Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nehemia 1-6

Day 146

Rain, rain, go away.  My stars!      Dusty even got up at 3:30 last night to go check on his chickens.  He was afraid they were drowning!  

Chapters 1-2  The exiles returned home in Ezra and the story now continues.   Nehemia's brother comes from Judah to Persia to visit him at the palace and he asks about the condition of Jerusalem and the situation of the Jewish people.  After learning that the wall has been broken down in Jerusalem, Nehemia weeps.  A city without a wall is open to attack and is considered insignificant.  For weeks Nehemia prays over the situation which has wrought his heart.  God opens a door of opportunity and Nehemiah walks through his fear--as advocating for Jerusalem and asked the king for permission to go rebuild the city.  God ignites a spark of revival in his servant Nehemiah. He returns to Jerusalem with a military escort, inspects the city, and makes a secret plan,

Chapter 3  This is the work of rebuilding the temple on the north side and going counter-clockwise.  Most of the places mentioned are not identifiable today.  But the sheep gate was on the north wall, as well as the fish gate, the tower of ovens.  People of all kinds joined together in the work of rebuilding. The list mentions priests and perfumers, goldsmiths, and merchants, rulers and women too! Nehemiah has inspired others in the rebuilding of the wall.  They are depending on one another to complete the task. 

Chapter 4  There is always opposition among people when there is a building project going on.  Ask any church member! :) In sending Nehemiah to Jerusalem, King Artaxerxes made him governor of Judah and Sanballat is governor of Samaria, which borders Judah and is one of Nehemia's opponents.  Sanballat is threatened by the leadership and presence of Nehemiah but the people can face opposition because they are trying to make positive changes in their circumstances and lives.  Those who feel threatened by the transformation try to dissuade them and taunt them.  Nehemiah and his people refuse to given in to the struggle and instead reaffirm their drive to complete the wall.  They are alert and ready!! They didn't even stop to change their clothes....their faith in a powerful God does not make them blind to the reality of their situation....so they pray and act simultaneously...prayer and action go hand in hand.

Chapter 5  At the same time they are facing outside opposition, there is also dissatisfaction within the Jewish community.  Many were suffering great economic hardship.......they have large families and no money to buy good.  Some have mortgaged their land and others have borrowed money to pay the outrageous taxes. Nehemiah took action to set all of that right!  

 Chapter 6     52 days! That is all it took to re-build the temple!! That wall had lain in ruins for 150 years!!!!   Yet the entire reconstruction project took only 52 days.  People tried to get rid of Nehemiah, in hopes that that would stop the construction of the temple.   They tried to get him to leave, they tried intimidation, etc. But they failed to realize one thing....Nehemia and the project was in God's hands!!!   

tomorrow:  chapter 7

1 comment:

  1. From my Bible...Life Application Topic...Leadership---Humble, daring, discerning, empowering, and protecting: these are the characteristics of leadership. With humility, Nehemiah weeps to align himself with God's purpose; he daringly risks his privileged life to do what is right. He discerns sad truths and hidden possibilities; motivates and equips the people for good work. Finally he guards the boundaries of faith against all enemies within and without. Nehemiah is no more program manager or property administrator. He grows leaders. He takes initiative, but shares authority. He counts himself amoung the servants. Leaders are just cupbearers. The art is in knowing how the cup is to be filled, and to whom it should be carried.