World Evangelism

The Unfinished Task

by Dr. Dale Yerton

The Unfinished Task

We have a large task ahead of us. We must not be dismayed by its magnitude of discouraged because it is not finished. This is a time for refocusing and networking with others to finish the job. There will always be some who will not “put their shoulders to the work of their LORD.” (Nehemiah 3:5)

God Will Not Complete the Task Without Us and We Cannot Without God’s Help


“Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priest and built the sheep gate.” (Nehemiah 3:1) Nehemiah Was a People Person. He gave a detailed report on each person’s position, calling them by name. Nehemiah Recognized and Respected Other Leaders. He recorded all types of people. Fifteen groups of people were named, priests, goldsmiths, perfumers and merchants were named. Nehemiah Did Not Divide the Work Into Spiritual and Secular Groups. He needed the help of every person no matter if they were a priest of a businessman. Nehemiah Overcame the Religious Barrier. He gave an “honor to whom honor is due” mentioning the “leaders” who helped with the work. (Nehemiah 3:12) Nehemiah Knew That Preachers Alone Could Not Finish the task.


Twenty-eight times you read in this chapter “next to him” and “next to them.” What was important to Nehemiah was that everybody was working. In Verse 16 “Next to Him” Changes to “After Him.” At this point, the work had become a burden, and somebody was needed to inspire them. Somebody has to rebuild the garbage gate. Some people have more physical stamina and can work faster than others. Six times we read that some of the workers repaired “another section of the wall.” It says that “Baruch..zealously repaired another section.” (Nehemiah 3:20) Then We Read “Moreover the Nethinim.” (Nehemiah 3:26) Who are the Nethinim? They were a group of people who were not originally Jewish. They were Gentiles, descendants of the Gibeonites of Joshua chapter 9. Hundreds of years after the book of Joshua this people who were original of the Hivite nation in Canaan have now become a part of Israel. Nehemiah Overcame the Racial Barrier. It is amazing to find Gentiles invited to work on the wall in Jerusalem. Nehemiah Knew He Needed Every True Worshipper of Jehovah to Finish the Wall.


Nehemiah Kept Good Records. He kept records to be able to remember each person’s name, where they were from and exactly what they did on the wall. He realized the importance of individual attention. Good records help the leader to say, “Thanks,” to all the people who have helped him. Why Did He Tell the People to Make “Repairs in Front of Their Own Houses?” (Nehemiah 3:23) He provided a natural mix of the problem and the benefit of the restored wall protecting their own homes. What better way to help them see the benefit that to place them working on the wall directly in front of their houses? This was a win/win situation because it conserved their energies and saved time from having to walk to work. He also reminded the people they were not only working for themselves but for their posterity. Many times the magnitude of the job is exhausting until we remember we are helping the coming generation. Nehemiah Said That “Shallum and His Daughter Made Repairs.” (Nehemiah 3:12) Israel was a patriarchal system. It was a man’s world and rebuilding the wall was considered man’s work. Nehemiah Overcame the Gender Barrier. He realized he needed everybody’s help to finish the wall. Nehemiah Welcomed Both Male and Female Workers. We must realize in the Kingdom of God “there is neither male nor female.” (Galatians 3:28) We need everybody’s help in finishing The Great Commission.


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