Sunday, September 8, 2013

Studying {Nehemiah 4-6}

Here is another installment of... the book of Nehemiah. Here is the link to this passage: Nehemiah 4-6.

Summary:
The Jews' enemies insult them. Nehemiah asks that God remember their insults. They continue rebuilding. News of their enemies plotting an attack reaches the Jews. This is discouraging, as well, as their fellow Jews telling them to stop building. They begin to carry weapons with them as they build. Nehemiah encourages them. The poor people begin to complain about their taxes and interest . Nehemiah rebukes the richer people for taking interest from and selling the poor as slaves. They listen and do what he tells them. Nehemiah explains that he became governor, and that the former leaders took advantage of the people. He does not. There are letters from their enemies distracting from the wall building. A man tries to get Nehemiah to hide from the enemies and ruin his reputation. The wall is completed, and there are people in Judah telling Nehemiah of Tobiah's (the enemy) good deeds and reporting back to Tobiah what his replies were.

What I learned:
-When the enemies were plotting against the Jews, and the other Jews were discouraging them, it reminded me of a situation where perhaps God calls you to do something that sounds crazy, and your family and friends start to discourage you. If this happened, you would need to keep working diligently. This happened in Bruce Olson's life (Bruchko).

-The situation of the poor sounds like our own economic situation in the US. The only way to get out of it is to follow God's way.

-When Nehemiah refused to hide, he proved that he trusted God in even dangerous situations. May God grant us this sort of trust!

Grace be with you,

Abby :D

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Studying {Nehemiah 1-3}

How about a Bible study? I went through the book of Nehemiah and summarized it to get it in my head, and then wrote what I learned. Enjoy! (And here is a link to the Bible passage: Nehemiah 1-3)

Summary:
Nehemiah is sad about the returning captives and the broken down wall. He fasts and prays. The king asks what is wrong. When Nehemiah tells him, he lets Nehemiah go to help rebuild the wall, also giving him supplies and men. Nehemiah inspects the gate, which is in bad shape, and then when the enemies hear about it, they protest and Nehemiah rebukes them. The book then describes all the repairs done and by whom they were done.

What I learned:
-Nehemiah was a captive living in Susa. Even in captivity, God put his people in positions of honor, like the king's cup bearer.
-God pays attention to details and hard work, even small jobs well done. This reminds me of something Jim Elliot said in Shadow of the Almighty,
"A well-made piece of furniture and a healed blind man represented the same thing to the Father-- a job well done, mission accomplished. So with us here. Nothing great, but what is that to Him with whom there is no great and small?"

Grace be with you,

Abby :D