Category Archives: Nehemiah

God Is With His People

Last Sunday we started in the Book of Nehemiah. To review, Nehemiah and Ezra were considered one book by Israel and by Judaism. Ezra tells the story of the first return of Israel from exile to Jerusalem. Ezra and Zerubbabel led a team to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, and to introduce Israel to the Law of God once more. After Ezra’s team had been in Jerusalem 12 years or so, some of the exiles returned to the winter palace of the Persian King Artaxerxes, and met the Cupbearer (the Butler) of the King named Nehemiah. These exiles told Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem were down, and its gates burned with fire.

So Nehemiah prayed.

If you want to be used of God, you cannot be in bondage. The reason God gave us who are Gentiles the Old Testament is to show us that God can only use a liberated people. When Israel was in bondage to Egypt, God raised up Moses to go to Pharaoh, demanding:… Continue reading

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Oh, How God Loves You And Me!

The story begins in “the month Chisleu”, which would be equivalent to our late November to early December. The man “Nehemiah” is the “Cupbearer” for the Persian King Artaxerxes, the same King who sent Ezra to Jerusalem to teach the people the Law of God. The “Cupbearer” is a respected, high ranking official who was in charge of what the King ate and drank. The Cupbearer tasted the King’s food and drink to insure that it was not poisoned. This man put his life on the line daily to protect his master. It was a Cupbearer that told Pharaoh about Joseph when he was imprisoned (Genesis 41). Based on the Cupbearer’s endorsement, Joseph was given an audience with Pharaoh – and eventually became right hand man to the King.

Nehemiah was serving the King in “Shushan the palace” – the winter palace of the Kings – when several Jews from Judah came visiting. Nehemiah knew that the Persian Kings Cyrus and Artaxerxes had allowed remnants of Israel to return to Jerusalem some 14 years before. Nehemiah “asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem”. After 14 years Nehemiah expected a good report – or at least, some progress in the restoration of Jerusalem. The delegation replied:… Continue reading

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