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Nehemiah 1:1-11

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when teaching every date is approx. (for example Bible knowledge & Wiersbe says events of Nehemiah started at 444BC cause Artexerxes (6th king) started in 464BC)

CONTEXT: before & after the time of Nehemiah

The Time of Nehemiah is 444BC (the 20th year of Artexerxes 1)
Before the time of Nehemiah:
1,000 years before Nehemiah - the time of Moses
time of Moses
2. 556 years before Nehemiah - time of David
3. 142 years before Nehemiah in 586 BC Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem
2. 142 years earlier: before
The start time of the events in Nehemiah takes place in 445BC (20th year of Artexerxes 1)
Confession, Fasting, Mourning, Prayer, Compassion, Attributes of God, Israel History, World History, Leadership, Persistence, Patriotism,
in 586 BC King
Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had torn down the city wall of Jerusalem, burned its gates, and made the city a ghost town
gives the reaction of the Jews taken captive
gives the reaction of the Jews taken captive
Psalm 137:1–6 NKJV
1 By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. 2 We hung our harps Upon the willows in the midst of it. 3 For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us requested mirth, Saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” 4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! 6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
the city was almost forgotten about like any other destroyed ancient city
The Jews continued to worship God and eventually made Babylon their home
As the years went on the Jews had no desire to return to the promised land.
Some of the Jews even rose up to positions of power in Babylon like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego In Persia Esther rose to become a Queen.
As the years went on the Jews had no desire to return to the destroyed promised land of Jerusalem.
The city of Jerusalem was destroyed for about 70 years
4. 94 years before Nehemiah in 538 BC King Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem
rebuild the Temple with Zerubabbel (90 years before Nehemiah)
rebuild the Temple with Zerubabbel (90 years before Nehemiah)
Out of the 2-3 million captive Jews only less then 50,000 returned to the promised land (like 2% of the people)
In this time Zerubabbel rebuilt the Temple
5. 14 years before Nehemiah in 458BC Ezra began his ministry (encouraging praise to God).
Then Ezra came and rebuilt the Temple.
In this time Jews began to feel vulnerable, depressed and weak. Without a wall there is no defense from enemies, which prevents anyone of having any nice or decent possessions since it can just be taken away. The temple looked miserable since you couldn't put anything of great value in it with out it being threatened to being invaded… a wall needed to be built to defend and protect them.
Ancient Christian Father Bede (673-735) said hat the broken down city reminded the Israelites of their past failures and how their sin caused this destruction. The broken down wall also allowed the enemy free entry and to mock them.
Likewise our sin causes destruction of our soul and spirit, without Jesus the enemy has free entry to bring into our lives pride, lust, strife, and envy, and the enemy will mock us by reminding us of our failures.
Jerusalem was ready to repent to turn to God but their sinful past was being reminded of by the destroyed city, broken walls, and by their enemies mocking of them....
A city with no walls was a trashy town with nothing valuable in it, - because if there was anything valuable in the town it would just be stolen away easily, so not even the Temple was made beautiful, and there was no defense to protect them
The Jews continued to live in constant fear for their wife and children, and feared when they themselves would be attacked and beat up or killed.
The wall needed to come up, they needed safety from the enemy, and a place to enjoy to live in.
Ezra attempts to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (In ) but some Samaritans and Rehum write a letter to King Artexerxes telling him that the Jews wont pay tax, tribute, or custom, and that the kings treasury will be become less. They also claimed that their is evidence that Jerusalem is a rebellious city, harmful to kings and provinces and will work to rebel that is why they had been destroyed, they also added that if they finish the wall and city is rebuilt that the king will have no dominion beyond the river. Now it is likely that since Persia in 460BC ((15 years before events in Nehemiah take place) that Egypt had revolted against them that lasted 5 years and a Persian provisional governor in Mesopotamia had rebelled in 448 (3 years before events in Nehemiah) the king Artexerxes was probably very on edge about protecting himself and the kingdom from revolts so he said in
Ezra 4:21 NKJV
21 Now give the command to make these men cease, that this city may not be built until the command is given by me.
So the Jews
Nehemiah must have been aware of this letter (since most cupbearers bore the signet ring, and were chief financial officers)
but this letter causes the Israelites to lose hope.. maybe they should just go back to the other nations...
many Jews thought
Jerusalem needed help!
The walls are torn down, the gates burned, and the people are depressed
Bede - gives an awesome picture that Jerusalem broken down represented the sins of their past... and like them if we are reminded of our failures we are discouraged.... Jerusalem was discouraged and the enemies continued to mock at them... but Jesus redeems and restores us to glory, God will use Nehemiah to restore and redeem. (devil had free entry to the church to bring in self-indulgence, pride, strife, envy, and the rest of the vices that the evil enemy is apt to bring in)
1. Some 1,000 Years after the Time of Moses, Some 400 Years before the Birth of Jesus, the Nation of Israel and the Jewish People Were in a Desperate State
self-indulgence, pride, strife, envy, and the rest of the vices that the evil enemy is apt to bring in
Like how Jesus restores us and brings us to joy, God will use Nehemiah to restore Jerusalem and bring joy to the city again!
Nehemiah like the good shepherd that leaves the 99 for one will leave his comfort to go to the broken, and discouraged people of Jerusalem.
but in order for God to use Nehemiah to do something about this situation. God first will do something in Nehemiah. Any great work of God starts with God doing a work in the person first.
In order to understand this book you must know its context:
Before the book starts Zerubabbel leads Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, after that the
God will start by working on Nehemiah’s heart behind the scenes and then bringing Nehemiah to the place of cupbearer.. a place of authority 142 years after the destruction of Jerusalem.
the cupbearer also likely was the bearer of the signet ring and was the chief financial officer…
its possible that Nehemiah made it to this position because King Artexerxes knew the importance of good relationships with smaller nations (since there were other revolts taking place from Egypt and their own Persian governor).
After the time of Nehemiah
150 years after Nehemiah around 300 BC Greek becomes the common language of world which will be the language of the NT
2. 277 years after Nehemiah in 167 BCAbomination of desolation in Temple by Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes.
277 years after Nehemiah in 167 BCAbomination of desolation in Temple by Greek king Antiochus Epiphanes.
From this point the Jews will never truly have full possession of the Temple… and to this date still have not
3. About 300 years after Nehemiah In 146BC Romans become world empire and build roman roads great from spreading gospel and they make crucifixion popular.
400 years later Jesus is born
4. 400 years after Nehemiah Jesus is born

About Chapter 1

This chapter contains so much amazing content. Nehemiah starts off his book in an epic way that shows off his character , in just one chapter we cant talk about : confession, Fasting, Mourning, Prayer, Compassion, Attributes of God, Israel History, World History, Leadership, Persistence, & Patriotism.
Nehemiah starts off his book in an epic way that shows off his character , in just one chapter in just chapter 1 we can talk about : confession, Fasting, Mourning, Prayer, Compassion, Attributes of God, Israel History, World History, Leadership, Persistence, & Patriotism.
1. As we read of Nehemiah receiving his mission from God this book teaches us so much in just chapter one we can learn about: confession, fasting, godly sorrow, prayer, compassion, attributes of God, Israel history, world history, leadership, persistence, servanthood, & patriotism.
Nehemiah like the good shepherd that leaves the 99 for one will leave his comfort to go to the broken, and discouraged people of Jerusalem.
2. . Key word in this chapter:
Servant - עֶ֫בֶד (Ibed) used 8 times - Nehemiah only says this word in prayer... and 3 times toward self, 2 times toward Moses and, 3 times toward Israel
עֶ֫בֶד 1 - (Ibed) - servant (used 8 times in just chapter 1) - Nehemiah only says this Word in prayer and 3 times toward self, 2 times toward Moses and, 3 times toward Israel
Prayer - תְּפִלָ (tepheela) - used three times when speaks of himself as servant and is being asked to be heard.
תְּפִלָ
תְּפִלָ
Observe/keep שׁמר ( shamel) used 4 times about keeping God commands except one time it is about not keeping God's commands
shamel) - to keep or observe - used 4 times about keeping God commands excapet one time it is about not keeping God's commands
Heaven שָׁמַ֫יִם (shamine) - heaven used 3 times speaking of God of heaven twice and once speaking of heaven.
שׁמר
שָׁמַ֫יִם
Attentive קַשָּׁב (kashab) - means to give close attention (used 2 times) asking for God to be attentive to his prayer.
shamine) - heaven used 3 times speaking of God of heaven twice and once speaking of heaven.
שָׁמַ֫יִם
kashab) - means attentive (used 2 times) asking for God to be attenitive to His prayer.
קַשָּׁב
*Nehemiah starts about 150 years after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed

READ THE TEXT (3 Minutes, 406 Words)

Nehemiah 1:1 NASB95
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol,
Nehemiah
Nehemiah 1:2 NLT
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:3 NET
3 They said to me, “The remnant that remains from the exile there in the province are experiencing considerable adversity and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been burned down!”
Nehemiah 1:3
Nehemiah 1:4 AMP
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven,
Nehemiah 1:5 NLT
5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,
Nehemiah 1:6 NKJV
6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.
Nehemiah 1:7
Nehemiah 1:7 NIV
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Nehemiah 1:7 NIV
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
a
Nehemiah 1:8 NKJV
8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations;
Nehemiah 1:8–9 AMP
8 Remember [earnestly] what You commanded Your servant Moses: If you transgress and are unfaithful, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; 9 But if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens [the expanse of outer space], yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My Name.
Nehemiah 1:10 NKJV
10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.
a
Nehemiah 10
Nehemiah 1:11 NET
11 Please, O Lord, listen attentively to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect to your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me in the presence of this man.” Now I was cupbearer for the king.
Nehemiah 1:11

OUTLINE

Cared to Ask (v.1-3)
Care to ask (v.1-3)
Nehemiah 1:2 NLT
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:3 NET
3 They said to me, “The remnant that remains from the exile there in the province are experiencing considerable adversity and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been burned down!”
Nehemiah 1:4 AMP
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven,
Cared to Cry (v.4)
Cared to Pray (v.5-10)
Cared to Volunteer (v.11)

CARED TO ASK (v.1-3)

Nehemiah 1:1 NASB95
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capitol,
Nehemiah 1:2 NLT
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:3 NET
3 They said to me, “The remnant that remains from the exile there in the province are experiencing considerable adversity and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been burned down!”
Nehemiah 1:4 AMP
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven,
THere are 5 things we need to know from this section:
Chislev
is a Babylonian month … the Jews probably followed the Babylonian calendar after their Babylonian Captivity in 586BC and continued using it although they were in control of Persia.
In our Calendar Chislev is from mid November to mid December.
2. The 20th year probably of Artexerxes the first would be 445BC
The 20th year probably of Artexerxes the first would be 445BC
3. Susa was where the winter fortress of Artexerxes and was the capital of the whole world.
Susa means pipes of song or the lily
The palace it was built by Darius (first probably) and was used by several of his successors.
The palace has been excavated and can be visited today
show pictures.
the palace was a square building (350 feet each side) that had 72 stone columns estimated to be 65-80 feet tall.
the palace had an audience hall, harem (for woman and children), entrance door, about 110 rooms, 6 courtyards covered with red bricks. (in 461 BC - 16 years before events of Nehemiah)) suffered a fire and was rebuilt by Artexerxes the 2nd
Verse 2
BONUS VIDEO - showing a bull column in the palace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjxCTApdX3Q
BONUS VIDEO - showing a bull column in the palace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjxCTApdX3Q
We learn things
4. Right away we know Nehemiah is very important
4. God put Nehemiah in Susa just like He put Esther is the same place a generation before to influence the king, or like God put Daniel in Babylon, or Joseph in Egypt.
Proverbs 21:1 NKJV
1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
5. Nehemiah cared so much about Jerusalem that even though he lived in Susa his heart was in Jerusalem
and so as soon as he heard of people coming from there he asked how it was going.
Nehemiah was in such a position with so much extremely important responsibility you wouldn’t think he would cared about the tiny like wrecked ruin of Jerusalem
Nehemiah identified himself with Jerusalem eventhough he had never been there or seen the Temple.
But Nehemiah had his heart set on thing of God, his heart was not on himself but on others.
A century and a half before Nehemiah the prophet Jeremiah said in
Jeremiah 15:5 NKJV
5 “For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing?
Nehemiah was that guy!
He had the heart of
Psalm 137:5–6 NKJV
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! 6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
Nehemiah asked because he had a caring heart.
Warren Wiersbe: “When we truly care about people, we want the facts, no matter how painful they may be.”
Are we the kind of people that care enough to ask.
6. When you look at the Bible it seems that Nehemiah may have sent out his brother and some men to check out the status of Jerusalem, but historian Josephus says that while Nehemiah was in Susa he heard some men speaking in Hebrew and Nehemiah asked where they came from and they said Judea and Nehemiah then asked the status of Jersualem..
Either way we do know that Nehemiah must have had a huge heart for Jerusalem
5. We do know that Nehemiah must have had a huge heart for Jerusalem
Nehemiah must have had a huge heart for Jerusalem because his brothers knew he would want this information about Jerusalem.
It has been said that the real Jew never gets Jerusalem out of his heart … this was Nehemiah … He lived in Susa which was 764.5 miles from Jersualem and his heart was set on Jerusalem. (fun fact only Jerusalem and Susa are mentioned in and Susa is the furthest place from Jerusalem in the whole book (except maybe Immer in Neh 7:61)
Not only did he have a huge heart for Jerusalem but also for the people living there. He wanted to see their success and to hear that they are suffering broke his heart. Showing us that he had compassion for God’s people.
6. A half of a century before Nehemiah, the prophet Jeremiah said
He had the heart of
Psalm 137:5–6 NKJV
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! 6 If I do not remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth— If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.
7. In verse 3 we read about the state of Jerusalem (adversity, reproach, breached walls, burnt down gates).
Josephus actually details more about what these men told Nehemiah. Josephus says they told him that: (paraphrase): “neighboring nations were causing mischief, in the day time they would overun the city, and rob them with violence, in the night time they would cause a lot of trouble and would take a lot of people away captive and send them away from Jerusalem, and then in the daytime they would find the roads full of dead men.”
This caused the Jews as described in verse 3 to be going through adversity and reproach.... which over time destroys any passion they may have about the city.... and the Jews loved to brag about Jerusalem (see ,,,)… but they have no reason to now.
8. A huge thing we can learn is that how quickly our life can change… the day probably seemed average to Nehemiah then suddenly from this point on he would make history and be a huge part of God’s Word (and children named after him).
Just like it was a regular day for Moses taking care of sheep in the dessert then suddenly called to be a prophet (). Or David who was shepherding then suddenly anointed king (). Or Peter,Andrew, James and John that were mending their nets then suddenly called to become fishers of men().
You never know when God may call you.
9. All in all Nehemiah learned 3 things from the report: remnant, ruin, and reproach
Soon God will use Nehemiah to reunify, rebuild, and rejoice.
10.

CARED TO CRY (v.4)

Nehemiah 1:4 AMP
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept and mourned for days and fasted and prayed [constantly] before the God of heaven,
In this section things
1. good question - how did he fast as the cupbearer?
2. Nehemiah prayed day and night
Notice that Nehemiah did not complain, or whine, or say “who can fix this?” or “God make it better”,
Instead he says God use me.
Nehemiah did the best thing he can do - he prayed and intensely seek God.
Through Nehemiah we will see 2c become true
James 4:2 NKJV
2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
James 4:3 NKJV
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Nehemiah prayed day and much like we read in the NT (, and )
2 Timothy 1:3 NKJV
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,
1 Thessalonians 3:10 NKJV
10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?
3. In Hebrew culture - when confronted with a tragedy they would you would sit down to cry, and typically when you fasted you would shave your head and beard.... as seen in
In Hebrew culture - when confronted with a tragedy they would you would sit down to cry, and typically when you fasted you would shave your head and beard.... as seen in
Ezra 9:3–5 NKJV
3 So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. 5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God.
(see others fasting in , and )
Now in this time when you fasted it was so that you could concentrate on the issue at the expense of your physical needs.
Fasting was only required only once a year on the Day of Atonement () so when someone fasts in the OT it was to concentrate on the issue at the expense of your physical needs.
Now in this time when you fasted it was so that you could concentrate on the issue at the expense of your physical needs.
We should note that at this time Nehemiah denied himself of the luxuries of the palace.
He knew that something had to happen, someone had to rescue Jerusalem and at this time this was the best he could do!
What problems do you know of? How do you respond? Ignore them like most? What if you prayed day and nigh, what if you fasted for it?
What makes us cry or even laugh is a way to understand who we really are and what our character is like.
People who laugh at other peoples misfortunes, or mistakes, or people who cry over minor things are lacking in culture or charachter or both.
We should also note that godly weeping is a sign of strength not weakness. Jeremiah also cried (, so did Paul (), and so did Jesus ()
Nehemiah was a lot like Jesus in that he shared in the suffering of others.
Romans 15:3 NKJV
3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
Just like the reproaches of Jerusalem fell on Nehemiah.
Zoroastrianism became popular around the time of Daniel under Darius the first. The religion has a lot of parallels to the Bible and was the main religion of Persia in the time of Nehemiah. Zoroastrians likes King Artexerxes the first would say they worship the God of Heaven… so it is very interesting coming from the kings palace that Nehemiah uses this phrase a couple times in just chapter one!
4. Nehemiah fullfilled a pr
When God puts a burden on your heart don’t ignore it, or run from it, if you do you may miss a blessing God has planned for you.
The book of Nehemiah starts with weeping, but before it ends there is great joy (,), as said in
Psalm 30:5 NKJV
5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.
Psalm
4. Before Nehemiah prayed its possible he thought of
Psalm 147:2 NLT
2 The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
Psalm 143:2 NKJV
2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous.
Psalm 147:2–3 NKJV
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
5. This is the first reference to God of heaven and is a possible reference to the religion Zoroastrianism
The phrase “God of heaven” was popular in Zoroastrianism.
Zoroaster was a Iranian man kno
Zoroastrianism became popular around the time of Daniel under Darius the first.
This religion has a lot of parallels to the Bible and was the main religion of Persia in the time of Nehemiah.
Zoroastrians likes King Artexerxes the first would say they worship the God of Heaven (they would say “Ahura Mazda”)
show picture
… so it is very interesting coming from the kings palace that Nehemiah does not hesitate to use this title for YHWH
So Nehemiah was praying and fasting from December (chislev) until about March April (Nisan). so probably about 4 months.
It only took 52 days to complete the wall but he spent about 120 days in prayer.

CARED TO PRAY (v.5-10)

Perhaps
Nehemiah 1:5 NLT
5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,
Nehemiah 1:6 NKJV
6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.
Nehemiah 1:7 NIV
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
Nehemiah 1:8–9 AMP
8 Remember [earnestly] what You commanded Your servant Moses: If you transgress and are unfaithful, I will scatter you abroad among the nations; 9 But if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the farthest part of the heavens [the expanse of outer space], yet will I gather them from there and will bring them to the place in which I have chosen to set My Name.
Nehemiah 1:10 NKJV
10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.
Nehemiah 1:11 NET
11 Please, O Lord, listen attentively to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect to your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me in the presence of this man.” Now I was cupbearer for the king.
This is the first of 12 prayers in the book (; , ; ; , ; ; , , , .
This book opens and closes with a prayer.
Nehemiah is the OT James in that they would share the same nickname
In this section we see things:
They would call James “Camel Knees” because his knees looked like camels knees because of all the times he was on his knees praying before God/
Nehemiah does 5 things in his prayer that show his knowledge of scripture:
Nehemiah does 5 things in his prayer:
1. In verse 5 he praises God
Jesus actually uses Nehemiah’s first part of his prayer as a way to teach us how to pray in
Matthew 6:9 NKJV
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
This first part of the prayer is a lot like
Daniel 9:4 NKJV
4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,
If you are able to do a great work then you need a God with “great power” (v.5) “ great goodness (, ), and great mercy( ) Is the God you worship big enough to handle the challenges you face?
2. In verse 6 he pleads to God
A lot like
2 Chronicles 6:40 NKJV
40 Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.
3. In verses 6&7 He confess to God the sins of Israel, His family, and himself.
v. 7 the word for acted corruptly also means to spoil, corrupt, wicked, morally bad, or to lay waste.
Nehemiah included himself when confessing the sins of the people, just like Daniel in , and Ezra in )
Nehemiah confessed knowing that God would forgive (, as he possibly knew from ; )
Also we should note the humility of Nehemiah here… he firsr exalted God then humbled himself in admitted his fault.
James 4:6 NKJV
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
4. In verses 8-9 Nehemiah uses scripture ( as well as knowledge from ; 30:1-10) to remind God of his promises.
From here we can see that Nehemiah clearly knew OT Law.
Nehemiah was wise enough to use God’s promises to remind Him, just like a child reminds his parents of any promises they make.
Basically Nehemiah said “God you promised Moses you would restore, and I am asking for you to to keep that promise.”
There are over 7,0000 promises in scripture and you probably havent even claimed one this week, you probably cant even name three
Have you reminded God of His promise in :9?
1 John 1:9 NKJV
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Basically Nehemiah uses God’s promises to ask God to forgive His people, regather them to their land, and to restore them back to the way things were before.
The amazing thing is that Nehemiah is asking for God to do all the work from Exodus with Moses to the days of King Solomon all in one shot.... and He does!
Exodus - all about the gathering the people, Nehemiah will do that
Numbers, LEv, DT - laws - Nehemiah governs the people and establishes order and laws
Joshua - land ; Nehemiah bring the people to the land
Judges - the nation is established - Nehemiah establishes the nation all over again
1 & 2 Samuel - (David takes Jerusalem) The city grows and develops - Nehemiah grows and Develops the Jerusalem
1 Kings Solomon makes the city valuable - Nehemiah does that
So yeah, Nehemiah contains much of what God did for Israel from Exodus - 1 Kings
5. In verse 10 Nehemiah submits himself and the Israelites to God.
Nehemiah put himself and Israel in submission to God by calling himself and Israel God’s servants.... and we know that Nehemiah knows a lot about serving a king.
(note he also saw Moses as God’s servant (v.8) - which would make for an interesting study - how Moses was a servant of God)
6. His prayer is evidence of a strong relationship with and a knowledge of God’s Word.
you can learn a lot about someones relationship with God by their prayers

CARED TO VOLUNTEER (v.11)

Nehemiah 1:11 NET
11 Please, O Lord, listen attentively to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect to your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me in the presence of this man.” Now I was cupbearer for the king.
In this section things
Nehemiah takes plasure in His name
the Hebrew word for take pleasure (“Ha-pes”) means to take delight, or to desire)
2. Nehemiah plans to meet with the king to leave the palace and go to Jerusalem that is why he is asking for God to give him success....
Nehemiah plans to meet with the king to leave the palace and go to Jerusalem that is why he is asking for God to give him success.... Nehemiah cant just simply quit his job and go, he needs permission from the king
Nehemiah cant just simply quit his job and go,
he needs permission from the king, plus in order to anything good for Jerusalem he needs provision, and protection so he can travel to Jerusalem and start working.
Without permission from the king he has no authority to govern, protect the city, or use materials from the kings forest.
Notice how Nehemiah didn't just make a plan and ask God to bless it… instead he sat down, wept and prayed, then stood up and did something because he knew He has the blessing from the Lord.
Too often we plan our own project and then ask God to bless it
We can see that while Nehemiah was praying his burden for Jerusalem grew, and the vision for what needed to be done got clearer, and clearer. Teaching us that real prayers keep your heart and your head balanced so that your burden does make you impatient and run ahead to solve it and then eventually ruin everything.
Wiersbe: “As we pray, God tells us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it; and all are important to the accomplishing of the will of God.”
2. Verse 11 speaks of today.. showing us that this prayer was his prayer just before speaking to the King.
Nehemiah speaks of today.. showing us that this prayer was his prayer just before speaking to the King.
Humanly speaking only the one person, the king could make it possible for Nehemiah to help the Jews… since the King said no to helping the Jews before that is why, Nehemiah is praying God would give him success in granting him favor with the King....
also this was a very dangerous thing Nehemiah was about to do
A Babylonian code of ancient Mesopatamia in 1754 BCE: called The Code of Hammurabi says:

282: If a male slave has said to his master, “You are not my master,” his master shall prove him to be his slave and cut off his ear.

This is toward a master to slave....Eastern Kings word meant life or death.
A large question Nehemiah was facing was… what if today is a bad day… Nehemiah had to take a step of faith.
Since Nehemiah is about to break a kings rule, and to make himself in the place of asking… Nehemiah is basically switching roles......so you can see why Nehemiah would pray this.
3. However I don’t think Nehemiah’s safety was his concern, he was ready to risk his life… Nehemiah knew that only prayer can change the Kings heart since the King had already disapproved rebuilding the wall and city in
Before what we read in Nehemiah, the same King Artexerxes did not allow the rebuilding of the walls as we read in
Ezra 4:21 NKJV
21 Now give the command to make these men cease, that this city may not be built until the command is given by me.
4. Nehemiah closes saying that he was the Kings cupbearer
“masqeh” which is a particple of the word “saqa” which means “who gives someone something to drink”. The word is used 12 times in OT (10 times in story of Joseph () & , and ) - which is intresting because only Joseph and Nehemiah are the only 2 characters in the Bible with a close servant authoritative relationship with the world Emperor
It seems that Nehemiah added that he is cupbearer is random but it speaks to 2 things
1. it tells us that he had a position of great influence and power, which he could use for good or evil… and since he was a Jew in this position it shows us that he had very strong character.
2. it also tells us that Nehemiah was ready to leave a life of luxury for and replace it with ruins, prestige for slander, respect for ridicule. Nehemiah will give up ease and take up the toils of a defeated people.
Nehemiah will leave his world of ease and take up the toils of a defeated people.

BONUS:

Josephus adds that Nehemiah also prayed “How long, O Lord, will you overlook our nation
this is a quote from and
Revelation 6:10 NKJV
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
Psalm 13 NKJV
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. 1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13 NKJV
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. 1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Revelation 6:10 NKJV
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
a

CONCLUSION

Be Determined 1. He Cared Enough to Ask (Neh. 1:1–3)

Are we like Nehemiah, anxious to know the truth even about the worst situations? Is our interest born of concern or idle curiosity? When we read missionary prayer letters, the news in religious periodicals, or even our church’s ministry reports, do we want the facts, and do the facts burden us? Are we the kind of people who care enough to ask?

Be Determined 2. He Cared Enough to Weep (Neh. 1:4)

When God puts a burden on your heart, don’t try to escape it; for if you do, you may miss the blessing He has planned for you. The Book of Nehemiah begins with “great affliction” (Neh. 1:3), but before it closes, there is great joy (8:12, 17). “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Ps. 30:5)

Be Determined 4. He Cared Enough to Volunteer (Neh. 1:11)

Abraham cared and rescued Lot from Sodom (Gen. 18–19). Moses cared and delivered the Israelites from Egypt. David cared and brought the nation and the kingdom back to the Lord. Esther cared and risked her life to save her nation from genocide. Paul cared and took the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Jesus cared and died on the cross for a lost world.

God is still looking for people who care, people like Nehemiah, who cared enough to ask for the facts, weep over the needs, pray for God’s help, and then volunteer to get the job done.

“Here am I, Lord—send me!”

After studying this hopefully you know how to respond to the burden God has placed on your heart and the actions of a true Biblical leader:
When God says to you arise
Nehemiah hurt for his people and was focused on solving this problem even if the problem existed for 150 year.
With a big God, is your vision/goal/dream big enough?
When your goal is so big only God can accomplish it then you must obviously pray.
If prayer is not totally necessary to complete your goal your goal is not that big.
When God puts a burden on your heart it is easy to go to entertainment and ignore it.
Prayer gives it strength.
What we should learn from Nehemiah is that prayer burns through the problem, quiets your heart, and brings up your faith.
Nehemiah is the best or one of the best OT leaders and in order to be a great leader you need to be influential… interesting how much we see Nehemiah praying before the Lord.
Isaiah 30:31 NKJV
31 For through the voice of the Lord Assyria will be beaten down, As He strikes with the rod.
Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
The world says a leader has a loud voice, a big reputation. Nehemiah had God’s voice close to him.
Most leaders work with manipulation and persuation but Nehemiah prayed cause He knew God can change people hearts and when you change hearts you can change everything!
Summarize Nehemiah’s leadership qulities from this chapter:
Nehemiah had a clear recognition of the needs.
so many people never see the problem - likely because they are preoccupied.
a good leader is aware of the needs (family, ministry (etc.))
2. Personally concerned
we cried- the need broke him
3. He went first to God with the need.
What is your first response?Probably how can I work this out? or blame someone or something.
He praises, confesses, and claims promises
4. He was available to meet the need himself
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