This week, the story of Nehemiah builds up to the Festival of Tabernacles! This story ends in celebration for what God has done. We see Nehemiah stay the course and remain faithful to God despite opposition from influential people. Nehemiah is a dynamic storyteller and faces obstacles that are applicable to us today.
Monday, September 21 – Nehemiah 6:1-14
- Nehemiah was not distracted. He stayed the course and finished the wall despite opposition.
- If Nehemiah took shelter in the temple like Shemiah suggested, that would have been disobeying God. The temple was only for priests and he was not a priest.
- Nehemiah exercised discernment when he chose NOT to go meet Sanballat and when he chose not to go into the temple. It is easy to follow leaders/people because we think we should or it sounds appealing, but God tells us to walk in HIS ways. Can you find the definition of “discernment”? How can we grow in discernment?
Tuesday, September 22 – Nehemiah 6:15 -7:4
- The wall was finished in 52 days! It had sat in ruins for more than 100 years.
- Nehemiah spent four months praying about the wall(Nehemiah 1:1 and 2:1) and only two months building it.
- The wall was in order both physically(set the doors in place) and spiritually(musicians were appointed).
- In the eyes of people who followed Tobiah, Nehemiah was the bad guy. Being obedient to God can mean doing things differently than our peers. Can you think of a way God has asked you to be different?
Wednesday, September 23 – Nehemiah 7:5 – 73
- Nehemiah wanted the city to grow and before he could do that, he had to see who was already there.
- Only 2% of people who were carried into exile came back to Jerusalem.
- These verses list the names of the people, the names of their family and the work they helped complete at the temple. What would God say about you?
Thursday, September 24 – Nehemiah 8:1-12
- Ezra was reading from the Book of Law which is the first five books of the Old Testament.
- Ezra stood on a platform so he could be heard – how practical! I love that the Bible gives us this detail.
- The people were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit should convict and change us. Their tears are a good thing.
- The Levites were there to help people understand the word of God. The Bible is complicated and God gives us resources to learn more about it! Who are some people that teach you about Jesus?
Friday, September 25 – Nehemiah 8:13-18
- They celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles because they read about it in the Book of Law. It was in reference to God provided for Israel during the exodus.
- The festival was a way to celebrate all that God had provided for them. They took an old tradition and made it new again.
- Remembering what God has done brings revival in our hearts. What has God done for you this year?
- Will you join us at our Festival of Tabernacles(also known as the Festival of Booths or Sukkot)? How cool to be a part of an Old Testament tradition! Click here to learn more!