Nehemiah is the story of an exiles return, which began in the book of Ezra, and continues in Nehemiah. It is 445 B C when King Artaxerxes 1 gives Nehemiah leaves to return to Jerusalem.
Nehemiah is an example of spiritual leader. He earned his living as a servant, doing what he was told, rising to a position of considerable responsibility as a cupbearer (wine and food poison tester) for the King of Persia.
Read Nehemiah Prayer Nehemiah 1 verse 4 to 11.
Nehemiah tells his own story in the first person chapters 1 to 7 and 12 v27 to the end of the book.
It is hard to believe that being a tester for the king (cupbearer) which tested the food and drink for the king was an important job, but the king would need to put trust in such a position. So because of this the cupbearer in the court of the king was a position of high honor. Despite Nehemiah position of importance with the king, he had not forgotten his people.
King Artaxerxes stepmother was Esther the Jewess
He may have been through Esther influence that he received the important position of cupbearer.
The king gave consent for Nehemiah to return to his homeland to rebuild it’s capital Jerusalem.
After only being ther three days. he went and viewed the wall at night. When he saw the dilapidated condition of he wall, he encouraged the people to begin building immediately. The work was accomplished in fifty two days by assigning a portion of the wall to each family.
Their attitude to rebuild was expressed in the sentence ” The people worked with all their heart.”Neh 4 verse 6
People of all sorts joined together in the work of rebuilding. the list includes priest, perfumers, goldsmiths, merchants, rulers and the women all helped.
Nehemiah astute as always, set the people to work on sections near their own homes, for which the naturally have concern.
The people have the will to work, and a dynamic leader, nevertheless they have to face first ridicule, than terrorism from powerful opponents.
Nehemiah reply is pray and faith, plus practical action, we pray and we set guard. (Neh 4 v 9)
Nehemiah had an unshakable confidence that come from a certainty of knowing and trusting God. (Neh 4 v 14)(Neh 4 v 20)
As they worked they were prepared to face any adversary. (Neh 4v 17)
The laborers carried the load work with one hand and held a weapon in the other hand. Each carried a weapon even when washing. (Neh 4 v 23).
The opposition realized that their only chance of stopping the work is to get rid of Nehemiah. Their first move is to try to persuade him to leave Jerusalem for talks. (NEH 6 v 2). When that fails they try blackmail. (Neh 6 v 5 to 7) and intimidation (Neh 6 v 10).
Nehemiah response to each challenge was great. (Neh 6 v3, 8, and 11). Nehemiah will allow nothing to deflect him from the God given task. The walls were completed and was such a wonderful achievement that even the enemies are forced to acknowledge God”s hand in it.
What can we take out of Nehemiah, whenever there is building, there is battling. Just as Nehemiah had opposition we too have opposition to the plans God has for us be awake to 3 powerful enemies that might distract us.
The world which can not understand the things of God.
The flesh which can easily be distracted from the things of God.
The devil who hates the things of God (but he is defeated, remind him and keep on reminding him he is)
Don’t be discouraged or distracted. (Neh 4 v1)
The Book of Nehemiah Describes how Nehemiah came to Jerusalem.
Recounts how he organized the rebuilding.
Show how he dealt prayerful and practically with all opponents. Describes the peoples fresh commitment to God.
Nehemiah was an action man model for all to follow and through his achievements social reform was brought to his nation. He also had the heart of a servant, and he was ready to serve.
Whatever task we undertake for Our Lord and Our Friend do it with the seal Nehemiah had in rebuilding the walls that had been left in ruin.
Remember the nearness of God. God promises to draw near to those who draw near to Him.
Prayer is talking with the Lord, He know everything about you, He knows the plans He has for you and He will be with you all the way.
Read Nehemiah and Glean the exciting news God is trying to convey to us all.
O F J