Nehemiah 1-4

Summary

Nehemiah chapter 1, Nehemiah, understanding by Hanani the misery of Jerusalem, mourns, fasts, and prays. His prayer.

Nehemiah chapter 2, Artaxerxes, understanding the cause of Nehemiah’s sadness, sends him with letters and commission to Jerusalem. Nehemiah, to the grief of the enemies, comes to Jerusalem. He views secretly the ruins of the walls. He incites the Jews to build.

Nehemiah chapter 3, The names and order of them that built the wall.

Nehemiah chapter 4, While the enemies scoff, Nehemiah prays and continues the work. Understanding the wrath and secrets of the enemy, he sets a watch. He arms the labourers; and gives military precepts.

Insights and Prayers

  • Bad news should drive us to our knees. That’s what Nehemiah did when his brother gave him discouraging news about Jerusalem and its inhabitants.
  • Lord, teach me to pray when I get bad news.
  • I don’t want to be a pessimist, nor do I want to just react negatively when I get bad news. Teach me to trust You to do something about bad news. Amen.
  • Nehemiah prayed what is called today, identificational repentance. This is when we confess the sins committed by other people. We can’t get forgiveness for them if they do not confess and seek forgiveness. But we can ask God to deal with the consequences of their sin so that their consequences do not affect us and others.
  • Lord, I confess the sin of abortion that’s practiced in America; forgive our nation and don’t judge us for our sin. I confess also the sin of greed, sexual deviation, and pride. Don’t judge America. Rather speak to people’s heart so they will repent and be saved. Lord, send revival to my nation. Amen.
  • “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.” Nehemiah’s concern for Jerusalem showed on his face. Lord, teach me to pray about everything… big things… little things… even things that bother me. Amen.
  • When given a wonderful opportunity, what’s the first thing you do? Nehemiah immediately prayed. Even as he stood in the presence of the king, Nehemiah prayed. Lord, I will pray-even when talking to others-for You are always with me, and You will answer the shortest and simplest prayer. Amen.
  • No matter what we do for God, there will be opposition, just as Sanballat and Tobiah “were angry” and spoke against Nehemiah’s task. Lord, help me look beyond opposition to Your plan for my life and Your task that I’ve been given. Help me to be strong when opposition comes, and help me not be dissuaded from doing Your will. Amen
  • No one can do the work of God alone, it takes a team. Nehemiah gathered the men of Jerusalem and told them, “Let’s rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and rid ourselves of this disgrace” (Neh. 2:17). Lord, I may try to do everything myself, just because I love You and want Your work done. But teach me to work with others-in Your church-to get Your work done. Amen.
  • The phrase “Next to them” is used a lot in the book (Neh. 3:2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, etc.). This is a wonderful picture of Christian unity, that is, people working together to accomplish God’s work. Lord, I am encouraged that everyone was committed to help and that they worked in the section of Jerusalem where they lived. Lord, I want to serve my fellow man, especially those who live where I live. Amen.
  • The wall was built with fathers, sons, and grandsons. Lord, it’s good to see the sons and grandsons repair the wall because the sin of their fathers and grandfathers destroyed the wall. May I be aware that my actions influence my children and may I live godly and serve You wholeheartedly. Women also worked on the walls. May I join with all Your children to do Your work. Amen.
  • Lord, I’m glad for this long list of names. It shows that each person was important; it also reveals where they worked and how much they did. Lord, I’m glad You keep a record in heaven of all I do; my prayer is to please You by my efforts. Amen. This chapter reveals that many people repaired the wall next to their house. I remember being in a Sunday school class when I was very young, my teacher read this chapter to us and told how each man would do a better job because he would have to sit on his porch each evening to see the job he did. Lord, when someone repaired the wall by his house, he made sure it was strong and beautiful. Then he would be safe and would enjoy looking at it in the future. I’ll make sure I work diligently on the things near my house. Amen.
  • Women worked on the wall (Neh. 3:12). Lord, I’m glad women were involved, it showed fairness; also, I’m glad politicians got dirty, it showed “big wigs” cared. May I never be too proud to get my hands dirty in Your work. Amen.
  • There are always complaints from some of God’s people. “The people of Judah began to complain that the workers were becoming tired.” There was so much rubble” (Neh. 4:10, NLT). Lord, I will not complain. I will keep my eyes on You, I will not listen to those who criticise. Forgive me when I have complained in the past. May I not focus on problems, but I will focus on You and what You’re doing. Amen.
  • Building and battling. About half of the things we do for God is building up His work. The other half is defending God’s work from the enemy. Lord, I thank You for opportunities to defeat the enemy and defend Your work. It’s a privilege to be Your soldier. Also, thank You for peace when I can work for You without opposition and satanic attack. In war or peace I’ll serve You. Amen.

Sources

  • Bible Summary – Adapted from The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge by R. A. Torrey
  • Insights and Prayers – Adapted from The Prayer Bible