4 lessons part 1                  

    Nehemiah

                                                                  

         Part 1

           

             By: Hans Hofman

 

 

Introduction: In the Hebrew text the book Nehemiah is part of the book Ezra.

It tells us the further history of the Jews’ return from the exile in Babylon.

Nehemiah came to Jerusalem in 445 B.C., almost 100 years after the return

of the first returning Jews in 538 B.C. This earlier group rebuilt the altar,

revived the service of sacrifice and enthusiastically began to rebuild the

temple. But they were delayed for 18 years by enemies from the North.

However in 520 B.C. they appealed to King Darius of Persia and it again

was made possible to resume the rebuilding.

In 516 the temple was completed.

 

61 years later Nehemiah came to Jerusalem.

Authorised by King Artaxerxes to act as Governor Nehemiah repaired the

walls of Jerusalem… (Intro from The Amplified Bible)

 

 

Nehemiah showed himself to be a man dedicated to God. This becomes

clear to us as we read his history in the book with his name.

We see a clear example of this when he is in conversation with the king.

            “… and the king said to me, ‘What is your request?’ Then I

(Nehemiah) prayed to the God of Heaven. And I said to the king,

‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight,

that you send me to Judah….’

 

In this conversation we see a clear example of the position in which

Nehemiah finds himself in respect of the king. His almost natural relationship

with God is expressed in his life, his work and his speaking.

Nehemiah  shows himself to be spiritually mature in his life ( and in his work

at the court of the king) and is also a stable man of business and a leader.

Characteristics, fruits which belong also to the New Testament Christians

and thus to the body of Christ, because “You are a chosen race, a royal

priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people…” 1 Peter 2:9

 

Chosen by God, appointed as a royal priest by God and sanctified in Jesus

Christ for God’s service.

In this series I want together with you to put a number of people alongside

Nehemiah, so that from both the Old and the New Testament we can learn

to grow towards perfection in our relationship with Jesus and the Father.

 

Questions:

 

God’s People / Church

 

1. God’s People?  Holy nation? Who belongs there according to Acts 2:41-47?

………………………………………………………………………………………

2. What did these people spend there time doing according to Acts 2:42?

…………………………………………………………………………………….

3. Which characteristics were evident in the first church?

    which 2 in Acts 4:32  ………………………………………………..……....

           

    which 2 in verse  33   ……………………………………………………..

 

    which  in verse 35 ………………………………………………………….

 

4. Which two do we clearly see in 1 Thess.1:1-10 and specifically in      

    verses 9 and 10? …………………………………………………………

 

5. We have already seen how the first church came together to pray….     

   They also continued in the teaching and so learned from God’s Word what

praying is and how I can an may pray. They also learned about the relationship

between correct motivation and the causes of pray being heard or not etc.

There was a holy respect for God (not fear) and the Holy Ghost was able to

 do mighty works in the church. The saving of souls, healings, church growth

in knowledge and number.

 

How to pray

 

God doesn’t call us to be beggars when we pray. Praying to God is talking with

your heavenly Father. In our prayers we therefore don’t need to say Jesus or

God after every sentence. You don’t do that when in conversation with your

earthly father. In a good relationship, a relationship which is based on daily

fellowship, you can speak freely. Without choosing your words, concrete and

 in full trust that God is a rewarder of those that love Him with their whole heart

and seek Him for fellowship.

 

6. How should we pray according to Heb 11:6   

 …………………….………………………………………………………………

 

And how according to 1 John 3:21 – 23 …………………….………………………

 

A  in faith  Heb 11:6 ………………….………………………………………………

B  Faith is  Heb 11:1 ………………………………………………………………….

C  Faith as a condition for your prayers being heard 1 John 3:22 – 23

D With a heart which is right with God as a condition for being heard 3:21

E  God hears / gives and is thus the only one who has the right to lay

    down conditions.

 

                        “Surrender – Faith – Expectancy”

 

A relationship / the bonding factor is faith in God

 

What Is Need

 

This is naturally an indescribably broad concept. But it is not unimportant to

shed some light on it. This can broaden our vision and show us the need to

get training and knowledge of the Bible so that as disciples of Jesus Christ we

can be well armed to stand at the front. Such broadening of your vision can also

serve as a stimulus to do what you should.

Praying and searching for God’s will for your life, for the right place (aim) the

right time, and the right preparatory training. Our King and Lord wants to make

all this clear to you. You will see it if you open your eyes for it. He has taken

the first steps. He is waiting for you to take the rest. That is what walking with

God involves.

 

Note: Searching/orienteering you can do by reading missionary magazines and

brochures and to prayerfully ask yourself, “Where does God want me to be

involved and with what?” Ask yourself the question, is the missionary area

around me the place where God wants to use me? And how? etc.

 

Read Luke 21:8-19 and see the enormously variety of need with which we are

confronted in the world and in the church.

 

7. What does Luke say in Luke 14:13-14 about how we should deal with need?     ……………………………………………………………………………………

 

8. In Luke 13:10-13 we see Jesus speaking with authority. He had this authority

because he was someone who was sent. He was someone who had received

authority. He declared freedom and laid His hands on her. ………………………
    ………………………………………………………….................................….

 

What did Jesus do in verse 10? ………………………………………………………
 ……………………………..............................................................................

How did Jesus discovered this woman in her bondage in verse 12a …………………………………………………………………………………….

 

9. Jesus saw her, He was observant and concerned for the need of the people who

 came to listen to Him. In John 20:21 the Lord Jesus sends his disciples out,

just as the Father had sent Him into the world Have you already chosen to

become a real disciple (pupil/ follower) of Jesus?

From what is it evident that we are real disciples of Jesus? …………………………
 ...........................................................................................…………………..

 

So far we have seen something about three things:

 

God’s church – Need – Praying in faith

 

We can come across need in various ways:

A Information from an elder or leader

B Information from the person concerned him/herself

C Revelation by the Holy Spirit

D Seeing the need

 

A          Nehemiah received information about the need of his people from a brother

            and some men who accompanied his brother.

 

B          How did Nehemiah respond? Neh. 1:4, 5 Nehemiah was concerned and went …………………………………………………………………….

           

            He did not run about, pointing a finger at people. He didn’t start fighting

            imaginary dragons. But he went directly to the giver of life, to God in heaven.

 

C          Nehemiah prayed about concrete things (specifically) and was not prepared

            to accept compromises. Neh. 1:5. Compare Phill. 3:14, Matt 18:11, Luk.

            19:10, 1 Pet 2:9

 

            Note: Praying in concrete terms on the basis of God’s Word and promises.

            Thus not relying on human emotions. Praying on the basis of His Word

            means praying according to His will so that He achieves His purposes and

            is glorified through us. See John 17:4.

 

D          Nehemiah sanctified himself before God Neh 1:6,7

            Confession of sins. Personal sins, sins of the family and forefathers and of

            the people to whom Nehemiah belonged. Nehemiah sanctified himself before

            God BEFORE he could take on the enormous job God wanted him to do.

 

            Note: Read 1 Joh 1:5-7,9 and compare it with Heb 9:14a

The aim of this purification is explained in Heb 9:14b

To have answers to our prayers. To receive God’s guidance (without being

misled by unconfessed sins). This is so we can be fellow-workers together

with God (1 Cor 3: 9). God us holy, He is light and can have no communion

 with darkness. Whatever can hinder the spreading of that light (which is our

witness of Him in our lives) must be banished from our lives.

Nehemiah gives us a powerful example and a practical lesson. Earlier in

this study we read 1 Joh 3:21-23. Compare these verses with that passage.

 

E          In his prayers Nehemiah reminded God of His words, His covenants and

            promises to His people. Neh 1:5,8.

 

f           Nehemiah confirms who they were in God and through His salvation.

            In doing so his “ position ” is quite clear.

 

Strategy                      1. Know who your Saviour is.

in spiritual warfare:        2. Know who you are in Christ

                                   3. Stand on/live out God’s promises in His Word

4. Set a concrete objective before yourself and        

    work towards it.

 Lesson 2