Nehemiah saw a problem and was distressed. Instead of complaining or wallowing in self-pity and grief, he took action. He knew that God wanted him to motivate the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls, so he left a responsible position in the Persian government to do what God wanted. He knew God could use his talents to get the job done. From the moment he arrived in Jerusalem, everyone knew who was in charge. He organized, managed, supervised, encouraged, met opposition, confronted injustice, and kept going until the walls were built. Nehemiah was a man of action.
Nehemiah’s life is an example of leadership and organization. Giving up a comfortable and wealthy position in Persia, he returned to the fractured homeland of his ancestors and rallied the people to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. In the face of opposition, he used wise defense measures to care for the people and to keep the project moving. To accomplish more for the sake of God’s kingdom, we must pray, persevere, and sacrifice, as did Nehemiah.
After the wall was rebuilt, Ezra read the law to the people, bringing about national repentance. Nehemiah and Ezra were very different people, yet God used them both to lead the nation. Remember, there is a place for you in God’s work even if you’re different from most other people. God uses each person in a unique way to accomplish his purposes.
Our book closes with the listing of the clans and their leaders, the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem, and the purging of sin from the land. As you read this book, watch Nehemiah in action – and determine to be a person on whom God can depend to act for him in the world.
Much of the book is written in the first person, suggesting Nehemiah as the author. Nehemiah probably wrote the book with Ezra serving as editor.
Approximately 445-432 B.C.
Nehemiah is the last of the Old Testament historical books. It records the history of the third return to Jerusalem after the captivity, telling how the walls were rebuilt and the people were renewed in their faith.
To download a PDF outline of Nehemiah click here.
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