No question, the Lord had called Nehemiah to this task and would provide all that he would need. Armed with the knowledge of God’s promises and the certainty of the call by God, Nehemiah proceeded. But he moved ahead carefully and prayerfully. In other words, even though he knew God was with him, this knowledge didn’t keep him, basically from thinking through what he would do.
Read Nehemiah 2:11-20. What does Nehemiah do to prepare for the project of rebuilding the wall?
Lesson 1: Nehemiah does not tell anyone what the plans are that “God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem” (Neh. 2:12). Not only does he not tell the enemy, but he keeps it from the Jewish leaders as well. He is on a scouting mission to figure out what needs to be done.
Lesson 2: Before presenting anything, Nehemiah does his homework and plans out all the work that will be required.
Lesson 3: When he does speak of the task, Nehemiah first outlines what God has done so far to lead this expedition, and then he adds the words of the king. He encourages before he asks for commitment. It is nothing short of a miracle that the Jews respond so favorably and decide to build, despite the resistance that will come. God had prepared not only the king through Nehemiah’s prayers and fasting, but also the Jewish people, so that they respond boldly and courageously.
Read Nehemiah 2:19-20. What do these verses tell us about Nehemiah’s faith? How might texts like Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalms 23:1-6, and Numbers 23:19 have helped Nehemiah?
Our conversations demonstrate who we are and what we truly believe. Nehemiah tends to speak uplifting words. He is not afraid to include God in all that he says and to glorify Him as well, even when people jeer and laugh at him. Even though Nehemiah knows the contempt the enemies feel toward them, he doesn’t mince words or leave God out of the conversation. Like Joseph in Egypt many years earlier, Nehemiah is not afraid to promote His God among people who do not believe in Him.