Archives for Feb 2013

Nehemiah: A Man of Prayer and Action

Kathleen Nielson writes, “Nehemiah is not only telling the story of the Jewish people. He is telling above all, the story of God at work among His people, accomplishing His sovereign plan to preserve them and bless the nations through them, as He promised Abraham.” (Nehemiah Rebuilt and Rebuilding" page xiii.) At the time of Ezra, the Jewish remnant has re-established the temple, but the rest of the city still remains in ruins. We now meet Nehemiah, the man God used to lead the rebuilding of the city wall. Who was Nehemiah? Unlike Ezra, who was a priest, Nehemiah was a lay-person. He could have been born and raised in Persia. In chapter 1 verse 11, Nehemiah tells us that he was a cupbearer to king Artaxerxes. He protected the king’s life with his own life, tasting the king’s wine for poison. He was trusted. He was in a very influential position. He had access to the king, yet it was also a very dangerous job. >>> Continue Reading or Listen to it>>>

God’s People in God’s Place under God’s Rule

The book of Ezra is no less than history, but it is also more than history. We can learn from it. When reading Old Testament narrative, we should always ask ourselves what we can learn from it today? We should ask what was the purpose of the temple to the Israelites and what does rebuilding it have to do with us today? Should I, as the wife of the church planter, read about the rebuilding of the temple in Ezra and draw a direct correlation to building our church building? Are Ezra and Nehemiah lessons for church planters and pastors on how to deal with rulers, how to rally their church members to work hard, how to find financial resources from unexpected places, and how to deal with opposition inside and out the church? >>> Continue Reading >>>