Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Nehemiah 2:11-20. Nehemiah made his journey and arrived safely in Jerusalem. He hadn’t told anyone about the plans the LORD laid on his heart for the city. He had been there for three days, when he went out at night with a few men to examine the damage done to the city walls and gates by the enemies of the Jews. Those enemies didn’t want to see Israel rebuilt and become a powerful nation again.
The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem was significant in God’s plan to get the city ready for the coming of the Messiah, as stated in Daniel 9:25, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”
Nehemiah went at night so the rulers wouldn’t know where he went or what he did. He finally told the people to look at the city of Jerusalem and how it was in ruins and the gates were burned. He asked them to help him build the wall around Jerusalem so they would no longer be scorned by their enemies. Without the wall there was no protection from the outside world or no way to contain the people on the inside of the city.
He also told the people how God had favor on him and how the king gave him permission to come there to do this work, because of the LORD’S favor on him. He told the people, “Let’s all come together and do this work.” They agreed and gathered together to accomplish the work of rebuilding the wall of the city. Nehemiah realized that he couldn’t do all this work by himself, so he went to the leaders to ask for their help and support.
Some of the men laughed and ridiculed them when they heard what the plans were. The men asked them if they were going against the king. The men who laughed didn’t know that the king gave his support for the project. Anytime you go to do something there will be people who try to oppose you or discourage you from doing what God has asked you to do.
We have to remember just as God has His people to work for Him, the enemy also uses people to try to defeat the work of God. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Nehemiah didn’t let their opposition get to him. He was a man on a mission.
Nehemiah answered his opposition and told them that God would provide for them, and they were going to build the wall. He basically told them that they didn’t have a say in the matter because they had no portion, no right, and no memorial in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah let the people know that this plan was from God. It wasn’t something that he just dreamed up on his own. When God picked Nehemiah to lead in the rebuilding of the wall, He picked someone who was strong, who loved Him and who was willing to lead in getting the work done that He called Nehemiah to do.
In many ways our lives are like the walls of the city of Jerusalem. We have broken pieces and burned out gates that only God through Jesus Christ can repair. Proverbs 25:28 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”
Daily Bible Reading:
11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.
12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.
13 And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
14 Then I went on to the gate of the fountain, and to the king’s pool: but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.
15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall, and turned back, and entered by the gate of the valley, and so returned.
16 And the rulers knew not whither I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest that did the work.
17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king?
20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.
Things to think about:
- Why do you think Nehemiah didn’t tell anyone about his plan when he first arrived at Jerusalem?
- In what ways did people try to oppose Nehemiah and discourage him about his project?
- How did Nehemiah respond to those who opposed him?
- Have you turned your life over to God, so He can repair all the broken pieces through His Son, Jesus Christ?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this Scripture in the book of Nehemiah where we see the leadership skills that Nehemiah had and the burning desire You placed in his heart. He knew he was doing something You called him to do and he wasn’t going to let anyone deter him from doing it. Help us, LORD, to follow Nehemiah’s example and not let others discourage us when we are trying to do what You have called us to do. Please rebuild the broken places in our lives. We love You, LORD. Amen.
This is an excerpt from:
by Deborah H. Bateman
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About the Book:
The Book of Nehemiah: A Story of Dedication and Determination is a Daily Bible Reading Study of the book of Nehemiah by Deborah H. Bateman. The book of Nehemiah is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. Nehemiah was led by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah was a great leader. He headed up the project. Despite the opposition that the Jewish people encountered they were able to complete this major project in less than sixty days. Their dedication and determination shines through in every aspect of the project.
The Book of Nehemiah: A Story of Dedication and Determination contains eighteen Daily Bible Reading Lessons. Each lesson contains a brief commentary by the author, the Daily Bible Reading Scripture, a few questions for contemplation or discussion and a prayer for the day. This is a great Bible study that can be used for either a personal Daily Bible Reading Study or for a group Bible study.
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