The significance of the Book of Nehemiah
The Book of Nehemiah fascinates me. It is a wonderful depiction of the power of God in our life. The Book of Nehemiah presents several potent themes. Among them are renewal, leadership, commitment, opposition, prayer, and God’s purpose and promise in our lives. In the ancient world, a city without walls was a city completely open and vulnerable to its enemies. They had no defense, no protection at all. The book begins almost 100 years after the first captives returned to the Promised Land and some 150 years after the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. “After this long time, the walls of the city of Jerusalem were still in rubble” and it was thought to be an impossible task to rebuild the ancient walls and protect the Jewish people.
The great lessons in this book have an application today, for you and for me. The writer (thought to be the Prophet Ezra) describes the essential components to experiencing God’s fullness in your life. Most of us find ourselves in living life with regret, hurt, disappointment, shame and a profound lack of joy. Health issues, financial loss, poor choices impact us as well. Like the battered walls surrounding Jerusalem, our hopes and dreams lay in ruins. Too many people accept this as their lot in life, that if God wanted a different outcome, we would have already received it. The consequence becomes living way below what God intends for us and we live as victims, not victors.
Or so we think. Nehemiah realized several things. First, there was a problem. The people of Israel were at high risk in the city of Jerusalem. Second, as a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, God provided position or access to power and resources. Third, Nehemiah called forth the Promise to “bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.” (from Neh 1: 9, NIV) so that when opportunity arose, he was able to act. And, fourth, Nehemiah had a Purpose and knew how and when to act.
There is a time and place where God calls us forward, regardless, or maybe because of, the circumstances in our lives. He calls us to action and empowers us. He activates us so that we understand the problem surrounding us, the provision available to us, the promise that He’s given and the purpose for all of it. When hope is activated by FAITH, your destiny changes. Faith is the foundation for hope. Yet hope, in action, also strengthens faith.
These are all characteristics of leadership and He has called you to be a leader. You are a leader. Leaders must prepare themselves for difficult work because it isn’t easy. Nehemiah was prepared and God delivered. There is no opportunity without opposition. Yes, there was significant opposition. There is no winning without battle. Scripture says Nehemiah asks “Give your servant success today…….” (Ne 1:11). Success doesn’t happen to you. Success occurs through you, by the power of God and for the glory of God. Nehemiah understood this and played his part.
The purpose of this page to explore the Power of God in all of the situations in our lives. We are on a journey and I invite you to come along side to discover more of what God has in store. Nehemiah 6: 15 reads, “So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.” God performed a mighty work. One that required the obedience and the action of men but driven by the Power of God.
Perhaps you find yourself in a place of despair, feeling lost and perhaps hopeless. God’s power was not reserved for one time period. God’s grace and mercy are always available. It is available today, alive and waiting for us to seek, to believe and to respond..