Episode 77 - Rebuilding Broken Walls: Lessons from the Story of Nehemiah
In this episode, Jen and AJ will talk about Nehemiah: the background, the historical context of this book, and some of their biggest takeaways from Nehemiah 1 and 4.
Nehemiah was a man who rebuilt and reworked something that was destroyed and we can learn a lot from him about looking at something that's ruined in our own lives, spiritually speaking, and rebuilding it.
This story is about a time when the Jews were exiled. They were not living in Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem was broken down in ruins.
At the beginning of the book of Nehemiah, he goes to the king to ask him to rebuild the walls of the city. They are broken down. They are in shambles. The city is not what it should be.
Imagine if you were an exile, imagine the discouragement, the hopelessness, the home sickness, all of those feelings you would be experiencing. Nehemiah was a man who came in and rebuilt not only the city walls, but their hearts, their beliefs, their confidence!
We see how God used one man's burden to fulfill this incredible rebuilding and restoration. It is important to recognize that he could have sat back and finished his life in relative luxury. Nehemiah was still a slave, but he was a well-respected person. God put him in this position and he could have stayed in this position and just lived his life in ease.
But instead, he used his position of influence to grant these people the ability to return. These are people who were living not only just in squalor physically, but they were just a hot mess spiritually.
So reality check. If you're listening to this podcast, that means you are in the top percentage of people in this world. You have been given things. You have the ability, you have the technology to listen. You have either a computer or a phone.
Are we allowing ourselves to just sit in that ease? Or are we using our influence to better the kingdom of God?
Nehemiah's burden in his heart and the fact he went through a period of very painful waiting, make this story pretty relevant for us. It can be very painful, as you're waiting for momentum or you want resolution. There are so many ways that we can find ourselves waiting in a painful situation, and that's where Nehemiah was.
He was weeping and crying. He was waiting for God to answer. He's waiting for something to get better and it's painful. He's expressing this grief, and yet what he does in that moment is so encouraging, it shows what kind of character this man had.
First thing he does, he goes to God in prayer and he worships God. He's asking God for something, he's worshiping God. He's acknowledging who his God is.
And that is a great foundation for us when we are in those times of waiting and when we are painfully crying out to God.
What we do in these moments is so telling for our hearts, isn't it? It just reveals the state of our hearts. Are we gonna worship him? Are we going to keep believing Him in those moments of painful waiting?
Nehemiah went to God in prayer. He turned to God in his pain.
Then he called his fellow Jews to action. “Remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
It was a call to arms, a call to action to fight. These people knew what happened in the scripture and they knew what God could do. And yet, In this particular story, God did not rebuild the walls miraculously. Instead, he chose to use their everyday fighting and working to fulfill his purpose.
Likewise, we know that God can do it, whatever “it” is, and we want it to be done. We want that miracle. We want the easy way. But sometimes God's purpose in how he fulfills his mission is to make us work and to allow us to work.
We have to continue to remember our God and to continue to place our faith in his character, in his promises, in his word, in who He is at his core, and that is our responsibility as believers. In Romans 5 in particular, we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. And perseverance produces character. And character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us. Sometimes this waiting, this period of waiting that Nehemiah went through, this period of building brick upon brick, we remember that God is good and he is mighty, and he is holy.
And we also remember that he's doing this to build in US perseverance and character and hope, and our hope is not in whatever the circumstance happens to be that we're going through, our hope it's not even in tomorrow or what the result of this circumstance is gonna be.
Our hope is eternal hope. It is so much better at the end of our waiting.
We will be back next week with specific lessons from Nehemiah that will hopefully hit all of our hearts in unique and different ways!
If you wanna study Nehemiah with us, this is the perfect time to jump on board Sojo Academy. Let’s do it together! sojoacademy.com
Study the Book of Nehemiah in more depth with a 4-week Bible Study Bundle with a full Bible Study, a printable Bible journaling kit, Scripture reading and writing plan, and BONUS videos FIND IT HERE.
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Resources mentioned during today's episode:
- Joshua's Bible Study: HERE
In the Be Strong and Courageous Bible Study you will study the lessons from this powerful message. This study is designed to help you draw strength and courage from God's Word and to grow in your faith as you face the challenges and uncertainties of life.
Free Journal Cards
Need a little extra encouragement to help you stay strong in the face of life's challenges? Our Nehemiah Scripture Cards offer a daily dose of inspiration and wisdom - reminding you that with God's help, you can overcome anything!
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