Nehemiah Bible study (updated on Monday or Tuesday)

the_great_eskimo_pie

Official Thread Killer/Men's Forum Mod/GFC Leader
Nehemiah Chapter 10

Nehemiah Chapter 10
Hello again my friends, I hope that today’s chapter brings you some hope and cheer and shows you the kind of people we can be.

Well first off, we have to back up back to chapter nine for just a moment. That’s right, Back to the 38th verse to be precise.

Nehemiah 9:38 said:
38"In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it."

Why this wasn’t part of chapter 10, I’m not sure… However it’s the start of a contract: one between the people and God; something not to be taken lightly.

I won’t bore you with all of the people who signed this contract, however you can read for yourself exactly how many people there were between verses 1 and 27… That’s a lot of people. Now the importance of having the names written down is it makes it more permanent and is a good reminder of who said they would do it. Plus then there is no excuse if people start to fall out of line. It’s an absolute; no wiggle room. You signed it; you need to hold up your end of the deal.

Is it just me, or do the items that the Israelites spell out make them stand apart from the rest of the world?

Nehemiah 10: 31 said:
31"When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.

We won’t buy from people who work on the holy day. Every seventh year we will forgive debts… Can you imagine what would happen in this country if Christians followed this rule? I am not saying you have to; however think of the consequences… Every Seven years you have to forgive all debts to you… Could you do it?

The verses in this chapter capture truly changed hearts. They repented fully, and armed themselves to go forth once more under God’s full protection. They had walls around the people for physical protection. Now they were getting their spiritual walls rebuilt.

I hope and pray that this has blessed you in some way.
Have a great week,

Until next time,

Eskimo
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
In reading the summaries of chapters 9 and 10, my heart grieves to look at the culture in which I live and see a prevailing attitude of, "I'm okay, you're okay, whatever floats your boat, etc. etc." In chapter 9, the Israelites stripped away all excuses and all pretense, said to God in the presence of other people, "We have sinned."

When we recognize, admit, and confess our sins, we allow God to start an uncomfortable but wonderful process in us. Chapters 9 and 10 record the process on a large scale; we have an opportunity at any time to recognize, confess, and repent our sins before God and other believers and allow God to work in us.
 

the_great_eskimo_pie

Official Thread Killer/Men's Forum Mod/GFC Leader
Nehemiah Chapter 11

Nehemiah Chapter 11

Hello again my friends, I pray you had a good week since last we met.

The next chapter of Nehemiah at first glance doesn’t seem that important. I mean, talking about guys getting sent to Jerusalem, how many Levites there are… Boring stuff right?

You sir or madam, couldn’t be more mistaken. Nothing in the Bible is just there to bore you. It’s there for a reason.

Nehemiah 11:1 said:
1Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns.

Did you see that? The first sentence: “All the leaders”. Why is this significant? They just rebuilt the wall; of course the leaders want to be there it has got to be one of the safest places to put leadership right? I won’t argue this is right or wrong, it’s the fact that the leadership of all the tribes was in a single place again. They moved to Jerusalem, together, forming a unit of leadership again. This would allow the Tribes to work together in a much more cohesive manner. It would help with working, protecting, farming… The list goes on and on. By having the leadership in one place you get some Proverbs 1:5 stuff happening.

Proverbs 1:5 said:
5let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance

Now you got all these leaders in the same place, but what about people? Having only the leaders in the city doesn’t make much sense, you need people to run a city!

So that’s exactly what happens next, by moving ten percent of all the towns to the main city, (OK 1 in 10) they insured that a good cross reference of the people were represented. This also let all the tribes lay claim to Jerusalem again. Not any one tribe held the power, not any one tribe had the ability to do so easily either. It created a balance within the city.

Now it’s important to note the number of Levites; why you may ask. Well let me see if I can explain. I have to be honest, I’m not 100% up on Levites, and however I did find the following article that explains pretty well what they did.

IDS.org said:
Levites
Levites. Descendants of Levi. The work of ministering in the sanctuary was assigned to this tribe. The Levites are sometimes spoken of as distinct from the priests (1 Kgs. 8:4; Ezra 2:70; John 1:19); sometimes as though all Levites were also priests, “the priests, the Levites” (Deut. 18:1; Josh. 3:3). The work of the Levites was to assist the priests (Num. 3:5–10; 18:1–7). They acted as musicians (1 Chr. 6:16, 31; 15:16; Neh. 11:17, 22); slaughtered the sacrifices (2 Chr. 29:34; 35:11; Ezra 6:20); and generally assisted in the temple (Neh. 11:16, 19). The Levites were themselves offered as a wave-offering on behalf of the children of Israel (Num. 8:11–15); they thus became God’s peculiar property, given to him in place of the firstborn (Num. 8:16). They were not consecrated, but cleansed for their office (Num. 8:7–16). They had no inheritance in Canaan (Num. 18:23–24); but they had the tithe (18:21), 48 cities (35:6), and a claim on the alms of the people at feast times (Deut. 12:18–19; 14:27, 29).

As you can see, Nehemiah set in motion items that put Israel back together. It brought the leadership back together to form a strong, unified Israel. It brought back people to be set aside for the temple. It brought the tribes together again.

Pretty amazing stuff, there is no way this all happened without God moving through Nehemiah.

I pray God moves through you this week,

Until next time,

Eskimo
 

the_great_eskimo_pie

Official Thread Killer/Men's Forum Mod/GFC Leader
Nehemiah Chapter 12

Nehemiah Chapter 12

Good Morning my friends, I pray you have had a blessed week thus far and will pray it continues.
Chapter twelve of Nehemiah begins by listing out the priests who were in Jerusalem at the time; see how short that list is? Seven verses. Seven, that’s not a lot of priests, yet the chapter, continues by listing out more Levites. That’s right, fourteen more verses of guys who helped the priests. And they got their names put into the Bible, these guys had to rate.

Verses 22-26 remarks on the chief of the Levites, which is important because any organization needs to have clear leadership. Obviously Nehemiah thought so too if he took the time to have Hashabiah, Sherebiah and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel listed.

Starting at verse 27, we have the dedication of the wall. Why is this important?

Prayer is one of the most important things we mortals have. It is our direct line to talking to God. It’s the time we set aside, we sacrifice not doing something else in order to praise, worship, when, complain, ask, seek and knock with God. (Matthew 7:7)

So why Prayer? Why was prayer so important for the city?

Because prayer also protects. Ask any Godly parent who prays over their children at night. They pray for protection on their children, in my family anyway we pray for a hedge of protection around the house, around each family member… (Job 1:10) Now think on a national scale, if you got all the Israelites to pray for the walls, for protection from enemies, for each other and for God to move through them. The prayer was also to dedicate the walls to God. (Proverbs 3:6)

Now don’t think the prayer was all solemn and boring like many you may hear in church. This was a joyful thing. They sent out word all around to the countryside to get all the Levites and singers to come to Jerusalem and they had enough people for two full choirs! (See Nehemiah 12:31) Both Choirs marched around the city until they met in the middle where the sacrifices, ones that hadn’t been done for years, were started anew.
My point today is prayer. It makes things happen, it protects, it builds up, it praises, it worships, it keeps our focus on God where it should be.

Just think, without prayer, Nehemiah may not have been able to come to Jerusalem in the first place.
Remember Nehemiah 2:4
Nehemiah 2:4 said:
4 The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven,

How many things in your life could be changed if you simply take a moment to pray about them first? How often we humans forget that prayer is an action and doesn’t happen automatically. You have to spend the time to pray.

I pray these words strike true to their purpose this week. I know they pierced my heart in a spot where I need to work on my prayers.

God bless you this week,
Until next time,

Eskimo
 

the_great_eskimo_pie

Official Thread Killer/Men's Forum Mod/GFC Leader
Nehemiah Chapter 13

Good evening my friends,

I hope that this past week was filled with blessings big and small for you.

Sadly, this is my final posting for Nehemiah regarding this particular Bible study. We have reached Chapter 13. However, be of good cheer, for the ending of one book means that another will start soon.

Now onto the study!

Nehemiah chapter 13 lost a lot of its luster from chapter 12. I mean, it starts out by kicking people out of the city. Of course, this was necessary because it is what the law called for (See verses 1-3). When God tells you to do something, it’s for a reason and at the time, The Israelites were very weak when it came to letting other nations influence them, as their history in the Bible proves.

Then, Nehemiah goes back to see King Artaxerxes. (Whom I am sure missed his faithful steward horribly.)

Following this, much like the Israelites did when Moses went up to Mt. Sinai; without their leader the people returned to bad habits, both old and new.

One guy, Eliashib the priest responsible for taking care of the storerooms in the temple, let someone just stay in them! Something like “Hey Tobiah, you need a place to stay? Oh that? That’s just the Holy of Holies, stay out of there if you want to live, your room may smell like grain, but don’t worry, that should go away once you move in and get your stuff set up. The bathroom is the last door on the left; the kitchen is up front where you came in. Oh yeah, and how about free food? People just bring it here for us. Just remember what I said, this is a temple after all.” (See Nehemiah 13: 4-5)

A priest did that! Imagine how much worse it got for those outside the priesthood… Oh wait; just keep reading the chapter, Nehemiah had a lot of issues to deal with once he returned.

I wonder if faithful Bob (You remember him, I mentioned him in chapter 1) was the one who took the news to Nehemiah so he could come back.

However, then Eliashib and Tobiah get their comeuppance.

Nehemiah 12: 8 said:
I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah's household goods out of the room.

Not, moved out. Kicked out. Something tells me that there were some guards outside the Temple with orders to dump Tobiah outside the gates and not let him back in. (At least that is what I would have done…)

So after this, Nehemiah had the temple cleansed so that it was once more the way prescribed by God.

And then, remember those Levites? The ones that are supposed to take care of the temple? Well guess what, with Tobiah living in the storeroom, it was hard to have a place to put the tithes brought in for them, so with nothing to eat, they returned to their fields so they could provide food for themselves.

And poor Nehemiah, he must have had steam rolling out his ears when he talked to those he had left in charge.

Nehemiah 13:11 said:
So I rebuked the officials and asked them, "Why is the house of God neglected?" Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts.

These guys were not even at their posts? How lax they must have become. Poor discipline and living off the hard work that Nehemiah had led made them fat and lazy.

Nehemiah 13:13 said:
I put Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and a Levite named Pedaiah in charge of the storerooms and made Hanan son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah, their assistant, because these men were considered trustworthy. They were made responsible for distributing the supplies to their brothers.

I wonder if Eliashib was kicked out with Tobiah? An interesting question since he isn’t mentioned again…

Nehemiah showed a lot of restraint with the items he lists in verses 15-22. I mean really, not keeping the Sabbath? Working, buying and selling… I’m sure he was going bald from all the hair he was pulling out.

What do you think of how he handled the merchants who came and spent the night outside the gate? He told them to go away or else! Is there a better way to have handled it?

The last few verses deal with the priests insuring they were separate from the peoples. As you know from the beginning of the chapter, the people split with those who were not Israelites, and yet by the end of the chapter we have priests who have married into the other cultures of the land.

The last chapter of Nehemiah acts as a warning. We cannot let ourselves rest on our laurels once the hard work is done. We have to continue to follow the Lord daily. It’s a choice, and not an easy one. However God expects you to do it. He gave us the directions, it’s our choice to follow them or not.

There was a lot more to this chapter, sadly I was unable to delve into it deeply. However I am willing to discuss it with you. 

God bless you this week and in the coming weeks my friends.

Go in his peace, joy and love.

Until next we meet,

Eskimo
 

Tek7

CGA President, Tribe of Judah Founder & President
Staff member
It's easy to imagine Nehemiah returning and saying, "We just got this all cleaned up!" then proceeding to (righteously) yell at people.

Thank you for the excellent study, Eskimo! I look forward to your next study (and hope I do a better job of keeping up with the next that I did with this one!).
 

the_great_eskimo_pie

Official Thread Killer/Men's Forum Mod/GFC Leader
It's easy to imagine Nehemiah returning and saying, "We just got this all cleaned up!" then proceeding to (righteously) yell at people.

Thank you for the excellent study, Eskimo! I look forward to your next study (and hope I do a better job of keeping up with the next that I did with this one!).

Thank you very much Tek. I appreciate the kind words.
 
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