Read for This Week’s Study: Nehemiah 1:1-2:20, Deut. 7:9, Ps. 23:1-6, Num. 23:19.
Memory Text: “So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: ‘I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments’ ” (Nehemiah 1:4-5, NKJV).
To date, two groups of captives have returned to Judah in at least partial fulfillment of God’s promises to the Hebrew nation.
But there is one more company of exiles that God is preparing. The last group of captives is commissioned to fix a problem. Although the first two groups returned to rebuild Jerusalem and to complete part of that project by finishing the temple, the rest of the construction was abandoned as opposition from the surrounding nations arose. The people from the surrounding area didn’t want the Israelites to build the city and its walls because they were afraid that the Israelites might become a mighty nation as they had once been (Ezra 4:6-24). Thus, the return of the Israelites appeared to be a threat, one that they were determined to stop. But God didn’t call His people in order to abandon them in the process of doing what He had called them to do.
Thus, He was preparing another man to carry out His will and to accomplish His purposes. His name was Nehemiah, and to him and his work for the Lord we turn.