying to tell us.

And He Himself gave some
  to be apostles, some prophets,
  some evangelists, and some pastors
  and teachers,  for the equipping of
  the saints for the work of ministry,
  for the edifying of the body of Christ,” – Paul (Eph 4:11-12)

God had given everyone different gifts. It doesn’t matter what roles we are playing and where our talents lies. But we need to be clear about the objectives of our work for God had given us this gift to edify the saints. It is to equip the saints to teach them and train them into acceptable worker for the Lord. So that they can perform their duties and edify the body of Christ

We are here to build up the body of Christ, that is the work of each and everyone of us. This is not just the responsibly of the apostles, the prophets, the preachers and the teachers, it is our work altogether. We need to ask God to help us in our roles and responsibly and we need to stop comparing and murmuring against one another.

Those Unwilling To Do The Work

We know that the plans and work allocation of Nehemiah is perfect and well thought. We will assume that all is perfect and everyone will be willing and happy to do their duty. But the truth is, there are people who are unwilling to do the work.

Next to them the Tekoites made repairs;
  but their nobles did not put their shoulders
  to the work of their Lord.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:5)

Here records that the nobles of the Tekoites did not take up their part of the work. Even though the Tekoites are willing to do the work, but their nobles did not take part in the work. For they think they are nobles and they are high and mighty. Sometimes this amuses us. For we will ask “Didn’t they see the high priest working as well as the district leaders? aven’t they heard of the children of the nobles working?  Even the daughters are willing to do their part. What makes them think that they are so noble and are unable to shoulder the responsibility?”

But the bible tells us that the Tekoites were unaffected by their nobles who refuse to take up the work. They just let them be even though it will mean that the work would be harder since they have less manpower. Even if it means that they must do extra work they are alright with the arrangement. In fact The Tekoites did 2 sections of the wall. This was recorded in Nehemiah

“After them the Tekoites repaired another
  section, next to the great projecting tower,
  and as far as the wall of Ophel.” – Nehemiah (Neh 3:27)

The Tekoites had every reason not to take up additional work and even if they were to reject it it would have been acceptable. But they knew that if they did not do their part, it will affect the other work arrangement. They are unwilling to hinder the work even if their nobles refuse to work. They continue to work on their allocated sections no matter what happens.

Even as Nehemiah allocated all the work, there are still people unwilling to cooperate with him. But the whole organisation remains unaffected. The rest of the Jews did not stop working just because some of them refuse to cooperate. Human beings tend to follow the crowd, do as what the others do. We tend not to follow the good example, but we choose to follow the bad examples. In church we often do an attendance check and we say “Since this person is not here I should not come as well”. But we never asked ourselves “Why are you not following the examples of those who are here”"?”

Those who do not wish to work will always find reasons not to work, they will choose only to look up to those who do not work and pass comments. They will think “There must be a problem that is why these men refuse to work” “Nehemiah must be biased in his work allocation and allocated unfairly to them”. Then they will continue to find more evidence to prove that he is unfair.

But if we were to look at the facts, we know that Nehemiah’s work schedule includes the high priest as well as the leaders. He is fair and he did not make life easy just for the priest and the leaders. He encourage them to work and to be an example for others to see.

Why Didn’t The Holy Spirit Move Everyone?

Sometimes as we read the story of Nehemiah we would wonder “Why didn’t the Holy Spirit move all the Jews, why are there people choosing not to work?”

In fact this is not something strange. For we also read of the moving of the Holy Spirit in acts of the apostles. Many sold their belonging and shared whatever they had with others. It is suppose to be a time where the church is perfect in love as well as faith. But yet there are Christians who neglect the Christian widows who were Hellenist. That created a conflict within the church and the apostles have to resolve the problem.

They appointed 7 deacons to handle to problem so that it would not become a big issue. Indeed the Holy Spirit can move people but there will always be people who refused to be moved by him. They will continue to pursue their selfish agenda and ambition. They will follow their own plan and refuse to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If such people exist even at the time of the Apostles where the Holy Spirit is working mightily. What more will it be in the last days?

That is why we need to look at the big picture, so that we can reach the goal that God intended. There will always be people who oppose and are unwilling to work. We should just leave them be, for God is watching and he will record what they have done in his book of remembrance.

Just like how he recorded the Tekoites nobles being unwilling to take part in the work.

Today our church is trying to be like the apostolic church of the end times. Are we going to help or will we put in effort to obstruct the work?

Conclusion Of The Point

No matter what, there will always be people wiling to help the church. There will always be people willing to pay the price and do the work. They did not because they know they are working for God and their reward will be in heaven.

Likewise there will always be people who will obstruct slander and attack the church. We have experienced this in many places. and many of us are affected by it.

It is time we ask ourselves “When Jesus come again and meet us, he will ask us “What have you done during you time on earth? Who are you working for? What did you do?” What will our answer be before God?

May God help each and everyone of us, so that we will continue to put in effort to build up the church in this time of need. Let us all rise up and build the wall so that our Jerusalem will be strong and perfect before God.



“And truly Jesus did many other signs
  in the presence of His disciples, which
  are not written in this book;  but these
  are written that you may believe that
  Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
  that believing you may have life
  in His name.”- John (Jn 20:30-31)

John tells us that there are many miracles performed by Jesus which were not recorded in the gospel. But He had specially chosen 7 for us to read. He did that so that we can believe that Jesus is indeed the Christ and we can have life through his name.

So far we have taken a look at his first miracle

1. Jesus turning water into wine (Part 1, Part 2)
2. Jesus Healing The Nobleman’s son (Part 3, Part 4)
3. Jesus Healing By The Pool Of Bethesda (Part 5, Part 6)
4. Jesus feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 Fishes (Part 7 , Part 8)
5. Jesus Walking on Water (Part 9, Part 10)

Let us take a look at the 6th Miracle

Healing Of The Blind Man 
A Picture Of The Pool Of Siloam Where  Many Believed To Be The Location Where He Washed His Eyes

“A Man called Jesus made clay and
  anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘
  Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’
  So I went and washed, and I received
  sight.”- The Blind Man (Jn 9:11)

In the sixth miracle Jesus healed a man who was born blind. He is a pitiful man who need to beg for survival. He is unable to see any light, and he had no sense of security for he cannot see what is going on around him. Indeed if he hears everyone running away, he will not know the reason behind it, and he cannot make his response to run towards it or away from it. It is a helpless sight that brings sadness. Even if he encounter a beautiful day, he is unable to see it.

Sometimes man could only help by giving money, but that could only help him physically. But Jesus is able to help his life, for Jesus can open his eyes, as the result he is able to see light and experience hope and to witness the beauty of his creation.

Jesus did it by mixing clay with his saliva and anointing his eyes with it.

A Healing That Is Hard To Accept

so now if we are the blind man, how would we react to the actions from Jesus? As far as we know he had not healed anyone with his saliva. The man must have encountered many healers and none of them would use this method to help him.

Even though he may not see the clay mixed with saliva but he would have be able to feel it, especially if it is applied on his face. But yet this man did not reject Jesus. The reason for that is that he believed in the actions of Jesus. When Jesus told him to wash his eyes in the pool of Siloam he need to travel all the way there. This is a tall order especially for those who are blind.

Sometimes we wonder why did Jesus choose to make life difficult for him? Yet the man did not doubt, he believed in the words of Jesus and he did all that was instructed. After washing his eyes, he received sight and it was a wondrous miracle that testified that Jesus is indeed Christ the son of God. 

The First  Testimony Of The Man

“A Man called Jesus made clay and
  anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘
  Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’
  So I went and washed, and I received
  sight.”- The Blind Man (Jn 9:11)

This was the testimony given by this man about Jesus. He admitted that he is the son of God. It means that he must be from heaven and he is no ordinary person. Even in todays advance medical sciences, doctor could heal organs, they could transplant most organs and they could even restore sight to some with problems in the eye. But medical science is still unable to help a man who was born blind and that is a demonstration that only the power of God that could allow a man born blind to see. Jesus had manifested this power and tell us once again that he is from heaven and he is God.

This man testified like this because there were many who are unbelieving and they even denied that Jesus performed the miracle.

“But the Jews did not believe concerning
  him, that he had been blind and received
  his sight, until they called the parents of
  him who had received his sight.” – John (Jn 9:18)

Even though they had asked how the man was healed, and he said that it was a man called Jesus who opened his eyes, they choose to disbelieve and they even called his parents in for questioning.

The Testimony Of His Parents

They asked them if the man was their son and if he was indeed born blind. Yet we can see his parents giving a very strange response in Verse 20

“We know that this is our son, and
  that he was born blind;  but by what
  means he now sees we do not know,
  or who opened his eyes we do not know.
  He is of age; ask him. He will speak for
  himself.”- The Parents (Jn 9:20-21)

The parents knew that their sons was blind and he can now see, I believed that he must have told his parents that it was Jesus who healed him. But why  are they unable to testify for Christ? They even dodged the question from the people.

Verse 22 gave the reason
“is parents said these things because
  they feared the Jews, for the Jews
  had agreed already that if anyone
  confessed that He was Christ, he would
  be put out of the synagogue.” – John (Jn 9:22)

If a man is “put out of the synagogue”, he is no longer allowed to worship God in the synagogue as well as any other around him. This is as serious as being excommunicated and he will not be able to take part in any social activities of the Jews. They will become outcaste and that will affect their life in the future. His parents felt threatened and and they are worried about their difficulties in the future therefore they did not have the courage to testify that it was Jesus who healed their son. They are unlike their son who testify bravely before the Jews.

The Second Testimony Of The Man

Now this time, the Jews called the man in and ask him one more time. This time the question came with a threat

“Give God the glory! We know
  that this Man is a sinner.” – Pharisees (Jn 9:24)

In fact they are saying “Think carefully before you answer, you must give God the glory,  they even went one step ahead to claim that Jesus is a sinner and he cannot come from God.” They are denying his authority and they claim that Jesus cannot have open his eyes.

“Whether He is a sinner or not I do
  not know. One thing I know: that
  though I was blind, now I see.


  Now we know that God does not hear
  sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper
  of God and does His will, He hears him.

    Since the world began it has
  been unheard of that anyone
  opened the eyes of one who was
  born blind.  If this Man were not
  from God, He could do nothing.”- The Blind man (Jn 9:25,31-33)

He defended Jesus saying that if he is indeed a sinner without the power of God how than can his eyes be opened? For God does not listen to sinner but only those who worship him.

Even this blind man wonder why these Jews are so hard hearted. For these man saw Jesus performing this miracle and they knew as a fact that this man was born blind and he was a beggar living among them. They are aware that it was Jesus who healed him. This miracle is a power and clear testimony and they have seen it with their own eyes. Yet they question it among themselves and they choose not to believe in Jesus. They would not even agree that Jesus is the Christ and the saviour in the flesh.

The Judgement Of Jesus

That is why Jesus said

“For judgment I have come into
  this world, that those who do not
  see may see, and that those who
  see may be made blind.”- Jesus (Jn 9:31)

We know that Jesus is the saviour but why is he here for judgement? Jesus came to save man so that man can escape the judgement on the last day. For he is the one who created the heavens and the earth and he is the one that will judge. Perhaps we may not know him in the past but when he dwelt among us. During that time he told us that he is the God who created the heaven and the earth. At the same time he also tells us that he is the judge and he will judge this world in the future.

But God loves mankind and is willing to give us a chance, that is why he came to earth and take it upon himself to save man. He is without sin but he had to die for our sins, and through his death he can save us. This is the chance that God give to mankind but to receive this forgiveness of sin, one need to believe in his salvation grace. It is because of this grace  we are not judged in the future and we can enter  his kingdom to enjoy eternal life. That is why Jesus came to the world. He came to prove to us that he is the Christ and saviour. This blind man had experienced Jesus on the first hand, he had experienced the miracle of Christ. That is why he believed and became the disciples of Christ 

Blinded By Hard Heartedness

But there are many who  do not believe even if they saw the miracle before their eyes. Their heart blinded by hard heartedness. When the Pharisees heard the words of Jesus, they became unhappy and they confronted Jesus asking “Are we blind also?”

But Jesus replied

“If you were blind, you would have no sin;
  but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your
  sin remains.” – Jesus (Jn 9:41)

For if they are truly blind then they can say that they did not see and they did not know of Jesus, but since they witness it with their eyes, and deny it, their sins remain in them. Everyone must bear the sin for their hard heartedness.

Similarly today when we can see this miracle by reading of it through the bible. We understand that this miracle proves that Jesus is the saviour. John recorded these miracles so that we can believe that he is the Christ and he is the son of God. Those who believe in him will receive salvation and enter the kingdom of God. Jesus had use this miracle to  manifested his power for all to see. From this story, even though the blind men is unable to see initially. He believe in his heart even when Jesus anointed his eyes with clay and saliva. That is why he followed his instruction and went to the pool of Siloam to wash his eyes. As he was walking he was still unable to see, but he heard what Jesus can do and that he wanted to his his eyes to be healed. So he willingly do it, and that is how he received this grace of God and became his disciple.

Jesus Visiting The Man

In Jn 9:35-38  Jesus came to meet this man after he heard that the unbelieving Jews had chased him out from the synagogue for his testimony of Jesus being the son of God. This man testified bravely and did not waver even before their threats.  He continued to testify bravely saying that it was Jesus who opened his eyes. 

That is why Jesus came to meet him

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out;
  and when He had found him, He said to
  him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?””- John (Jn 9:35)

This is not an encounter by chance, for Jesus came to him intently so that he can believe in him and receive salvation.

But yet the man asked

“Who is He, Lord, that I may
  believe in Him?” – The blind man (Jn 9:36)

It appears as if he did not know Jesus, but yet we find him testifying about him. Perhaps he did not see Jesus with his eyes and was unable to recognise him. Perhaps he tried to return to the place and found that Jesus is no longer there. As he had never seen Jesus and he may not be aware that he is speaking to Jesus.

so when Jesus told him “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” he immediately said “Lord I believe” and he worship him.

Do you Believe In The Son Of God

Today Jesus is asking us, “Do you believe In The Son Of God?”

He wanted to know if we believe that he had the power to forgive sin and that he had the power to save us and give us eternal life. But what will our response be? We will chose to be like the blind man to worship him, or will we choose to disbelieve just like the Pharisees. The Pharisees had rejected Jesus because of their hard heartedness. 

For God so loved the world that He
  gave His only begotten Son, that
  whoever believes in Him should
  not perish but have everlasting
  life.” – Jesus (Jn 3:16)

Those words are indeed true, but not everyone in the world wants to believe and receive his salvation. Jesus will not force everyone to believe in him, so only those who believe will receive this grace of everlasting life.  Those who choose not to believe must face with their own judgement. God is not unfair and he will not judge them for not believing in him. But they are judged for the many things they do in this life that is against his words. They are judge because of the many things they have done against moral.

Jesus is the only way one can obtain forgiveness and besides him there is no other salvation, no other chance to receive forgiveness. We must seize this chance to know him and to receive him as saviour.


The book of Nehemiah talks about how he led the 3rd group of Jewish exiles to return to the land of Israel. He led the exiles to rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem. The Jews were able finish the wall in 52 Days.

This is by no means an easy feat. for they must overcome troubles from within the Jews as well as other opposition. Nehemiah was able to complete a the work that is deemed impossible by others. There are a few factors that contributed to his success in rebuilding the wall.

In our previous post, we have studied 2 of factors that contributed to his success

1st Factor : He realised his commission and he prayed to God to help him  (Part 1)
2nd Factor : He was able to seize the opportunity and he was well prepared.  (Part 1)

Let us study the 3rd factor of his success.

3rd Factor : Nehemiah visited the ground to gain a personal understanding

“And I went out by night through
the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well
and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the
walls of Jerusalem which were broken
down and its gates which were burned
with fire.  Then I went on to the Fountain
Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was
no room for the animal under me to pass.
 So I went up in the night by the valley,
and viewed the wall; then I turned back
and entered by the Valley Gate, and so
returned.”- Nehemiah (Neh 2:13-15)

Neh 2:11 tells us that when Nehemiah came to Jerusalem, he was there for 3 days. He must have heard of the comments from the people and read the many reports about the walls of Jerusalem. But those were not good enough,

For people tend write down the things they wanted to be recorded. Their observation and comments may be biased, These report only provided a superficial understanding to the problem and it may be incomplete. Even if the report is complete, it will only provide a one sided view of the problem

If one desires to understand the true situation one need to have a deep understanding of the problem. Then it is possible to come up with a practical and workable plan. That is why Nehemiah visited the walls personally.

You can see his night journey over here

Neh 2:13 tells us the places he had visited and he went out from the Valley gate, and he visited the serpent gate. Some commentaries felt that the serpent gate got its name because after the destruction of Jerusalem, that area now becomes a dwelling place for reptiles. Then he went on to the dung gate. Which is leading to the valley of Hinnom where all the refuse were dumped there.

These are all places that no one likes to visit, but Nehemiah took the effort to inspect the damage of the city wall. He is willing to go even if it means meeting with danger.  He did it not because he did not want to believe in the reports or the comment of the exiles. But because he wanted a personal understanding of the situation before he start planning.

Neh 2:14 tells us that he visited the fountain gate and the Kings pool. Even though they sounded like nice places, but it looks as if it was blocked and there was no place for his animal to get past. These are problems that are potential roadblocks and will impact the timeline to finish the work.

From here we know that planning involves understanding the whole situation and it involves identifying any potential problems that may hinder the work. In order to plan properly, one need to have a personal understanding of the situation.

The Importance Of Planning For Faith

The same thing can be said when we are trying to build up our faith. For faith requires planning as well. For Jesus once said

“For which of you, intending to build
a tower, does not sit down first and
count the cost, whether he has enough
to finish it lest, after he has laid the
foundation, and is not able to finish, all
who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This
man began to build and was not able to finish’?
  Or what king, going to make war against
another king, does not sit down first and
consider whether he is able with ten thousand
to meet him who comes against him with twenty
thousand?” – Jesus (Lk 14:28-31)

Jesus is not teaching us how to build a tower or to go to war. But he made used of this example to illustrate a simple point

“whoever of you does not forsake
all that he has cannot be My disciple.”- Jesus (Lk 14:33)

Sometimes in our lives of faith, we would encounter problems and obstructions. Sometimes it discourages us to the point that we wanted to give up on faith. Many a times this happens because we failed to consider the cost at the beginning.

If we want a house, we would need to consider the entire building process, we need to draw up the plans for the building as well as to engage a quantity surveyor to estimate the cost and the building materials needed. We want all to go according to plan and unless if we meet with the acts of God like an earthquake or a flood. Everything should fall according to plan.

The same can be said about going to war. From here we can see that men had put in a lot of effort to plan for their lives on earth. Likewise, we need to plan for our faith as well. For we are bound to encounter opposition and obstruction in our faith. Many of them will come from our friends and family. They may  stop us from following God.

If we only began asking ourselves “What are we to do now?” Then we have failed to plan for faith since the beginning. This is something we already knew and Jesus had already warned us.

We need to consider if we are willing to pay the price for keeping our faith. We need to know the cost, and consider, whether to follow God or to submit to our beloved. Both direction require us to give up something, which is why we need to consider it.

But in order to make this choice,m we need to understand the situation fully.

That is why Jesus said it earlier

“If anyone comes to Me and does not
hate his father and mother, wife and
children, brothers and sisters, yes, and
his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”- Jesus (Lk 14:26)

There is a price to pay for discipleship. Jesus is not saying that Christians cannot love their family  and their life. But their love for their love ones must not supersede their love for God.

We need to consider the difficulties and challenges we will face as Christians and we need to make that resolve to follow God. If we have counted the cost and considered carefully, we will move forward with our faith at all cost. For we have made that decision to follow Christ.

Let us resolve to follow Jesus and serve him no matter what happen.

The Reason behind Nehemiah’s Secrecy

“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.” – Nehemiah (Neh 2:16)

Here it tells us that Nehemiah had not told anyone behind his plan to rebuild the wall. Why is there a need for him to be discreet?

Nehemiah remain secretive in the beginning not because he was trying to exclude his brethren from the work of rebuilding the wall. But rather he knew of enemies who wanted to attack them and obstruct the work.

Neh 2:10 reads

“When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah
the Ammonite official heard of it, they were
deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek
the well-being of the children of Israel.” – Nehemiah (Neh 2:10)

Nehemiah’s arrival had alerted both Sanballat and Tobiah and it made them uneasy. Nehemiah was not being secretive because he is weary against his brethren but he was weary against the enemies who may obstruct his work.  Nehemiah did not want any trouble from them.

These people are not ordinary people, they have a huge political influence and they can affect the work and clause distress to the Jewish exiles.

Historical sources had indicate that Sanballat the Samaritan is the Governor of Samaria while Tobiah is known as a servant to the King.  They are politicians who have influence over the King. That is the reason behind his secrecy.

He choose not to tell anyone because he did not want anyone to know his plan yet. He needs to remain quiet before he makes his official announcement

This is something e ought to learn from as well. For sometimes if we declare our intention too early, we will run into unnecessary obstruction and problems. That is why we need to learn when to speak and when to be quiet.

4th Factor : Nehemiah encourage the Jews To Work For The Lord

After visiting the site for a personal understanding, Nehemiah was able to come up with a practical plan that could work. But a plan is only a plan until someone works on it. In order for the plan to be executed, he needs to encourage his Co-Workers to join in.

That is something that is difficult. It is easy to come up with the plan but it is hard to get the support of everyone to carry out the plan. But Nehemiah was able to encourage everyone to work, he stirred up the zeal of the Jews.

There is a difference that separates good teachers from the ordinary teachers and a differentiating  factor between exemplary teachers and the greatest teacher.

An ordinary teacher impart knowledge, a good teacher is able to explain knowledge, an exemplary teacher could demonstrate knowledge, but the greatest teacher inspires his students to achieve great things.

Nehemiah is like the greatest teacher. He inspires the Jews to work and he stirred up their heart to serve God. It is easy to teach, explain and demonstrate knowledge. But it is hard to inspire others to do the extraordinary.

The author of Nehemiah have summarised the key points of his exhortation and we can learn from it.

1st Pt : Nehemiah reminded the Jews Of their Responsibility

“You see the distress that we are in,
how Jerusalem lies waste, and its
gates are burned with fire. ”-Nehemiah (Neh 2:17 )

Nehemiah describes the situation as “the distress that we are in”. Nehemiah included himself as part of the Jews living here and suffering reproach. We know that Nehemiah came from Shushan which is in Iran and he did not suffer any physical reproach back at home.

But he came to Jerusalem because he is a child of God and part of the people of Israel. He regarded their suffering as his own suffering and he wanted to help them to get out of the distress.

Today if we belong to the house of the Lord, whenever we see a wall of Jerusalem broken down, it is our duty to rise up and rebuild the wall. We cannot just stare at it and wait for the wall to be repaired automatically. For only outsiders would choose to watch and mock at the damaged wall.

If we belong to the household of God, we ought to join in to the work and not mock.

Today the walls of truth that protects the church are being attacked, we cannot just stand there while the truth is being attacked. Our response tells us if we are members of God’s household or a mere outsider.

2nd Pt : Nehemiah reminded the Jews Of their dignity as people of God.

Nehemiah’s word seems to be asking the people “Did you not see the wall of Jerusalem lies wasted and the gates being burned? ”Have you heard how Jerusalem had become a reproach of others? How could you remain indifferent and not take any actions? Are you numb to the reproach? Have we lost our dignity as the people of God?

If one is stranger in the city of Jerusalem, then its walls have nothing to do with us. But if we are a member of Gods household, we will not remain indifferent to the problem. We will be filled with sadness and indignation

That is why he said

“Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem,
that we may no longer be a reproach”-Nehemiah (Neh 2:17 )

For if one continue to do nothing, the wall will never be repaired and God’s name will continue to be a reproach to the people. When the wall is completed we will not be a reproach for others.

3rd Pt : Nehemiah gave testimonies to encourage them

“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.”- Nehemiah (Neh 2:18)

Nehemiah tried to encourage the faith of the people. He told them how the hand of God had been good upon him. His main point is not about how God made him great before the King of Persia but to tell them that God had began his work. He had move the Persian King to send him back to Jerusalem,

That is one of the greatest obstacle they face, if it is not overcome, the work would be obstructed.  God help Nehemiah and allowed the King to send him back to Jerusalem, it is a sign that God had began his work.

Nehemiah reminded them that they need to have faith that God will help them complete this work. For the King is concern for Nehemiah and he knew of the distress of Nehemiah, he wrote a decree to send him back to Jerusalem and even granted him resources to rebuild the wall.

Nehemiah’s point is, if a gentile King like Artaxerxes is concern about the walls of Jerusalem. How could the children of Israel be indifferent to it. That is why they need to rise up and build the wall.

4th Pt : Nehemiah reminded them of their rights and heritage.

“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.” – Nehemiah (Neh 2:20)

Nehemiah said to  Sanballat, Tobiah and Gershem that they were the servants of God, they must rise and build this house. For it is their heritage, their right and their memorial in Jerusalem.

Unless one is not a part of the City of Jerusalem, he had no portion, right or memorial over there. It is not their work to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. That is why they need to rise and build the walls.


When the people heard the words of Nehemiah. They understood and they replied to Nehemiah “Let us rise and build” and they started working

We know that they took 52 days to complete the project.

We have heard the exhortation of Nehemiah as well. We have seen the wall of our Jerusalem been broken down and is in ruins. We need to rise and build the house of God as well.

We had studied 4 reasons behind the success of Nehemiah. Let us rise and rebuild the city walls of our Jerusalem.


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