Nehemiah Week 1

Hello again! I am doing a new study in the book of Nehemiah with my women’s Bible study. It is by Kelly Minter, Nehemiah: A heart that can break. As a teacher on a summer schedule, I am so thankful to be doing this study with our group. And so far- it is amazing! Thank you ladies who are on this journey with me! I pray it is speaking to you in amazing ways and God is revealing more and more of Himself to you through His Word. He is so good!

I find blogging through my journey is very therapeutic for me. And if anyone cares to read this- then great 🙂 I hope it encourages you and blesses you. Kelly is doing such a great job with this study and it is so clear, God has given her a message to give to all of us. 

In the beginning of Nehemiah we see the state of Jerusalem as Nehemiah inquires about his city. They tell him of its horrible condition: the people are “in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.” (1:3) When Nehemiah heard the condition of his city, his heart broke. He wept and mourned and fasted for days, then prayed to God. His prayer is journaled in v. 5-10 in chapter 1. It is a prayer of a broken-hearted man, humbling himself before God, and asking favor for he was about to ask the king something huge. 

Now- I didn’t realize how huge of a thing Nehemiah was asking until this study. Nehemiah is cupbearer to Artaxerxes, king of Persia (1:10). In Ezra 4:8-23 we read the background of king Artaxerxes- he was the one who stopped the Jews “by force” from rebuilding Jerusalem (v. 23). And now, Nehemiah was about to ask the king to leave and go back and rebuild the city that he stopped from rebuilding? Nehemiah had every reason to be afraid of asking the king for such a thing! When the king asks Nehemiah “What is wrong? What is it you want?” The Scriptures say Nehemiah’s response is:

“Then I prayed to the God of heaven and I answered the king.” (2:4)

I can only imagine the uncertainty Nehemiah felt. How would the king react? Would he be indignant? Offended? Shout- “off with his head!”? This is a huge risk for Nehemiah. But the conversation that follows has God’s hand all over it. Not only does the king grant Nehemiah the privelege to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall, the king gives Nehemiah letters of safe conduct, lumber and a military escort on top of it! (2:6-9) I would say Nehemiah’s prayer of “God’s favor” was answered! (1:11) God is so good!

When we are willing to step out and speak up, God promises to be there on our behalf. And He always does abundantly more than we dare to ask.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” Ephesians 3:20-21

Be encouraged that God has a great plan for your life. Listen to what He has put in your heart and then boldly answer the calling! He is with you 🙂

God bless!

“Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matt 10:19-20

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