Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of Nehemiah. May we ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? Psalm 19:14; “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:
- What does the scripture say about God?
- Then what does the scripture say about me?
- Does something in this passage challenge me?
- What gives me hope in this passage?
- Is anything unclear to me?
I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.
Author: Much of the book is written in the first person suggesting Nehemiah wrote it with Ezra serving as editor
Audience: The exiles who returned from captivity
Date Written: Approximately 445-432 B.C.
Length: 13 Chapters
Key Words: Prayer and work
Key Verses: “So I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (6:3)
Key People: Nehemiah, Ezra, Sanballat, Tobiah
Summary of Nehemiah:
Nehemiah, a Jew, was a high-level official in the Persian courts. While Ezra gives the account of rebuilding the temple under Zerubbabel, Nehemiah (Ezra’s contemporary) gives the account of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. His story begins in 445 B.C. in Susa, the Persian capital.
One of the powerful messages of Nehemiah is how much we can accomplish when we align ourselves with the will and plans of God. We see Nehemiah and his followers do the impossible because they do what God called them to do.
Nehemiah also wanted His people to be spiritually enlightened. So he helped the Jews take control of their lives, land, and destiny as the people of God by modeling righteous qualities: humility, self-motivated, confidence, a leader, faithful, fearlessness, organizer, obedient, and just.
Sections of the Book:
The book of Nehemiah has three sections which are:
- Rebuilding the Walls (Chap 1-6)
- Nehemiah registers the people (Chap 7)
- Renewal and reform (Chap 8-13)
Messages in Nehemiah:
Nehemiah started his career as a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. He renounced this life of ease and comfort for God’s calling on his life. He exchanges his comfort for a life of toil, danger, and heart-breaking work.
The book of Nehemiah displays the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem and the revival of the people. However, we know that Israel still waited for the coming of her true King, Christ. Jesus will complete the restoration of Israel and all of us as the long-awaited King. (Matt 27:11).
We also see God’s characteristics displayed in the following ways in the book:
- Glorious – 9:5
- Good – 1:10; 2:8, 18; 9:35
- Kind – 9:17
- Long-suffering – 9:30
- Merciful – 9:17, 27
- Powerful – 1:10
- Provident – 9:6
- Righteous – 9:8
- Unified – 9:6
- Wise – 9:10
There is a great need today for faithful believers in leadership roles in the secular world. The world needs people who know God’s Word, pray before acting, and take calculated risks for the sake of God’s kingdom. We have a unique role to play in changing the course of history. We must learn how to inspire those around us to use their workplace to further the Kingdom of God.
But remember that Godly leaders will experience opposition to God’s work from this sinful world. Setbacks and difficulty don’t indicate that God has somehow lost control. On the contrary, these issues can be God’s way of achieving breakthroughs that may not have happened otherwise.
All Lessons from the Bible
Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn and historical information. We must study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.
2 Timothy 3:14-17; “14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Grant me the understanding and knowledge of You and Your word. As I open my Bible to read the scriptures, it gives me wisdom and discernment. And even as I sit and listen to the pastor, preacher or apostle reveal what Your Holy Book is speaking into my life, help me see and understand. Help me know Jesus Christ and how He lived His life so I can follow in His precious footsteps.