I don’t remember ever reading the book of Nehemiah before this year. But last month the sisters at She Reads Truth studied the book together, and our children’s church is also teaching from the book this month. I’ve really been blessed my introduction to this impressive account of what God will do through His people when they are bold and willing.
Nehemiah was heartbroken for his people—for their sin and its consequences. They were “in great distress and reproach,” and the wall that once surrounded and protected the city had been destroyed. So Nehemiah prayed a big prayer: that his boss (that is, the king of Persia), would allow him to return to Jerusalem and help his people rebuild the wall. Nehemiah 2:2 says he was afraid, but that didn’t stop him from not only requesting permission to go, but also asking for timber from the king’s forest for the wall’s gates.
And the king said yes! The powerful king did not share Nehemiah’s faith, but granted his request because “the good hand of God” was upon Nehemiah. So he returned to Jerusalem, where he faithfully and humbly led a monumental, multi-faceted project in the face of enemy threats and ridicule, as well as fear and strife within. Once the wall was complete and guards were assigned to their posts, Nehemiah led the people in an even bigger endeavor, repentance and reform. The people made a new covenant with God, and they did well for a while! Sadly, God’s people returned to some of their old ways (as we often do). But from beginning to the end of Nehemiah’s story, he is bold and consistent in prayer, confident that God will do great things.
Do you ever forget that we serve a big God who can do great things? What verses help you remember?