TOPIC: Nehemiah [Sunday, 6th May 2018]
MEMORY VERSE: ‘’Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deedd that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof” – Nehemiah 13:14 (scroll down for SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN)
BIBLE PASSAGE: Nehemiah 2:1-8
1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah, was born in Babylon during the captivity (Nehamiah 1:1). He was, according to some, of the race of the priests; according to others, of the royal family of Judah and apparently a stepson of Queen Esther. He sustained the office of cupbearer to the Persian king Artazerzes Longimanus. Touched with the calamitous state of the colony of Jews, which had formerly returned to Jerusalem, he besought the king of Persia to permit him to go to Jerusalem and aid in rebuilding it. He directed his attention chiefly to rebuilding the walls of the city. He remained in Judea for thirteen years as governor, carrying out many reforms, notwithstanding much opposition that he encountered (Nehemiah 13:11). Probably, he remained at his post as Governor till his death (about B.C.413) in a good old age.
1. Character and achievements
2. Lessons from his life
CHARACTER AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Nehemiah was a man of prayer, patriotism, action, bravery and constancy. He always viewed prayer as a first action rather than a last resort (Nehemiah 1:4-11, 2:4, 4:4-5,9). He was persistent, with great faith in God and His ability to do anything he was asked (Philippians 3:14).
He went to Jerusalem where the city wall was broken down, and with a single minded purpose persevered until the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt (Nehemiah 6:15). The rebuilding of the wall enabled Jerusalem to become a fortified city once again, nearly a century and a half after its destruction in 586BC. After the wall was rebuilt, Nehemiah and Ezra called the people to prayer and the public reading of the law (Nehemiah 8:1-3,8).
He was one of the first to sign his name to a covenant agreement among the people regarding walking in God’s law (Nehemiah 9:38). He wrote the book of Nehemiah (430-431 BC).
LESSONS FROM HIS LIFE
1. Prayer should always precede any endeavour (James 5:17-18).
2. God is always willing to help (Psalm 46:1).
3. Persistence combined with faith can accomplish great things. Jesus Himself exhorted persistency with His parable of the persistent widow and the judge (Luke 18:1-8).
4. Be single-minded in all that you do for God, and in all that you desire from God (Luke 9:62, James 1:5-8).
5. God remembers and rewards good work (Nehemiah 13:14, 1Corinthians 15:58, Revelations 22:11-12).
Nehemiah had an unrelenting zeal to rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem. In spite of the opposition from Sanballat and others, he achieved his goal. What passion do you have for the things of God?
1. Describe the man, Nehemiah.
2. What lesson can you learn from his life-style?
SUNDAY SCHOOL HYMN
1. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
O how I love Thee well,
I am happy, it makes me glad
To rejoice at Thy birth.
2. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day, Thy friendship suits me well,
Both young and old will sing Thy song,
We long for Sunday School.
3. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Christ was Thy first teacher,
The Holy Spirit, great teacher,
Does manifest in thee.
4. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
This testimony is sure,
That God, the Father Almighty,
Poured His blessing on Thee.
5. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
Though the sun be so bright,
Or if the clouds black with rain,
I’ll be in Sunday School.
6. O Sunday School, on the Lord’s day,
I rejoice to see Thee,
Will thou pass over me today?
Without my being blest?