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The book of Nehemiah

It is always good to take a refresher course in life. To look at things we have already experienced or things that we have already read or studied to make it fresh in our minds. Anyone who has ever gone to school or has had to take any sort of test or exam, you take a refresher course just before the big day to keep things fresh in your mind and that is what we do here on Sunday mornings. We refresh your minds with God’s word. Today we are doing that again and I am going to attempt to do something once before and that is to look at an entire book of the Bible. The last time I did this we looked at the book of Ester, a short book that looked at a particular event in the history of the Jews. Today we are going to look at a book the book that comes right before Ester, and if you know your Old Testament we have 1 &2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Job … so it is between Ezra and Ester.

Nehemiah, Ezra and Zechariah all lived at around the same time a few years after the passing of Daniel and just before the last prophet of the Old Testament era Malachi. The Jews were returning to the land after the 70 year Babylonian captivity and the cities were all still in ruins and the people were scattered all over the land. It is at this time that God raises up Nehemiah and gives him the mission of restoring the City of David, Jerusalem. I am going to give you a brief overview of the book then we will look at some specifics, especially the prayers found in this book.

-          Kings Cup bearer

-          Given the vision to rebuild the wall

-          He got the kings permission to carry out his vision

-          He organized the people to rebuild the wall

-          In the midst of physical threats and verbal abuse the task was completed in 52 days! (the original wall took years to build)

-          He turned the people back to God

-          He brought them back into the protection of the now walled city

-          He organized the priests so the worship of God could be restored

-          He demanded that the people separate themselves from the foreigners that they had married

That is the very quick overview of Nehemiah. Now let us look at some of the high points, His prayers. But before we go there let us turn to Daniel 9 and look at Daniels prayer because Nehemiah is the answer to Daniels prayer. [READ Daniel 9] comment confession, plea for forgiveness, request that God act on what He said He would do. Sounds familiar? How about Matt 6:9-13, Your will be done, We are sinners please forgive us …

Years after Daniel’s death God is still answering his prayer. Nehemiah comes along and hears the report about Jerusalem and prays … [READ Nehemiah 1] How did he pray … Just like Daniel, we have sinned, (this are our specific sins) forgive us and act on your word. Then he acted. We do not pray in a vacuum! We pray, we act, we leave the results to God. And we will see that over and over here

The lessons we take away from the book of Nehemiah

-          Prayer

As he prayed God worked

-          Providence

God is going to accomplish His purpose

-          Patience

Even in times of adversity and seemingly overwelmig odds that is when God works.

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