Have you ever had the experience of being far away from your loved ones while you receive some tragic news that makes the distance even more painful. Having moved halfway across the globe, I’ve certainly experienced that feeling of helplessness when I’ve received news of loved ones passing away and having no way of being able to be there in person with other loved ones.
So, I can certainly relate to Nehemiah’s feeling of sorrow when he receives the news about the sorry state of Jerusalem. But he goes beyond weeping and mourning. He pours out his sorrow before the Lord in fasting and prayer.
In this week’s journey, we will see what that pouring out of his heart’s emotions before the great king did for Nehemiah. We will continue on the theme of rebuilding. We will focus our eyes on Nehemiah who was a contemporary to Ezra, and who led the efforts to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. We will also read the conclusions to some of the story lines that were started in the book of Ezra.
As a result of Nehemiah’s prayer (Neh 1: 4-11), once again we see the favor of the Lord upon His people as Nehemiah experiences the generosity of the king Artaxerxes who:
- Grants Nehemiah safe passage to return to Jerusalem
- Provides letters to the local leaders to supply Nehemiah with the necessary resources and supplies for the rebuilding project
- Sends army officers and cavalry to accompany Nehemiah
This allows Nehemiah to start the project of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. But similar to what we saw happen in the book of Ezra, as the wall rebuilding efforts pick up and continue, the opposition to the project also mounts up. But we see Nehemiah and his team persisting in their efforts and carry forward in their mission and eventually complete the wall.
Even as we can rejoice with Nehemiah in the great success of the wall completion and the many exiled Israelites who were able to return to Jerusalem, the second half of the book of Nehemiah pivots to some other matter that needed some attention.
We see our friend Ezra back on the scene spurring God’s people to the Law of the Lord, leading them in worshipping the Lord and in celebrations. This then leads to the confession of sins and a new agreement made by the people to obey all the laws of the Lord and remain steadfast in their worship of the Lord.
Oh, what a blessed scene it must have been to have the people of God return to Him in worship, celebration, renewed commitment and dedication!
Go ahead and read it all for yourself as you dig deeper into what the book of Nehemiah is all about.
The walls of Jerusalem was rebuilt with God’s favor and provision leading the Israelites to once again live in the land, dedicating themselves to the Law of the Lord.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this adventurous book yourself.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year), Read Psalms 91-93
And that is it for week 32!
Happy Bible Learning!