Sunday, October 2, 2011

beginning nehemiah

Understanding and Applying the book of Nehemiah...

1)  Nehemiah recounts God’s providence in preserving the people of Israel as a minority in the midst of hostile nations.  In God’s sovereign plan the line of Judah and David would continue, and in the fullness of time bring forth the Messiah to bless the nations (Gen 12:3; 49:10; 2 Sam 7:16; Rom 1:3; Gal 4:4).    

2)  "The restoration and rebuilding after the exile prefigure Christ’s salvation (Col. 1:13) and the building of the church (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:20–22)."  (The ESV Study Bible)

3)  Nehemiah shows us what the renewal of God’s covenant people looks like in the promised land.  “The essence of the kingdom is God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.”  (Graeme Goldsworthy)  

4)  Nehemiah gives us a biblical model for leadership.  “What kind of leadership does the Bible present as exemplary?  Even more concisely, what is godly leadership?  This question will help guide us through the book of Nehemiah.”  (Mark Dever, The Message of the Old Testament)

5)  Nehemiah encourages us that, no matter how humble or difficult our circumstances, God’s good work will prevail.  “The book of Nehemiah is designed to teach us that only with God's help can we actually change ourselves and recover from the damage and ruin of the past. In an individual's life the rebuilding of the walls is a picture of re-establishing the strength of that life.”  (Ray Stedman)

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