Welcome back to Week 2 in the Book of Nehemiah! We are nearing the end of our study and you are doing a wonderful job! Keep on going!!!
The daily reflections you have shared out on Instagram and Facebook have been wonderful! They are such an encouragement! If you missed those discussions – I hope you will join us this week. They are so helpful!
Here are the links to last week’s posts on the blog, in case you missed any of them:
- Intro and Resources for Nehemiah Week 1
- Do Not Give the Enemy an Inch (2 Ways to Defeat the Enemy – Nehemiah 1-5)
If you are looking for guidance for the color coding and daily insight into the reading – please visit me on Instagram and visit the hashtag #WomenLivingWell . Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do this and not all of our Bibles will look alike.
Here’s what mine looked like last week:
If you are new here – jump in with our reading this week and catch up on the weekends.
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This Week’s Bible Reading Plan:
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This week’s Reflection & Discussion Questions
(Leaders: Copy and paste these into your groups. If you do not have a group, use these for a personal time of reflection.)
Nehemiah’s enemies had done everything they could to stop God’s people from rebuilding the walls, and nothing had worked. So, they turned to even greater intimidation and manipulation techniques. They sent a letter to Nehemiah requesting a meeting, to which he replied that he was busy and could not meet with them. After 3 more attempts of the same letter, and receiving the same response, they finally sent a letter accusing him of a planned rebellion in an attempt to intimidate him into stopping the project. But Nehemiah refused to be intimidated. When the letters did not work, they sent an informer as a false prophet to strike fear and entice Nehemiah to seek shelter in the Temple. However, God gave Nehemiah discernment. He recognized this new distraction for what it was and refused to halt the work God had called him to do.
Finally, the walls are completed, and it only took 52 days despite the attacks, discouragement, and distraction of their enemies. They are forced to recognize that God has done this work. Oh friends! We serve an awesome God! What tactics is the enemy using against you right now to make you fearful? Do you need discernment to recognize the plan of the enemy to create fear in your heart? Ask God for wisdom and strength. He will grant it to you so that like Nehemiah, you can stand strong and bold and fulfill the work God has given you to do.
The walls are rebuilt, the gates are hung, and a great victory has been won, but that doesn’t mean God’s people get to sit back and rest. Nehemiah turns over the leadership of Jerusalem to Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah. When describing Hananiah, he doesn’t list his education, successes, or capabilities. Nehemiah says that Hananiah was faithful and feared the Lord more than many. This was more important than anything else Hananiah could do.
Nehemiah also stationed guards at the gates, at various stations around the wall, and in front of his own house. Just because a victory had been won did not mean they were free from the threat of their enemies. Maintaining victory would mean being led by the fear of the Lord and appointing wise guards at the walls to protect them from intruders.
It is the same in our Christian walk. Winning victories does not mean an end to the enemy’s threats. We have to guard our heart from an unexpected attack from the enemy. In what ways do you need to guard your heart today from the enemy? How can you protect yourself from giving into temptation?
The children of Israel are gathered together in an open square for a unified purpose, to hear Ezra read to them the Law of the Lord. Special men were appointed to help the people understand what was being read, as having been in exile for 70 years, most of the people had never heard the Law. As he is reading, the people begin to weep with conviction and Nehemiah encourages them to allow the joy of the Lord to fill their hearts.
They had realized the error of their ways, they had wept and mourned in repentance, and now it was time to rejoice. It was a day of restoration and renewal for the children of Israel. When you read God’s word, do you feel conviction in your heart? That is one reason God gave us his word: for reproof. But once we have felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repented of our sin, then comes times of rejoicing. God does not convict us and expect us to remain sorrowful for our sin. He convicts us to restore us – to restore his joy in our hearts. That is why Paul said in Romans 8:1, that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. When God removes our sin, he removes the sorrow for our sin and replaces it with his joy that gives us strength.
Have you been living under a burden of condemnation over past sins for which God has already forgiven you? Do not be grieved any longer, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Let him fill you with his joy today!
The wall has been built, the gates are hung, the Law has been read, and the people have committed to walking in obedience to it. They have set aside a season for fasting and prayer, in repentance of their sin and the sins of their fathers. For one-fourth of the day, they once again listened to the Book of the Law, and one-fourth of the day they confessed and worshipped God. Then, some of the Levites stood up and began to pray, rehearsing God’s faithfulness to His people who had repeatedly been unfaithful to him.
Despite Israel’s unfaithfulness to God, God had been faithful to them. It is because of God’s faithfulness that they were even standing there that day, renewing their covenant with God with their pledge sealed by the priests, Levites, and leaders.
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance; his faithfulness that continues to draw us back to him, even when we’re unfaithful to him. Have you wavered in your faithfulness to God lately? How are you encouraged to remember that God is faithful, ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in love for you?
The children of Israel have renewed their covenant with God, and now the leaders of the land, together with the priests and Levites, seal this covenant. This covenant wasn’t at all vague. They specifically stated all of the ways they would obey God’s commands and care for the temple. They would be faithful in their relationships with the opposite sex, they would be faithful to honor the Sabbath, and they would be faithful in supporting and caring for God’s house. When we renew our covenant with God, we will soon discover that God requires specific commitments from us in obedience to his Word. His commands range from our commitment to biblical morality and how just we are in our business practices to how well we respect his house. What specific commitments have you made to God lately? Is there an area of your life where God is seeking a greater level of commitment from you?
To print the 23 Reflection and Discussion Questions for Ezra and Nehemiah –> Click Here
This Week’s Verses of the Day:
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or Click HERE for the Bookmark Coloring Chart
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Remember to leave at least 20 minutes for your reading each day. I am in prayer for you all and asking God to help us understand his word clearly.
Have a wonderful week in God’s Word – I’ll see you back here on the blog this Friday as we go deeper into God’s Word together! (Don’t forget to visit me Monday through Friday over on Facebook and Instagram. )
Keep walking with the King,
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