Written by Alan C.
In SS we recently finished a study from Ezra and Nehemiah, and as I did my lessons there were several things that really stood out to me; here are a few:
1. (Jer. 29:10-13 and Ezra 1:1-4) If God promises something, no matter how unlikely it can happen, it will happen. It was a common practice for conquered nations to be exiled to a foreign land and to take away their national identity. Before Cyrus, exiles had never been allowed to return to their native land and worship their own God.
2. Just because God wants us to do something doesn’t mean that there will be no opposition to accomplish it. Not only did they have opposition from non-Jewish enemies, but also some from their own people.
3. (Neh. 1:1-4) It is doubtful that we will be motivated to do God’s work unless we make an effort to know more about it. Being hundreds of miles away, Nehemiah knew a little about what was going on in Jerusalem, but it wasn’t until he heard a first-hand report from those who had been there that he became burdened.
4. (Neh. 1:10-2:8) Don’t just pray that God will send workers for His work, but pray that God can use YOU. Nehemiah knew because of his position that he couldn’t just pack up and go; but he also knew that because of his personal relations with the king that he may be able to accomplish more to the work than others if he was allowed to go.
5. (Neh. 2:17 & 18) Never underestimate what a person who is excited about God’s work can do to motivate those who are around him.
6. (New. 4:9) Don’t just pray and think that everything will work out the way you prayed for it to; make plans in case God doesn’t answer the way you prayed.
7. (Ezra 9 & 10 and Neh. 10:30 & 31 and chapter 13) We need to be reminded what the Bible says, about who God is and what He expects from us. The people of Nehemiah’s time were again disobeying things in God’s law that they had dealt with earlier.