Insights on Today's Reading
Nehemiah 1 - As Ezra speaks of the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, now Nehemiah talks about the rebuilding of the walls around Jerusalem at the same time period. Nehemiah gets word of the deplorable condition that Jerusalem is in with the walls broken down and the gates burned with fire. He turns to God in prayer and ultimately asks the Lord's favor by giving the king of Persia a kindly disposition towards Nehemiah's request.
Nehemiah 2 - Nehemiah appeared sad to the king and was asked why and what he wanted the king to do. Note the end of verse 4 and the beginning of verse 5: "So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king..." As quick as that Nehemiah knew he had to respond to the king but he needed a quick moment with God. God answered Nehemiah's prayer by giving to Nehemiah the permission to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, verses 7,8. Nehemiah traveled to Jerusalem and found the Gentiles upset that he had come back to help rebuild the city. He took time to encourage the Jews with their efforts.
Nehemiah 3 - Nehemiah was a great organizer and he arranged for various Jewish families to be responsible for building certain sections of the wall. The whole circumference of the city was being restored.
Nehemiah 4 - The Jews faced opposition from the people of the land, first by ridicule, verses 1-9. Then some of the Jews began to tire from the work and were fearful of possibly being attacked by the ungodly people surrounding the city. Nehemiah organized guards to protect the workers and he had a way for the people to be alerted to any possible attack.
Nehemiah 5 - Another form of opposition came within the Jewish people, themselves. Some of the Jews were poor and they were being taken advantage of by their wealthier brethren. The poor families had to give their children to be slaves to other Jews, verse 5! Nehemiah was very angry with these rich nobles and rebuked them sharply. They heeded Nehemiah's warning and restored the property of the poor back to them. Nehemiah set a good example by not taking any payment from the Jews, but engaged in the physical work himself, verses 15-16.
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288