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Bible Pathways - June 6, 2005

June 6


Read Nehemiah 1 -- 3


In Today's Reading:


Nehemiah's prayer for Jerusalem and his leave of absence; Nehemiah inspects Jerusalem's walls; the builder of the walls


When Nehemiah's relative Hanani arrived in Persia from Jerusalem, he told Nehemiah of the pitiful conditions that existed there. Nehemiah recorded: When I heard these words . . . I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven. . . . hear the prayer of Your servant . . . for . . . both I and my father's house have sinned. . . . and have not kept the Commandments (Nehemiah 1:4,6-7). Over a period of about four months, he continued to pray.


When King Artaxerxes asked why he was so sad, Nehemiah told him that it was because the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchers (tombs), lies waste (2:1-3). The king graciously responded by appointing him governor over Judah and commissioned him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The king even provided some of the materials (see 2:6-8).


Three basic characteristics made Nehemiah's efforts a success. First was his desire to do the will of God (see 1:4-11). This led him to leave the luxury and security of living in the king's palace in Persia and to endure the hardships in Jerusalem in order to restore the City of God.


Second, he not only fasted and prayed, but he confessed: We. . . have not kept the Commandments (1:4-11). He recognized that obedience to the Word of God is essential to answered prayer.


Third, he was determined to persuade his people to join him in rebuilding the walls, regardless of opposition. Sanballat and his crowd expressed their hostility to Nehemiah, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us (2:19). Their ridicule then turned to slander as they falsely accused him: Will you rebel against the king? (2:19). In addition, some of Judah's nobles put not their necks to the work of their lord (supervisor) (3:5)


Nehemiah refused to become discouraged and give up because he knew that accomplishing the will of God is dependent upon acknowledging Him as Sovereign over the affairs of our lives. Be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me (Hebrews 13:5-6).


Christ Revealed:


Through Nehemiah's prayer for his people (Nehemiah 1:4-11). Christ also prayed for His own throughout the ages, which includes us today (John 17:20).


Word Studies:


1:5 terrible = awesome; 2:2 countenance = face; 2:7 convey me over = allow me to pass; 2:20 no portion = no part or property; 3:19 turning = corner; 3:23 over against = in front of; 3:25 lieth out = extends from.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Henry Rogers · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Government Officials: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rep. Allen Boyd, Jr. (FL), and Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) · Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior lives (John 20:15-18).


Optional Reading: II Corinthians 8


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 4:3

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