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Diggindeeper
Apr 10th 2007, 04:25 AM
Not long ago we started a Bible Study in Maturing in Christ private group. It was titled, "Guarding the Gates". Some of us decided we'd like to share this study with all the members. Grab a Pepsi or cup of coffee or something, have a seat, prop your feet up...and come and join us!

NEHEMIAH BIBLE STUDY:

Introduction
WHO IS GUARDING THE GATES?

David Wilkerson, Pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, and founder of Teen Challenge said,

"America's youth today are a lost generation. No other
generation in history has been so plagued by sex, drugs,
alcohol, greed, and murder at such a young age."

Something has gone wrong...but what? Many lay the blame to schools, teachers and textbooks, video games, television and movies, MTV, rock music, art exhibits, peer pressure, our nation's leaders, compromising churches with sinful leadership, parents and a host of other things.

The truth is...ALL these things have contributed to the sinking of an entire generation. For example:

1- SCHOOLS have become war zones. Metal detectors guard the entrances. CHILDREN are searched for drugs and weapons as they enter. Some teachers are predators and a threat to our children. Other teachers have actually been assaulted, and children are killing children.

2- TEACHERS teach atheism, evolution, s*x education, hom*s*xual lifestyles, birth control, and read to the students from Harry Potter books about his experiences at the witchcraft school where he attends, but CANNOT place a Bible on their desk for fear of losing their job or being sued!

Yet, many young people can't read well enough to fill out a job application after graduation!

3- TEXTBOOKS are filled with witch and warlock stories, New Age Philosophies and anti-Christian bigotry.

4- ART EXHIBITS have become filthy and vulgar. Have you heard about them, or seen them?

5- TELEVISION AND MOVIES are dominated by vile language, violence and pornography unheard of a few years ago! The "stars", it seems, set the standards (or lack of them) for fashions, and are today's role models by their outspoken, but idolized, wicked, adulterous lifestyles.

6- MTV is referred to by many as "The Devil's Private Network." Lewd is the only way to describe many of the suicidal, demoralized performers and their lyrics.

7- ROCK MUSIC promoting violence and sex fills the ears of a lost generation with LOUD tuneless racket.

8- NATIONAL LEADERS from local levels, to Judges, to Washington politicians,and all the way to the White house have become corrupt, dishonest and greedy.

9- DEAD CHURCHES that are no more than pretty shells, have COMPROMISED. Instead of Holy Sanctuaries many are now theaters with professional performers rather than heart convicting preachers of the Bible.

Young people are being taken hostage with alcohol and drugs and crime.
Why are our young people in such chaos?

Is anyone guarding the gates?

WHERE ARE THE GATEKEEPERS?

I don't have the answers...but Nehemiah does!

Comments, questions, thoughts welcome!

I'll start the comments about #1. Schools.

Strange as it may seem, I remember when we could learn Bible verses and recite them to our teacher before or after class! And she or he kept a record of it. Then every 6 weeks or so, the whole school met in the Auditorium and AWARDS were presented to the ones who had memorized the most scriptures! Can you believe that? It really is true!

That's how I earned my first Gospel of John...then I memorized more scriptures and earned my very own New Testament...and I even finally earned a brand new Bible! For memorizing and reciting bible verses at school! Before I was in the 6th grade!

But, oh dear, how schools have changed! What has happened to bring about these changes?? I'm tellin' you...Nehemiah knows what happened!

corijoysdad
Apr 10th 2007, 01:18 PM
Hi DD,
I'm really glad your starting this up. I've always wanted to do a bible study with a group here, but it always seemed like they were far into it and I'd never be able to get caught up. Now I can start on the ground floor. :)

These days in our schools, it seems that it's more important to push onto the kids the worldly agenda of "tolerance and inclusion" than it is to teach them the three R's. It's almost as if the feeling is that it doesn't matter if they can read, as long as they are accepting of lifestyles and morals that are contrary to God's word. In fact, there mere mention of God or the Bible brings scorn and ridicule to the student who dares to bring it up. It's too bad, because that's the one thing that can keep this generation from this downward spiral that it's in.

Diggindeeper
Apr 10th 2007, 03:48 PM
Nehemiah Bible Study: Part 1

Our study in Nehemiah will show us how this book relates to things going on in our world, today!

For example, two teenaged boys in Littleton, Colorado, stockpiled weapons in their bedrooms. They were making bombs in their garage. They sent threats to peers by way of the internet and by phone. They came to school one day in their usual black trenchcoats, which was their normal way of dressing, but on this particular day...the two teenaged boys killed their classmates, their teachers and themselves! Do you remember that?

We can't help but ask, "Could this have prevented? How in the world do people get so bad?" Now, to our study...


Some Background Information:

The children of Israel, God's chosen people, time and time again disobeyed and turned their backs on God until finally...God allowed the enemy (the Babylonians) to come in, destroy the city, and carry away the people as slaves in Babylon. Everything was in ruins! Some years later (I've read it was 94 years later), a remnant was able to return to Jerusalem, but destruction was all around them!

Nehemiah's brother was one of those did return to Jerusalem. He came one day to visit Nehemiah and here is what happened:

Nehemiah 1:1-4 (KJV)
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,


Give your answers, thoughts and comments to the following: (2-4)

V. 1 The book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah himself, telling about
his days when he served in the King's Palace in Shushan.

v. 2
A: Who was Hanani?
B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit?

v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem?
B:What did Hanani say was wrong?

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother?
B: Why do you think he reacted this way?


After everyone has answered these questions, I will add my thoughts...

TrustingFollower
Apr 10th 2007, 04:28 PM
Nehemiah Bible Study: Part 1

Give your answers, thoughts and comments to the following: (2-4)


V. 1 The book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah himself, telling about
his days when he served in the King's Palace in Shushan.

v. 2
A: Who was Hanani?Nehemiah's brother
B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit?The Jews that escaped captivity (slavery) and had returned to Jerusalem

v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem?No, A remnant of the original people.
B:What did Hanani say was wrong?The city was in ruins, the walls around the city were broken and the gates were burned off the opening. There was no way to protect the city any longer.

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother?He sat down and wept and mourned for days. He also fasted while he wept and mourned.
B: Why do you think he reacted this way? Because Jerusalem was the city for Gods chosen people and the wicked of the world destroyed it. Without the city and the walls of protection how would the remaining Jews ever going to survive?


After everyone has answered these questions, I will add my thoughts...

Thank you Judy for leading this. I look forward to the incite and education I will receive from this.

corijoysdad
Apr 11th 2007, 06:34 AM
V. 1 The book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah himself, telling about
his days when he served in the King's Palace in Shushan.

v. 2
A: Who was Hanani? Nehemiah's brother
B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit?He had asked which Jews had escaped and which were still held.

v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem?No, there were only a few left
B:What did Hanani say was wrong? Jerusalem was left with no protection as the city wall have been destroyed

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother? He sat and wept and mourned. While he mourned, he fasted and prayed.
B: Why do you think he reacted this way?


After everyone has answered these questions, I will add my thoughts...



.......................................

Diggindeeper
Apr 11th 2007, 06:34 AM
Here is what I believe God showed me in this study:
______________________________________________

When Nehemiah heard the walls were torn down and the gates destroyed, he started crying! He wept and didn't eat and prayed for days. His heart was broken.

You see, Nehemiah knew when the walls were torn down and the gates destroyed--the people had no protection from the enemy! The enemy could come in and take over, and steal, and kill, and do whatever he wanted to do! And he could easily take anyone he wants and make slaves out of them!

I think Nehemiah's heart was broken when his brother told him what he did! Hanani told him there was only a remnant there. Just a few people! And of course, they were in great affliction! For one thing, it wasn't like today, when houses lie in ruins from a disaster of some kind! Just go down to Lowe's or Home Depot and pull out that old charge card and hire builders and rebuild.

Those people had none of that! No stores or market places. Everything was utterly in shambles! So, they were in great affliction!

But hey, guys...they were also in REPROACH!

Reproach means disgrace! Source of shame! Stain! Blemished!

Here was a people who were once considered God's favored. Great armies and kings feared them! Now, they were a rag-tag bunch, trying to survive in the shambles!

You see, they turned their back on God and disobeyed him one time too many, and the first thing that happened was the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and the gates were burned!


But think about this...if those gates had been well guarded, the enemy could not have come in! But with no protection from the enemy, and gates flung wide open, in came the enemy, and killed them, carried away almost everybody to Babylon, and destroyed the whole town!

Nehemiah knew the importance of guarding the gates!


Friends, do you know WE HAVE GATES TO GUARD in our day and time? Oh yes, we do!

Some of you have tried drugs. You were not guarding that gate! And tell me, did the enemy come in and try to destroy you?

Some willingly turned their back on God, and left their gates unguarded! Did the enemy come in and carry you off to Babylon?

Some went away with the wrong kind of people. Those gates were left wide open! Did the enemy come with you and those people? You bet he did! He could have sent them into your life!

The two boys from Littleton, Colorado...who killed so many in that school...Oh how sad that was. I saw it, on television. Funeral after funeral. Many people's lives were destroyed that day! But, if any young people are reading this, could you possibly stockpile weapons in your home?

Or make bombs in your garage? Bet you wouldn't dare! Because someone is guarding the gates! I can't help but wonder, Where were the parents of those boys? Was no one guarding the gates of their homes?

Reporters talked a lot about the awful video games and movies and things those boys were involved in. I offer it is up to each one of us to guard what comes into our homes! Or our bedrooms! or over the speakers of our car! Or over that cell phone! Or on TV. Or in movies we see. Guard those gates!

Do you feel as strongly as I do, that it is important to guard the gates?

Well, that is why it broke Nehemiah's heart...because the walls of protection were torn down and the gates could not shut out the enemy...because they were destroyed! This left the people wide open to attack from the enemy!

And so it will be for us...

Diggindeeper
Apr 13th 2007, 09:47 PM
Just trying to keep this on the front page, for those who are studying...

The Parson
Apr 14th 2007, 02:20 PM
Bible Chat is an exellent place for this particular study. While it is good to discuss doctrinal differences we should also be studying Gods Word on this clear and PRESENT danger. Keep it coming dear lady. And lets do keep this thread in the forefront.

Teke
Apr 14th 2007, 02:51 PM
Interesting. :)
I've always viewed Nehemiah as a type of Christ and His Church.

There are seven types I relate to. Rebuilding Jerusalem's walls as rebuilding our Christian defenses. To rebuild us fasting and prayer is necessary, as Nehemiah did also. Nehemiah uses the people of God to build the wall, the Church. Confession of sin to restore us. Strong walls are our strength. In Nehemiah there is a renewal of alliance with God, ie. our renewal.
Reform of the nation with Nehemiah (Christ).

karenoka27
Apr 14th 2007, 04:17 PM
Another Bible study! How exciting! I love Nehemiah...so I would love to jump into this.

As I was reading through the posts this verse came to mind:

Proverbs 25:28-"Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control."

Like was said, we need to be on guard at all times.

1 Peter 5:8-"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"



When we let our guard down, take our eyes off the Lord to look or walk in the world and its ways, we become just like those walls in Jerusalem. We are left out in the open as if to say, "bring it!" How foolish.


Have you ever mourned over someone? over a direction you see your church going in? your own child?

Nehemiah 1:" 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,"
I have to be honest, and tell you that I don't know that much about fasting. I have fasted but I was so focused on how much I couldn't wait to eat again, I missed out on the spiritual beauty of it all. I would love to hear from someone on it.

Teke
Apr 14th 2007, 05:27 PM
I have to be honest, and tell you that I don't know that much about fasting. I have fasted but I was so focused on how much I couldn't wait to eat again, I missed out on the spiritual beauty of it all. I would love to hear from someone on it.


God and His people are to be the focus of a fast. As we are all part of the whole. IOW it benefits the economy of God's people.
When you think of it like this, that your denying yourself is giving more to another, it is not hard at all to fast. It is simply a matter of faith in God. ;)

karenoka27
Apr 14th 2007, 07:31 PM
God and His people are to be the focus of a fast. As we are all part of the whole. IOW it benefits the economy of God's people.
When you think of it like this, that your denying yourself is giving more to another, it is not hard at all to fast. It is simply a matter of faith in God. ;)

thank you...I am really going to pray about it..so here is my question..I love prayer, I believe God hears me and answers me when I call on HIm...why is fasting more important to God in answering my prayers than me going boldly before His throne...

Judy I am not trying to distract from this study..I only brought it up because Nehemiah fasted, wept and mourned.

I love that Nehemiah's name means "comforted by Jehovah"

Can I share something quick? I am in a church that left another church. There were about 100 of us including the Pastor. We were like "a city without walls"...we have been together for over a year now and we are growing and building..and you know how we are building..by each one of using the gifts that God gave us! I see what is happening and it is exciting..and as we will soon talk about, like Nehemiah found favor in the eyes of the King. How neat is this? We meet in a public school and the town loves us! They are always there to help us when we need it...Unheard of in a worldly perspective! I am going to love this study!

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 14th 2007, 09:52 PM
Judy,

If you'll have me, i would like to try and join this discussion.
I did pretty much skip your intro though after i glanced at it. I want to enter this study without previous ideas and see where i will be led scripturally, and see what revelations come upon me.

I will try to do chapter by chapter.....


Shalom,
Tanja

Teke
Apr 15th 2007, 12:06 AM
thank you...I am really going to pray about it..so here is my question..I love prayer, I believe God hears me and answers me when I call on HIm...why is fasting more important to God in answering my prayers than me going boldly before His throne...



Jesus teaches on fasting in Matt. 6. Fasting helps to focus the heart in denying the passions of our flesh.

Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

I wouldn't say one is more important than the other (fasting and prayer), they go hand in hand.

Diggindeeper
Apr 15th 2007, 12:30 AM
Tanja...you are more than welcome to join in! We are just now taking off...not a lot to catch up on.

Let me tell you, I LOVE the book of Nehemiah! I really, really look up tp that man! What first got me very interested in studying his book was when he was told about the plight of his people, it literally grieved his heart!

At first, I could not imagine WHY he began to weep, and pray, and was fasting. He was so, so hurt that his people were in such a mess! And so "wide-open" to the enemy!

Over the years, I have known people who also were "wide-open" to the enemy. Still know some today! Perhaps some of us in this study have not guarded OUR gates, and the enemy has come in and taken over...

About Nehemiah, I believe at first, it just broke his heart to think that his people had no protection, and were trying to live in the midst of rubble and ruin. What a sad state to be in.

So, being so terribly hurt by this news, so saddened by it, notice what he did: He started praying!
For days he prayed!
Did you hear me? He prayed for days. Day and night, he prayed...

We stopped here:
Nehemiah 1:4
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

verses 5-11:
5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.


Here are some of my thoughts:

Verse #4: Nehemiah had not yet seen firsthand the Holy City's ruins, with the pile of rubble for a wall and cinders and ashes for gates. But his pain for his fellow countrymen was plain.


Verses 5-11: For many days and nights he wept , mourned, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. He poured his heart out for his people!

Not many of us today pray that long, or are burdened as badly for our friends, neighbors and family!

How he prayed:
1- Notice he confessed his sins,
2- the sins of his people,
3- and even the sins of his ancestors.
4- He prayed God's word back to him.

In Nehemiah 1:9, he reminds God that he said,

"But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there."


Now, what are your thoughts on this? Share any thoughts or comments on Nehemiah's prayers....

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 15th 2007, 12:48 AM
Nehemia

Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital,

As an aside: the first thing standing out is Kislev, which seems important that it was mentioned: Kislev is the 9th month in the Jewish year and is a month between November and December. The major holiday celebrated in that month is Hanukkah, though it is not in scripture. I suggest looking into what the Menorah stands for that is used for that holiday. Though the menorah that was used in the temple and the one used at Hanukkah are different in that the temple one only had 7 branches, and the Hanukkiah one has 8 of equal size. Below is a link on the symbology and meaning of the Menorah:
http://www.thehope.org/menorah.htm

Neh 1:2 one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain men from Judah; and
I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had escaped the
captivity, and about Jerusalem.

Hanani means Gracious
Side note: Yeshua is a descendant from the tribe of Judah

The words that stand out are “survived”, and “captivity”.
Captivity reminds me of the yoke of bondage to sin which the people of
Israel were enslaved to when they were kept as slaves in Egypt.
(which was a picture of being in bondage to sin)

Survived to me implies saved from judgment which is implied in the next
verse as “Fire” I believe implies Judgment, as we see the word in the next
verse. It could also refer to being tried by fire:
Num 31:23 everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless, it shall also be purified with the water for impurity. And whatever cannot stand the fire, you shall pass through the water.
Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
I’m not sure which one, or if both apply yet, further study will bear it out.
Neh 1:3 They replied, "The survivors there in the province who escaped
captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken
down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire."

The Wall of Jerusalem reminds me of the Armor of God having been broken
down. Hence the great trouble and shame.

Next we see Nehemia praying for his people confessing they had sinned.
And as Karenoka pointed out the name means: “comforted or consoled by
God”.

Neh 1:4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Neh 1:5 And I said, "O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Neh 1:6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned.

In this I see Nehemia being a picture of Christ, weeping, mourning, fasting and praying. Nehemia reminds God of the covenant that was made in Exodus when He gave the Law to Moses, and it is again relayed in Deuteronomy.

Neh 1:7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
Neh 1:8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,
Neh 1:9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your dispersed be under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.'

I see a direct correlation between these verses and the ones in
Deuteronomy:

Neh 1:8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,
Neh 1:9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your dispersed be under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.'

Deu 30:1 "And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you,
Deu 30:2 and return to the LORD your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deu 30:3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
Deu 30:4 If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.
Deu 30:5 And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers.
Deu 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Basically I see the same covenant reaching farther and farther through time, stretching like our universe, til the day God will collapse it all, to bring us back to one place: the New Jerusalem. To the land Promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Neh 1:11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant,
and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give
success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."
Now I was cupbearer to the king.

The cupbearer reminds me again specifically of Yeshua, who said:

Mat 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying,
"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as
I will, but as you will."

Cupbearer here means:
H8248
שׁקה
shâqâh
1a) (Hiphil) [8688]
1a1) to water, irrigate
1a2) to water, give drink to

So Nehemia calls himself the King’s Cupbearer, which to me is a direct comparison to Yeshua, and the work He did.

Chapter two starts out very fascinating, and this Chapter could be considered the prelude.

Diggindeeper
Apr 15th 2007, 03:17 AM
Speaking of the king's "cup bearer"...that seems, at first glance, to be a low position in the kings company. But, let me tell you, it was a TRUSTED position!

Being a cup bearer to the king meant that every drink of water or anything that the king drank was first of all tasted--by the cup bearer!

There was always the threat of someone poisoning the king. So, kings had their own, trusted cup bearer! If the drink were to have poison it it, then Nehemiah was risking his life for the one he served as his cup bearer.

CML
Apr 15th 2007, 03:36 AM
Tried to rep you, Judy, but I got the standard "you must spread around reputation before giving it to diggindeeper again"....I just wanted to say Praise the Lord for you doing this!!!!!!!! :)

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 15th 2007, 04:06 AM
Cup bearer = Servant unto death

Diggindeeper
Apr 15th 2007, 04:53 AM
My heartfelt thanks to everyone taking part in this study! You all add so, so much!

And there is so much we can get from this little book! Let me say again...WE ALL HAVE GATES TO GUARD!

karenoka27
Apr 15th 2007, 10:49 AM
These thoughts shared are so awesome. I love seeing the cup bearer as Jesus Christ. Not only did He taste first for us the bitter cup of death, but he tasted it so that we wouldn't have too.

My signature verse has for a long time been Nehemiah 1:11a-"O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant,"

verses 5-11:
5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O LORD, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.

'anna' {awn-naw'} or 'annah {awn-naw'}-ah now! I/we beseech you, oh now!, pray now!

you can almost hear the urgency in Nehemiah's prayer.

"Let now Thine ear be attentive"- 'ozen {o'-zen}-ear, as organ of hearing
I am always in awe of the reality that we serve a Living God who truly hears us when we call on Him."

We are a truly blessed people.

Diggindeeper
Apr 15th 2007, 01:51 PM
NEHEMIAH BIBLE STUDY: Chapter 2
Nehemiah 2:1-6
Nehemiah knew the temple was in ruins...the temple, the place God had chosen for his name to dwell! But, he was well aware that it could not be rebuilt until the gates were restored and the walls fully repaired--to protect the people from the enemy!

Nehemiah had prayed earnestly for days, and he knew where he must begin--with King Artaxerxes!

He needed God to work on the king's heart, to give him compassion for Nehemiah's burden! So one day as he came to give the king his wine (remember, he was the king's CUPBEARER) and on this day, the king noticed something different about Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 2:1-6

1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.


Questions:
Verse 1-
What was DIFFERENT about Nehemiah that day?
How do you think Nehemiah normally was, in all the other days he had served the king his wine?

Verse 2-
The king could not help but notice the sadness on the face of Nehemiah. Explain, in your opinion, how our face tells a lot about us.

Extra scripture about someone's face: See Genesis 4:5-7 This is another example where someone's face (countenance) showed what they were feeling! Who was it? What did their face show?

People...our face says a lot about us! We can't help but show saddness, or anger, or hate, but on the other hand, have you ever seen someone who just seemed to GLOW with a special light about their face, and from their eyes? Only the Lord can do that! When Jesus said, "I am the light of the world", oh my...He really, truly is! And his light can shine from us. Others can literally see something different about a REAL: Christian!

One more extra scripture: See Isaiah 3:8-9 Our countenance can literally tell on us! Don't you agree?


Verses 3 and 4: So Nehemiah told the king what was burdening him down so badly, making him so sad.

Have you ever started to tell someone something that was REALLY hurting you, and it made you so sad, you could not hardly talk for your voice breaking???

Here is something that is still hard for me to tell...

One of my sisters and I were alone with our Mother in the hospitlal room as her breathing got slower, and slower...we kept saying (me on one side, my sister on the other)...we kept saying, "I love you, Mother. I love you." We told her that, and held her hand until she went to be with the Lord. There was nothing else we could do. Nothing else the doctors or nurses could do. It was not easy...I've had to wipe tears away again just now, as I remember...

The nurses rushed in, checked her vital signs, and slowly began turning off the machines that she had been hooked up to. My sister and I cried in each other's arms. After what seemed like an eternity, we knew we had the difficult job of telling our Dad, who was at home recovering from open heart surgery and could only take one visit per day to the hospital. We decided we would both go home, to his bedroom and tell him.

But when we got there, my sister broke down again...well, I did, too.

But, she said to me, "I can't do this. I can't tell my Daddy that our Mother is gone." I remember how I prayed hard to myself for strength and comfort, to be able to tell him, and help him, in his weakened and fragile post-operative condition.

I don't know how I did it, but after praying, I wiped my eyes again, took a deep breath, and went to sit on my Dad's bed. He sat up, like he was waiting for me to say something... I put my arm around his shoulder, swallowed the tears choking me, and said, "Daddy, Mother went to be with the Lord about 40 minutes ago."

His lip quivered, and huge tears overflowed his eyes, and his sobs were heart-breaking. They had been married for 54 years...

But, I held him and my sister came in and held both of us and we cried together.


Verse 5:
If Nehemiah's heart was broken like ours...then no wonder his sadness showed. I kinda think his voice might have broke a few times as he told the king what was breaking his heart and laid out his request before the king.

Verse 6:
What 2 things did the king ask Nehemiah?
What was the king's decision?
Nehemiah told him how long he expected the work to take, and when he would be back.

Comments and thoughts???

OneStep
Apr 15th 2007, 05:46 PM
I may be to late in the starting of this but I am gonna put it in here.
A: Who was Hanani? The brother
B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit? He asked of the Jews that escaped captivity and of the condition of Jerusalem

v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem? A remnant
B:What did Hanani say was wrong? They had great affliction and the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and the gates set afire. Reminded me of Katrina

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother? He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed to God for many days. A deep sorrowful mourning for the afflicted. We should be doing the same for those around us. Sincere prayer for the problems.

B: Why do you think he reacted this way? He was grieved because this was the time of restoring the nation from itís fallen state and the distance of time that he saw was needed for this to take place. Many had fallen and remained in apostasy.
We have this still happening in our world to this day. Many claim servitude of God, some walls are still crumbling in our congregations and many gates are burnt.

OneStep
Apr 15th 2007, 06:10 PM
Chapter 2 Questions:
Verse 1-
What was DIFFERENT about Nehemiah that day? Sadness overwhelmed him
How do you think Nehemiah normally was, in all the other days he had served the king his wine? He had not been sad before this. So he must have been a pleasant servant to his king. Just as we usually are when things are going well. It is in the distress of our lives that we tend to look sad and mournful and begin our pleadingís unto God for deliverance of whatever problem we are having.
Verse 2-
The king could not help but notice the sadness on the face of Nehemiah. Explain, in your opinion, how our face tells a lot about us. Unless you are a professional poker player, the face, especially the eyes, tell the whole story of our state of being. Our expressions are a signal to the world.
Verses 3 and 4: So Nehemiah told the king what was burdening him down so badly, making him so sad. Have you ever started to tell someone something that was REALLY hurting you, and it made you so sad, you could not hardly talk for your voice breaking???
Yes

Verse 5:
If Nehemiah's heart was broken like ours...then no wonder his sadness showed. I kinda think his voice might have broke a few times as he told the king what was breaking his heart and laid out his request before the king. I too think it would be impossible to hide the sorrow that he felt. Nehemiah sought God through prayer, prior to his request of the king.
Verse 6:
What 2 things did the king ask Nehemiah? How long was the journey to take and when would he return
What was the king's decision? Favorable

karenoka27
Apr 15th 2007, 08:19 PM
Questions:
Verse 1-
What was DIFFERENT about Nehemiah that day? His countenance had fallen
How do you think Nehemiah normally was, in all the other days he had served the king his wine? Nehemiah had great respect for the King. He was also very aware of the power the king had over him and everyone else.
He. The king obviously had a certain amount of respect for Nehemiah as well. He trusted Nehemiah with his life since it was Nehemiah who tasted the wine before him. The king probably watched Nehemiah closely each time he sipped the wine..so he got to know his mannerisms and ways.


Verse 2-
The king could not help but notice the sadness on the face of Nehemiah. Explain, in your opinion, how our face tells a lot about us.
Inside I am a very happy person...I live with a situation around me with someone who leans towards depression. I grew up with a depressed mother. Inside I'm smiling, but I guess I never smile a lot on the outside. People are always asking me what's wrong.

Extra scripture about someone's face: See Genesis 4:5-7 This is another example where someone's face (countenance) showed what they were feeling! Who was it? What did their face show?Cain....Their face showed that something was wrong..

Verses 3 and 4: So Nehemiah told the king what was burdening him down so badly, making him so sad.
Have you ever started to tell someone something that was REALLY hurting you, and it made you so sad, you could not hardly talk for your voice breaking???
(Judy, thank you for sharing that with us...you have a beautiful bond with your family)
Verse 5:
If Nehemiah's heart was broken like ours...then no wonder his sadness showed. I kinda think his voice might have broke a few times as he told the king what was breaking his heart and laid out his request before the king.

Verse 6:
What 2 things did the king ask Nehemiah? What do you want? How long will your journey take?
What was the king's decision? he could go
Nehemiah told him how long he expected the work to take, and when he would be back.

Comments and thoughts???
As I was reading about Nehemiah, I started thinking about others in a similar situation...Esther and Joseph came to mind. All three were in places they did not choose to be. All three were there by God's divine providence. And the words of Mordecai come to mind.."and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"(Esther 4:14)
It reminds me that no matter where I am in life, even when it seems so terrible, it could be the very place God wants me for His purpose and for His glory.

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 16th 2007, 05:59 PM
Chapter 2

Neh 2:1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.

Nisan, is the month in which we celebrate Passover and the feast of the unleavened bread.
He took up the wine, just as Yeshua did on his last Passover “giving it to the King”

In this light I would like everyone to read this scriptures as if Yeshua is speaking to His Father:

Neh 2:2 And the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart." Then I was very much afraid.
Mat 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

Neh 2:3 I said to the king, "Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"

Neh 2:4 Then the king said to me, "What are you requesting?" So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Neh 2:5 And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it."

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Neh 2:7 And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah,

Judah means celebrate
Not sure what the letters would refer to. Maybe the prophets who spoke of
Yeshua to come?

Neh 2:8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy." And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.

Asaph means gatherer and he’s the keeper of the King’s forrest

Mat 3:10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Mat 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen.

Kings letters stands out, and I’m not sure what it relates to yet.
But the horsemen and officers of the army remind me specifically of this:

Rev 6:2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.

Neh 2:10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah, the Ammonite servant, heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

Sanballat is a Moabite and his name means “strength” and moab means “of his father”

מואב
mô'âb
mo-awb
From a prolonged form of the prepositional prefix “m-” and H1; from (her (the mother’s)) father; Moab, an incestuous son of Lot; also his territory and descendants: - Moab.

So in light of this Sanballat reminds me of whom it is spoken here:

Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

So Sanballat and his minion were trembling at the idea Yeshua cared about Israel and the people.

Neh 2:11 So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days.

Mat 12:40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Neh 2:12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode.

Neh 2:13 I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire.
Valley Gate reminds me of this:

Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Dragon spring I believe is the place of the serpent and dung port a
reference to hell, specifically “Gehenna”

G1067
γέεννα
geenna
gheh'-en-nah
Of Hebrew origin ([H1516] and [H2011]); valley of (the son of) Hinnom; gehenna (or Ge-Hinnom), a valley of Jerusalem, used (figuratively) as a name for the place (or state) of everlasting punishment: - hell.

Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King's Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass.
King’s pool.. living water comes to mind.

Neh 2:15 Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned.

Back to the tomb ?

Neh 2:16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

Nice! I like that: Yeshua went away unseen within the confines of the tomb
while they (Pharisees, priests and Sadducees) were Oblivious, and busy with
Passover preparations they did not know what Yeshua had done.

Neh 2:17 Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision."

This to me speaks of Yeshua sending out His apostles.

Neh 2:18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, "Let us rise up and build." So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, "What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?"
Neh 2:20 Then I replied to them, "The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem."

The last verse appears very self-explanatory if one considers everything to
be a picture of Yeshua, and his disciples.

I am probably missing some things still and will add to this as time goes on.

Diggindeeper
Apr 16th 2007, 06:27 PM
Tanja...you gotta slow down, girl...you're out running me! :rofl: I only posted through verse 6...but you've gone on to verse 20! And we seem to be teaching two different things here.

By out-running me, where we have not even gone yet...I hope you are not missing what I'm trying to show here that the Lord has shown me, in connection to Nehemiah and us, today, in this year 2006, and to all that goes on about us, and why it is so important to guard our gates, and what happens when we start to rebuild our gates!

I know this is a great book, with lots to say to us, but back up, with us, you little Speedy Alka-setzer! :lol: (See where we are in my post, number 22)

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 16th 2007, 06:38 PM
OOps :blush:

I'm sorry Judy, i really didn't mean to, i just do one chapter at a time when i can (when kids are in bed), to get it done. I didn't mean to outspeed you.

I was just posting what i see.....

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 16th 2007, 06:48 PM
Judy,

I am not quite seeing the same as you, and it is difficult for me to reconcile the things you see with what i see, so forgive me if i post something not in line with your thoughts. Is that bad ?
I guess i just see things in a different light. :dunno:

Diggindeeper
Apr 16th 2007, 07:17 PM
Not bad...but I really believe you WILL see as we progress.

Tanja, this so, so relates to OUR gates that need guarding! I suppose my being older, I have seen so many walls torn down and lives left in rubble, and gates gone, or left unguarded, and the enemy completely taking over!
Entire families, homes, lives!

Nehemiah speaks so much to US, Tanja! Please go back and read what I have posted in this study. Really read it again, and if you don't have gates that need guarding, then you are so very fortunate!

How badly we need the walls rebuilt, and the gates restored!

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 16th 2007, 08:12 PM
Judy, i did read that.... i see it mostly being a picture of Yeshua who is to come.

I do however see it about being obedient to God, and repenting, and turning back from sin.

I see it being about a nation who turned rebellious, violating His covenant by disobedience, and thus God left them to be unprotected.

Joh 6:56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

Then Yeshua the servant, and cup bearer is grieved and prays to God, to allow him to restore His people.

Matter of fact i see the coming of Yeshua in the flesh in Nehemia, as well as Yeshua's second return.

I see Yeshua being the one to guard our gates, and rebuilding His people, and thus His house.

This meaning: Yeshua guarding our Gates as long as we abide in Him.

I guess i'm starting to get what you're saying:

It is through Yeshua, through the Word, that we abide in Him, and by doing the things commanded of us, that we are guarding our gates.

I'm just trying to put what i saw in thoughts, i hope this didn't come out argumentative.

Teke
Apr 17th 2007, 12:19 AM
How badly we need the walls rebuilt, and the gates restored!

Yes the church needs to do this.:)

Diggindeeper
Apr 17th 2007, 12:47 AM
Now, to summarize where we were...
OneStep, I think you summed something up very well when you said:

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother? He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed to God for many days. A deep sorrowful mourning for the afflicted. We should be doing the same for those around us. Sincere prayer for the problems.

B: Why do you think he reacted this way? He was grieved because this was the time of restoring the nation from itís fallen state and the distance of time that he saw was needed for this to take place. Many had fallen and remained in apostasy.
We have this still happening in our world to this day. Many claim servitude of God, some walls are still crumbling in our congregations and many gates are burnt.


Yes, today there is not enough deep, sorrowful morning for the afflicted! Marriages and homes are in shambles! Some on this board are experiencing this even as we talk! Some have children who have been "captured by the enemy," through drugs, peer pressure, and many more ways. We see television and movies and even video games getting more and more violent, or 4-X rated, and promoting lifestyles that Christians ought not to support...but how many continue to watch, or to hand the money to their children who purchase the violent games?

Gates not guarded!

Yes, this carries over into the churches. To the workplace. To the schools.

Nehemiah's heart was literally broken because his people, perhaps even some family members, were barely surviving in the midst of the ruin and destruction! And he knew deep down inside that the walls of protection MUST be rebuilt! Those Gates MUST be restored, to keep out the enemy!

But, what a job! He was so burdened, he had cried and cried, prayed day and night, and fasted. He knew what had to be done...he also knew who was to see that the walls were rebuilt and the gates restored! God had placed the burden of the work on the shoulders of Nehemiah! How frightening that must have been!

But, even before he could figure a way to approach the king, the king himself saw the countenance of Nehemiah, and knew something was wrong! Nehemiah was so sad, it showed all over him!

But God had everything laid out for Nehemiah....when we continue on in this study, we will see how things indeed DO work out!

I'll wait for more comments for a day or so, then we'll continue....

Diggindeeper
Apr 17th 2007, 01:02 AM
Teke, you are so right! But, we are the church! The church can't guard our homes, or our children, or control what we allow into our homes. I offer that WE are the church! It is not just a building down the street. The church is US!

Over the years, I have helped start 5 church libraries. Boy, did we have to guard those gates! To church libraries! You'd be surprised what people donate. Many books we had to READ, to see if they were fit for a church library!

I had a policy that anything the Library committee rejected was sent on with a note to the Pastor or his wife, explaining WHY it was rejected--we had books donated from the Watch Tower, and other places that we could not allow in the church library. Some had bad language. But, the Library was only one area where someone had to guard the gates.

karenoka27
Apr 17th 2007, 01:08 AM
Judy I used to order the tracts for the church I was in...you wouldn't believe some of the tracts that I would receive...I would have to go through every one that came to me in the mail. Everything in every area has to be guarded and watched.....

Diggindeeper
Apr 17th 2007, 01:32 AM
But Karen, if the gates are NOT guarded, then what happens?

Teke
Apr 17th 2007, 02:12 AM
Teke, you are so right! But, we are the church! The church can't guard our homes, or our children, or control what we allow into our homes. I offer that WE are the church! It is not just a building down the street. The church is US!



Christians (the Church) are the "keepers" of "the faith of Jesus". :)

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 17th 2007, 02:37 AM
Teke, i think the saints are each single one of us, not just the church as a whole. I'm a saint and so is anyone else who follows the Word. Endurance is for each single one of us.

Teke
Apr 17th 2007, 02:58 AM
Nehemiah Bible Study: Part 1

Our study in Nehemiah will show us how this book relates to things going on in our world, today!

For example, two teenaged boys in Littleton, Colorado, stockpiled weapons in their bedrooms. They were making bombs in their garage. They sent threats to peers by way of the internet and by phone. They came to school one day in their usual black trenchcoats, which was their normal way of dressing, but on this particular day...the two teenaged boys killed their classmates, their teachers and themselves! Do you remember that?

We can't help but ask, "Could this have prevented? How in the world do people get so bad?" Now, to our study...


Some Background Information:

The children of Israel, God's chosen people, time and time again disobeyed and turned their backs on God until finally...God allowed the enemy (the Babylonians) to come in, destroy the city, and carry away the people as slaves in Babylon. Everything was in ruins! Some years later (I've read it was 94 years later), a remnant was able to return to Jerusalem, but destruction was all around them!

Nehemiah's brother was one of those did return to Jerusalem. He came one day to visit Nehemiah and here is what happened:

Nehemiah 1:1-4 (KJV)
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah.
And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,


Give your answers, thoughts and comments to the following: (2-4)

V. 1 The book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah himself, telling about
his days when he served in the King's Palace in Shushan.

v. 2
A: Who was Hanani?
B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit?

v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem?
B:What did Hanani say was wrong?

v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother?
B: Why do you think he reacted this way?


After everyone has answered these questions, I will add my thoughts...



Didn't see your questions answered.


1 The book of Nehemiah was written by Nehemiah himself, telling about
his days when he served in the King's Palace in Shushan.

16 yrs I believe he was there, the Prince Nehemiah. Nehemiah is one of the "princes" (9:38) who signed the Solomon Covenant. A prince of Judah, one taken to Babylon. The others who signed were Zidkijah, a son of king Jehoiakim (1 Chron. 3:16), and the next (your second question) Hanani, his brother or kinsman (Hanani is a shortened form of Hananiah, compare v2 and 7:2)was another "prince", renamed Shadrach (Daniel 1:3-6). Nehemiah was the Sheshbazzar of Ezra 1:8. Which is why Ezra is usually read with this book of Nehemiah.



B: What did Nehemiah ask his brother about when he came to the
Palace to visit?

Jerusalem


v. 3
A: Were there many people who managed to return to Jerusalem?

A remnant, see Jeremiah 40-44. Only a few poor serfs there (Jer. 52:15,16).




v.4
A: What happened to Nehemiah when he heard this news from his brother?
B: Why do you think he reacted this way?

Nehemiah was a man of prayer.
Interesting in verse 4, the words, "the God of heaven", a title peculiar to the "times of the Gentiles", when God dwells no longer "between the Cherubim" but acts from a distance.

OneStep
Apr 17th 2007, 03:18 AM
Do you consider us to be just saints, or are we to be disciples, as in Luke 14:26.
Do you consider saints and disciples to be one and the same, being an interchangeable word/meaning?

Jesusinmyheart
Apr 17th 2007, 05:50 AM
Both, and more :lol:

1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, [10] in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

corijoysdad
Apr 17th 2007, 06:18 AM
Questions:
Verse 1-
What was DIFFERENT about Nehemiah that day?
How do you think Nehemiah normally was, in all the other days he had served the king his wine?
Nehemiah was most likely very withdrawn and sullen that day. As the verse says, his countenance was low. Normally, he was porbably very attentive to his duties and to the king.

Verse 2-
The king could not help but notice the sadness on the face of Nehemiah. Explain, in your opinion, how our face tells a lot about us.
People...our face says a lot about us! We can't help but show saddness, or anger, or hate, but on the other hand, have you ever seen someone who just seemed to GLOW with a special light about their face, and from their eyes? Only the Lord can do that! When Jesus said, "I am the light of the world", oh my...He really, truly is! And his light can shine from us. Others can literally see something different about a REAL: Christian!
I think that regardless of what we say or how we act, our face really reflects our mood. For me, this is especialy true when God has laid something heavy on my heart, or when I am right in the middle of some serious conviction by the Holy Spirit. Those who know me, even a little, know that something's on my mind, even though I say everything's fine.



Verses 3 and 4: So Nehemiah told the king what was burdening him down so badly, making him so sad.

Have you ever started to tell someone something that was REALLY hurting you, and it made you so sad, you could not hardly talk for your voice breaking???

Here is something that is still hard for me to tell...

One of my sisters and I were alone with our Mother in the hospitlal room as her breathing got slower, and slower...we kept saying (me on one side, my sister on the other)...we kept saying, "I love you, Mother. I love you." We told her that, and held her hand until she went to be with the Lord. There was nothing else we could do. Nothing else the doctors or nurses could do. It was not easy...I've had to wipe tears away again just now, as I remember...

The nurses rushed in, checked her vital signs, and slowly began turning off the machines that she had been hooked up to. My sister and I cried in each other's arms. After what seemed like an eternity, we knew we had the difficult job of telling our Dad, who was at home recovering from open heart surgery and could only take one visit per day to the hospital. We decided we would both go home, to his bedroom and tell him.

But when we got there, my sister broke down again...well, I did, too.

But, she said to me, "I can't do this. I can't tell my Daddy that our Mother is gone." I remember how I prayed hard to myself for strength and comfort, to be able to tell him, and help him, in his weakened and fragile post-operative condition.

I don't know how I did it, but after praying, I wiped my eyes again, took a deep breath, and went to sit on my Dad's bed. He sat up, like he was waiting for me to say something... I put my arm around his shoulder, swallowed the tears choking me, and said, "Daddy, Mother went to be with the Lord about 40 minutes ago."

His lip quivered, and huge tears overflowed his eyes, and his sobs were heart-breaking. They had been married for 54 years...

But, I held him and my sister came in and held both of us and we cried together.

Verse 5:
If Nehemiah's heart was broken like ours...then no wonder his sadness showed. I kinda think his voice might have broke a few times as he told the king what was breaking his heart and laid out his request before the king.
I've been through a situation much like your's, Judy. The day Cori died, I had to call my Mom and Aunt after we got back from the hospital to tell them she didn't make it. I just remember the grief and anquish and not being able to get out more than a few words without breaking down. I'm sure that Nehemiah was experiencing this same pain when he was telling the king about his city and it was all he could do to tell the king what had happened.


Verse 6:
What 2 things did the king ask Nehemiah?
What was the king's decision?
Nehemiah told him how long he expected the work to take, and when he would be back.

Comments and thoughts???

The king asked how long his journey would be and when he would return. he then gave Nehemiah permission to go.

I think that sometimes, suffering heavy grief or pain can be much like walls crumbling down around us. It is we are in deep despair that we can be most vulnerable, without protection. We must rely on the strength of God to be our strength through those tough times and to be the wall that protect us from a relentless enemy.

Teke
Apr 17th 2007, 01:32 PM
NEHEMIAH BIBLE STUDY: Chapter 2
Nehemiah 2:1-6
Nehemiah knew the temple was in ruins...the temple, the place God had chosen for his name to dwell! But, he was well aware that it could not be rebuilt until the gates were restored and the walls fully repaired--to protect the people from the enemy!

Nehemiah had prayed earnestly for days, and he knew where he must begin--with King Artaxerxes!

He needed God to work on the king's heart, to give him compassion for Nehemiah's burden! So one day as he came to give the king his wine (remember, he was the king's CUPBEARER) and on this day, the king noticed something different about Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 2:1-6

1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.

Since it's Nisan now, it's been four months since Nehemiah received the news.
For four months he's been sad, just not in the presence of the king. And who is this king. Artaxerxes=the great king. An appeliative (like Pharoah, Czar....)used of several kings of Persia. This Artaxerxes was the great king Astyages (of Herodotus), and Arsames (of Darius Hystaspia' inscription), the husband of Esther, and father of Cyrus.
He was also the Ahasuerus of Est. 1:1, which means "the venerable king"; and he was also the "Darius the Mede" of Ezra 6:14 and Daniel 5:31.
to put in perspective



2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

"sorrow of heart" breaks the spirit.
Pro 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.


[FONT=Verdana]3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever:
The usual Oriental salutation.


why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

There is that "God of heaven" again.:)


5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

This Hebrew word used for "the queen" occurs only here and a couple other places. It is a word borrowed from the Akkadian sha=a bride, and gal=great. Used of a foreign queen. Here it would suit the "great bride" or "foreign (Jewish) queen" Esther.
Esther is introduced here (parenthetically) because of her sympathy and interest, which Nehemiah so greatly needed at this juncture, as Mordecai had needed it before (Est. 4:14).

"it pleased the king", the fruit of Nehemiah's prayer. :pray:

TrustingFollower
Apr 17th 2007, 06:40 PM
Questions:
Verse 1-
What was DIFFERENT about Nehemiah that day?
How do you think Nehemiah normally was, in all the other days he had served the king his wine?

I think Nehemiah was a solom man and dignified. As the cup bearer he would be a presents most of the time the king was in public, but he was not to take attention away from the king. He must have had a look of defeat about him


Verse 2-
The king could not help but notice the sadness on the face of Nehemiah. Explain, in your opinion, how our face tells a lot about us.

Our face is the reflection of our heart.



Verse 5:
If Nehemiah's heart was broken like ours...then no wonder his sadness showed. I kinda think his voice might have broke a few times as he told the king what was breaking his heart and laid out his request before the king.

Verse 6:
What 2 things did the king ask Nehemiah?
What was the king's decision?
Nehemiah told him how long he expected the work to take, and when he would be back.

Comments and thoughts???

What I find that stand out the most to me is Nehemiah's respect for his king, but he turns to God first before answering the king. Because he turned to God first he was able to give the king definite answers to the questions.

karenoka27
Apr 18th 2007, 02:08 PM
What I find that stand out the most to me is Nehemiah's respect for his king, but he turns to God first before answering the king. Because he turned to God first he was able to give the king definite answers to the questions.

What a beautiful thought. That really spoke to me. Being part of a new church, having an active role in it...I must always remember that before I look to anyone...Pastor, Elders, deacons etc...I must go to my God...
The reason why what you said really speaks to me is because sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the logistics of things and then end up frustrated. This has not failed me yet....when I bring those frustrations before the Lord instead of others in the church..He always intervenes. There are times when I might have to have an active role in saying something like Nehemiah did when he spoke to the king, but having prayed first I have more confidence in what I am saying.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Diggindeeper
Apr 18th 2007, 05:00 PM
Continuing...The king granted Nehemiah permission to go to Jerusalem...because Nehemiah had prayed so long and from the depths of his heart, and Nehemiah told him where he needed to go, and how long he would be gone.

It seems when we are in God's will, and we just know that we know we are doing what he wants us to do...We know because we have been in prayer, we have confessed our sins and our shortcomings and our apathy, we are living totally for Christ, the very best we can...

We are studying His holy Word, and fellowshipping with Christians, and our Lord is our total focus...

It is then, after we have been doing all that....something is laid on our heart to do for God, or a door opens that we are supposed to walk through! So we start our journey through that open door, or go to do what he has laid on our heart to do for Him....

And amazingly, everything just works out! Things go smoothly! We find favor with people...

Look what happened to Nehemiah when it was laid on his heart to go, and rebuild the walls and the gates of his beloved city, Jerusalem.

Verses 7, 8, 9
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;

8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

9 Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

It appears that the king was more than Nehemiah's employer...he has such respect for Nehemiah that he even sent an army to protect him and give him safe passage to Jerusalem!

But BEWARE! Even when things are going so well, your path has been laid out before you, and an army has been sent to protect you...you may not know it, but trouble WILL arrive! Nehemiah had enemies he did not even know! But they did not like it at all that Nehemiah was coming to "seek the welfare" of God's chosen people! Nehemiah is about to find out that not everybody wants the walls rebuilt, and the gates repaired!)

Verses 10-11
10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.



Questions:
Verses 7 and 8:
I believe it was with fear and trembling that Nehemiah approached the king to ask him for things he would need for his journey!

What did he ask for in verse 7 and 8?
What did the king give him?

Verse 9:
Did the kings of the other regions allow him safe passage?

Why was Nehemiah able to go, and his provisions provided, even a military escort? (The answer is in verse 8. Nehemiah HIMSELF told us why he was granted all these favors.)

Verse 10-11:
Who were Nehemiah's enemies?
What did they have against him?

I wonder...why did they want Nehemiah to fail?

Comments? Thoughts? Questions? (I'll add mine when everyone is finished.)

TrustingFollower
Apr 18th 2007, 06:41 PM
.
Questions:
Verses 7 and 8:
I believe it was with fear and trembling that Nehemiah approached the king to ask him for things he would need for his journey!

What did he ask for in verse 7 and 8?
What did the king give him?

He asked the king for favors from the kings governors and for the materials needed to make the repairs. The king held great favor for Nehemiah, so great that he also sent an army to protect him.



Verse 9:
Did the kings of the other regions allow him safe passage?

Why was Nehemiah able to go, and his provisions provided, even a military escort? (The answer is in verse 8. Nehemiah HIMSELF told us why he was granted all these favors.)


Nehemiah was granted these provisions because God made it all possible. God also had favor on Nehemiah because he was a good and faithful servant of the Lord.



Verse 10-11:
Who were Nehemiah's enemies?
What did they have against him?

I wonder...why did they want Nehemiah to fail?

Comments? Thoughts? Questions? (I'll add mine when everyone is finished.)


Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official were not enemies of Nehemiah, but were enemies of Israel and the God of Israel. They wanted Nehemiah to fail because they thought that would show defeat of the God of Israel.

The Horonites and the Ammonites were not Gods chosen people and they did not worship God. They had chosen to turn from God and thought they could do things better then God.

Its plain to see so far in the book that we server a God of love. Nehemiah has shown love for the people of Jerusalem with his prayers and sorrow. God also shows love by granting all that Nehemiah needs thus far, even an army for further protection.

The Horonites and the Ammonites show anger and hate at even the word that someone wants to repair the city. They show the traits of the great deceiver and an example of the world today. Todays world wants to tear down all that God ordains and blesses. The world today is quick to judge and cast stones. We need to be on guard and trust in God for our protection in all that we do. Just like with Nehemiah God will provide what you need when you consult him first, trust him fully and obey what he tells you to do.

OneStep
Apr 18th 2007, 11:32 PM
Nehemiah 2:7-11 Questions and Answers :
What did he ask for in verse 7 and 8? Letters for passage beyond the river and for Asaph the keeper of the kings forest that he may have the material need to rebuild.

What did the king give him? He granted the request according to Godís desire

Verse 9:
Did the kings of the other regions allow him safe passage? Yes, although I believe they would have faced difficulty if it had not been for the ďarmies of GodĒ.

Verse 10-11:
Who were Nehemiah's enemies? Sanballat, the Horonite, Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite and Geshem the Arabian (Nehemiah 2:19, 4:1)
What did they have against him? They were enemies of the Jews. Sanballat was with the army of Samaria, he was brought into the land by the Assyrians after the Israelites were removed into captivity.
Tobiah was a descendant of Lot. They did not have an inheritance in Israel.

Comments? Thoughts? Questions? (I'll add mine when everyone is finished.)

The letters , to me, represent Godís direction and blessings. The armies being protection provided by God. By being prayerful and subject to Godís will, our lives will be ever so much easier and fewer battles

By there being 3 distinct enemies against the Jews, would be in opposition to God, 3 being the number of divine perfection
Manís three greatest enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world = Is set against the Father (1 John 2:15-16)
The flesh = Is set against the Spirit ( Galatians 5:17)
The devil = Is set against the Son (Matthew 4:1 and 1 John 3:8)

The enemy will try to prevent you from receiving the blessings of Godís promise.

We must arm ourselves with the WHOLE armor of God, which includes waiting upon Him for instruction and direction.

Diggindeeper
Apr 19th 2007, 04:10 AM
Friends, you are doing some studying! Those have been really good answers. In fact, you took some of my thoughts, too!

I will add this...
When we are going the way God wants us to go, and doing what we know He wants...our king provides us the means to get there! Nehemiah had not asked for military help...but his king gave it for his safety and protection!

Nehemiah said, "And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me." There was no question in Nehemiah's mind about who was actually giving him the things he needed--it was because the good hand of God upon him!"

If you don't remember anything else that I ever say to you, remember this...

God never calls the qualified....He qualifies the called!
Nehemiah is proof of that.

(Next...I'll post this tomorrowl)
Nehemiah 2:11-20

OneStep
Apr 25th 2007, 07:53 PM
Diggindeeper??????
Is it over...we done?????

Diggindeeper
Apr 25th 2007, 09:51 PM
Sorry, everybody! I KNEW that I would not be on here much (if at all) over the weekend because it was our 50th Wedding Anniversary. And our 4 children had a BIG, EVENTFUL weekend planned!

But, I had family come in on Thursday from Birmingham, Alabama. Then, more family came in on Friday...so... I spent precious time with them, before our Anniversary Reception which was on Saturday.

There is more coming, I promise...either tonight or tomorrow morning!

And by the way...thank you for asking! :hug:

Judy

The Parson
Aug 3rd 2007, 09:40 PM
Thread Split to be more managable...

jeffcraig
Mar 12th 2017, 03:44 AM
WHere if ANYwhere is this thread continued ? > where is Part II ? (searched a few times onsite and google and didn't see it)


But Karen, if the gates are NOT guarded, then what happens?

Even IF the gates ARE guarded, look what has happened ! (everywhere on earth since about 100a.d.)
1 John 5:19
We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts].


Christians (the Church) are the "keepers" of "the faith of Jesus".

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

I think most of them have 'slept'. (died)