Trek through Nehemiah
Scripture reading for June 18th: Nehemiah 13, Esther 1-3, Romans 4
Key Scriptures: Romans 4:19-22 “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about 100 years old) or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. Now unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
Paul used the example of Abraham to drive home his argument of justification by faith. Abraham was not declared righteous by keeping the Law. The Law had not yet been given. But Abraham was given a promise that he would become the father of many nations and through his “Seed” all nations would be blessed. He believed God, even when it looked impossible in the natural!
Esther 2:16 “And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the other virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head. . .”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the grace and favor showed to all men through faith in Jesus Christ. Help me to believe Your word and receive all Your promises! Amen.
Scripture reading for June 15th: Nehemiah 10-12, Romans 3
Key Scriptures: Romans 3:20-22 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
The Law cannot save anyone. No one can keep God’s law because of a sin nature from Adam. Both Jew and Gentile stand guilty as sinners before God. But faith in Jesus Christ is the great equalizer. Through faith a righteousness is revealed that comes from God as a gift to all who believe. Those near (Jews) and far away (Gentiles) rejoice! Hallelujah!
Nehemiah 12:43 “And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.”
Prayer: Lord, I rejoice in Your great gift of righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ! May my joy be heard far away! Amen!
Scripture reading for June 14th: Nehemiah 6-9, Romans 2
Key Scriptures: Romans 2:4-6 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each person according to what he has done.”
Paul reminded believers that it was God’s kindness and patience that lead them to repentance. If someone remains unrepentant, that attitude will ultimately bring God’s wrath and judgment. Take care of your own heart and stay in God’s love through repentance and a humble heart.
Nehemiah 8:5-6 “Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your kindness and patience with me. May I always show Your kindness and patience in my life. I need Your help! Amen.
Scripture reading for June 13th: Nehemiah 3-5, Romans 1
Key Scriptures: Romans 1:16-17 “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Paul, writing to the Roman believers, declared the Gospel of Jesus Christ as God’s power for salvation. This message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ brought faith to those who would believe. Their faith in Jesus brought righteousness that enabled them to live by faith.
Nehemiah 4:14 “After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the faith granted me to believe in Jesus Christ. May I live fully by faith today. Amen.
Scripture reading for June 12th: Ezra 9-10, Nehemiah 1-2, Acts 28
Key Scriptures: Acts 28:23-24 “They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.”
The Apostle Paul made it safely to Rome and was placed in a rented house under guard. Many Jews came to visit him and he preached Christ to them from the Scriptures. Some believed and others did not. The power of the Gospel was spread in Rome as God had directed.
Nehemiah 1:5-6 “Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before You day and night for Your servants, the people of Israel.”
Prayer: Lord, great and awesome God, Lord of heaven and earth, grant boldness to me today to preach Your word to all You send me to. Amen!
Scripture reading for May 11th: Nehemiah 12-13, Esther 1-2
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 13:17-18 “I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing–desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
Nehemiah had gone back to Persia for a period of time and while he was away, God’s people began to slip away from their obedience to God. They were working and doing business on the Sabbath, in rebellion to God’s law. Nehemiah called them out with a public rebuke! He reminded them of past consequences of such actions and called them to repentance!
Thankful for needed rebukes: Godly leaders reprove and rebuke those who are in known sin and warn the congregation concerning sin’s consequences. “These then are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” (Titus 2:15) “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19)
Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 7-11
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 8:10-12 “Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”
Nehemiah had called all God’s people together and had the Word of God read aloud to them. The people had listened attentively and God’s Word brought conviction and cleansing. A great revival was stirred. Nehemiah encouraged the people to celebrate their new-found understanding and to allow the joy of the Lord’s renewed presence to be their strength and confidence!
Rejoicing in understanding through Christ: “For I (Jesus) gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You and they believed that You sent Me.” . .”I am coming to You now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of My joy within them.” (John 17:8, 13)
Scripture reading for May 9th: Nehemiah 3-6
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 4:13-14 “Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.””
Nehemiah was a wise leader who acted in faith and courage. He surveyed the situation and stationed the people as needed and encouraged them not to live in fear but to work and fight in faith. This faith was based in their Lord, who was great and awesome and who would fight for them!
Thankful for courage: Jesus Christ has said, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)
Scripture reading for May 8th: Ezra 8-10, Nehemiah 1-2
Key Scriptures: Nehemiah 1:3-4 “They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I (Nehemiah) heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah was a servant (cup-bearer) to the king of Persia. He heard a report from Jerusalem that the rebuilding of the city and its walls had stopped and the people there were demoralized and in trouble. This caused him to weep and fast before the Lord. He repented of sin and confessed wickedness. He poured out his heart in prayer and opened his life for God’s purposes.
Thankful for men who weep: Jesus Christ, too, wept, over Jerusalem and then offered Himself as the One who would give His life to save His people! “As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
Scripture reading for May 13th: Nehemiah 11-13
“Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.” Nehemiah 13:14
It is a great honor to have God’s smile of approval for the deeds a person has done! Others have had a record of their accomplishments but God called them “evil” and wrote them down as a bad examples! Let’s look at Nehemiah’s last four prayers of petition to the Lord, see his heart, and learn why God answered his prayers with favor!
Nehemiah asked to be remembered for cleansing the temple of Tobiah the Ammonite, who Eliashib the priest had given a room in the temple. (Nehemiah 13:1-2,7-9) Nehemiah also found out that the Levites had not received their portion of the tithes and therefore had to return to secular work. He rebuked the officials who had allowed this and ordered the Levites back to work in the temple. He reminded the people to bring their tithes into the storehouse and replenish the storerooms that had gone empty. He knew that they needed to bring their tithes into the temple for their own worship and good! Faithfulness to God’s house will always be rewarded!
“Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and go and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember me for this also, O my God, and show mercy to me according to your great love.” Nehemiah 13:22
Nehemiah rebuked the people for doing business on the Sabbath, closed the gates, and warned those bringing goods to remove them on the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:12-18) He was concerned that God’s wrath would come upon the people for their disrespect of God’s commandment.
“Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites.” Nehemiah 13:29 “Remember me with favor, O my God.” Nehemiah 13:30b
The last recorded deed of Nehemiah was his dealing with mixed marriages in Judah and the priesthood. (Nehemiah 13:25) He made them swear not to give their daughters or allow their sons to marry outside the nation of faith. Wise leaders take action! In doing so, they are “remembered with favor” by the Lord! Let Nehemiah’s example inspire your efforts today!