Old Testament Survey The Book of Nehemiah

Introduction: The children of Judah had been carried into captivity by Babylon. Some men that had gone back to Judah, had come back to Shushan; the winter residence of the King of Persia, Artaxerxes.  The Temple had been rebuilt and worship reestablished; the walls of Jerusalem was still in ruins. If the city was to survive, the walls had to be rebuilt, so God raised up Nehemiah for that task.

All of this took place about 446 B.C. … about  2,450 years ago. Nehemiah was the king’s Cup bearer – a high position. This was a high paying job; he was held in high esteem and he was very influential at his job. Nehemiah never wore a crown; never commanded an army; never conquered a country. He was not noted for oratory or philosophy; yet he was a pious, praying, man of God and he served the Lord very well. He was a greater man and more  honorable than any of the Roman consuls or dictators; greater than the Greek philosophers – such as Plato, who lived during this same time period.

Nehemiah records, in this Book, the works of his hands but the worship of his heart in the management of public affairs. From the 20th year to the 32nd year of the king, Nehemiah was governor of Judah. This is the last historical Book of the Old Testament.

  1. Rebuilding Of The Walls
  2. Nehemiah views the ruined walls – 2:11-16
  3. Nehemiah encourages the people to build the walls 2:17-20
  4. Their opponents ridicule them – 4:1-3
  5. Spiritual lessons from this part of the Book
  6. I Corinthians 16:9  God opens doors and the enemy doesn’t want you to succeed
  7. II Timothy 3:12 God’s people will suffer persecution – be ridiculed etc.
  8. Nehemiah responds by taking it to God in prayer – 4:4-6
  9. Their opponents get angry with them – 4:7-8
  10. Vs 7 – very wroth =  hot – incensed – burning up
  11. Vs 9 – Nehemiah prayed and  had a continual watch
  12. Opposition within – vs 14 – fear of the enemy
  13. God’s people were afraid which led to discouragement
  14. vs 20 – an encouragement to trust in God – faith
  15. Opposition by craftiness – chapter 6
  16. vs 2 – mischief
  17. vs 6,7 – accused of rebellion
  18. Nehemiah’s reply – vs 8
  19. The wall is completed – 15
  1. The People Revived And Reconstructed
  2. The Law was read and explained to the people – chap. 8:-12
  3. NOTE: vs 1,3,4,5,6,8,10
  4. The reading of God’s Word sparked a revival among the people
  5. Hebrews 4:12 – Word of God is ……
  6. The people fast and repent – chap. 9
  7. the Word of God should bring folks back to the God of the Word
  8. Psalms 12:6 – 119:9 & 11, 16, 18, 30, 33 – 40; 89, 97, 127, 140, 160, 164.

Spiritual message from the Book of Nehemiah: We work for the Lord in our physical labors; yet we must also have the  Word of God. People that truly work for God  will seek understanding from the Word of God. Understanding and obeying God’s Word brings joy to us as we labor for God.  Without Ezra’s  teaching and Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jewish religion and community  might not have survived.

Practical lesson from Nehemiah: Planning and organization are necessary to effectively carry out the work of God. Under Nehemiah’s reforms, a lot was accomplished through his skills of organization, in which he followed God’s guidance.