Jul 16, 2003
Ladies of AIMSK,
I’m going to go and try to break this book down as best as I know how. Remember I wrote about giving a word on this book, Nehemiah. I thought this was a profound book on Leadership and Followship. I learned from Nehemiah in this book and gained knowledged and courage through his own actions. As I read this book in the New Translation Version, I couldn’t put it down. I read it like a novel chapter by chapter. Through each chapter, I broke each verse and scripture down to the core. I studied his every move, every character trait, and every action. Nehemiah has definitely set the standards of, “You won’t be able to lead unless you are willing to follow”. He did both to perfection!!! Let’s go through the chapters of this book. I will give you what the lord gives me to deliver.
Father God I come to you as your humble servant, asking you to give me your word to translate to your people. Decrease me God and Increase you! Whatever is in this word lord Jesus, I’m asking you to open the heart of the woman sitting here reading this word so she can apply it to her own life when it comes to leadership and followship. Father speak to your daughters today and give them the courage to step out on faith and APPLY this word to their lives. It’s just not enough to read the word, but you said we must be doers of the word. Move expeditiously through them today father and bless them! In Jesus name, Amen.
We will explore only the First Chapter of Nehemiah this Morning. In every area God tells me to touch on, it will be highlighted in blue. Then God’s voice will speak through me and translate what God wants you to know concerning Character, Leadership, and Followship. Be blessed!
Background on Nehemiah……………
Purpose: Nehemiah is the last of the Old testament historical books. It tells how the walls were built and the people were renewed through their faith. This book takes place in Jeruselem.
Nehemiah was a Cup Bearer for the King Artaxerxes. A Cup bearer in those days were men/women who tasted the king/queen food or drank their drink before they did to make sure it was satisfactory.
Nehemiah 1 – New Living Translation
1 These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.
Nehemiahs Concern for Jerusalem`
In late autumn of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had survived the captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
Let’s break down things down to the bone. Let’s review Nehemiah feelings, actions, and reactions. Nehemiah shows here to be a caring man. He asked about what was going on in Jerusalem. Nehemiah cared about Ministry. He cared about the people. He asked about what is going on and genuine was in concern for the people.
Question: Do you truly care about Ministry? Do you care about your church home Ministry and what they are actually doing in that Ministry? Do you ever inquire at your church home to see the projects and activities that is taking place and is genuinly concerned for the people the church is targeted in saving and WANT TO BE A PART OF IT?
Nehemiah cared about the people because he asked the question of what was going on in Jerusalem.
3They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been burned.”
Right here the men just delivered BAD NEWS about what was going on in Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed there in Jerusalem. People were not in a place of their faith where they needed to be. Men weren’t being Men of God they should have been. Women weren’t being the Women of God they should have been. They had lost all faith because of the ruins that had happened in Jerusalem. Men who had came there before to try to rebuild the wall was discouraged to do so and it never got done. However, God sends a prophet to restore…………………..
What trouble and disgrace are you at in your life?
4When I heard this, I sat down and wept.
Oh my…Oh my! How often do we as people sit and weep at the bad news that is happenening to the Saints around us? How often do we actually care about the surroundings of the saints and THEIR SPIRITUAL WARFARE? Is it all about us? Is it all about what God is doing in OUR LIFE? Do we ever cry out to God about someone else and their spiritual warfare? When was the last time you sat down and cried over one of your sisters THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW that was going over spiritual warfare?
Look at Nehemiah! He didnt’ know these people. All he knew was that they were saints and their ancestors before them had set them up foul for their living conditions they were in now. He knew that their faith was gone and they had absolutely no hope. Nehemiah wept before he heard anymore news about what was going on. He wept just because ! Just because!
In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
Nehemiah was a man of valor and honor. Here he was fasting and mourning for a people he didn’t know personally. He was praying on their behalf. He was alright in the world he was in as a cup bearer to the King, so why in the world would he disrupt his life by mourning over folks he didn’t even know. Matter, of fact, he didn’t even have a vision about these people before the news. OH, BUT WHEN HE PRAYED TO THE GOD IN HEAVEN.
When was the last time you fasted for someone YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW and their spiritual warfare?
5Then I said, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands,
Nehemiah begins his prayer in Praise and Adoration for the Lord our God. He doesn’t start off his prayers, “Woe is me father. Help me jesus. I’m falling God. Help! Help! Even though his heart has been heavy. Even though he has been weeping. He still honors God by praising him and acknowledging who he is. He said, “YOU GREAT AND AWESOME GOD! YOU KEEP YOUR CONVENANT. YOUR LOVE IS UNFAILING TO THOSE WHO LOVE YOU AND OBEY YOUR COMMANDS. He begins to SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD TO GOD. What he just said was WORD! That was SCRIPTURE! God said that his love unfails those who keeps his commands. Nehemiah was giving scripture that Moses had given them.
This should tell us on how we should begin our prayers. We should begin our prayers in PRAISE AND ADORATION for the Lord Jesus. Forget all this, “Woe is me! Help me pay my rent! Help me pay my light bill!”. What kind of prayer is that to the God who created the sun and the sea. If God made the moon, you don’t think he can’t pay your rent. Your lord God also saved you from all the demons were attacking you in the world, surely he can save whatever circumstance you’re in now. So give him some credit. Don’t begin your prayers with some whack begging! Praise him! Acknowledge him for his wonders and works. Acknowledge how great he is.
Just like you boost up your husband or boyfriend by telling him how fine he is and how good he is to you, you suppose to be doing that 300% to God. If you can tell a HUMAN how good they are, then you can tell the GOD who CREATED HUMANS how great and wonderful he is. Man fails us. God doesn’t! I rather tell the spirit that will never fail me of their wonderous works than boast to a man/woman who have every potential in heaven of letting me down.
Praise God for who he is! Let’s follow Nehemiah example in giving God his props when we go into prayer.
What did your last prayer sound like when you began?
6listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel.
Nehemiah KNEW HIS AUTHORITY! He knew his authority as a Christian. He knew where he stood as a man of God. He told God, “Listen to my prayer. Look down and see me praying night and day . See, we have authority when we are serving God. We dont’ have to come to God all low and wimpy. When we know who we are and who we serve, I can go to God and say, “Hey Lord, Listen to me. I’m your child. Look down on me and see me praying for your people”. He didn’t have some wimp prayer saying, “God, do you hear me? I know I cursed suzie out today and I’m sorry. I know I ain’t worthy Lord Jesus. I know I aint’ all that great father. Can you do me a favor father?
No Christians with Authority come to Christ like, “Hey, Dad! Listen to me for a minute. Hear me as I pray to you.” They come to our father knowing that he hears us. Knowing that we have all authority in heaven to repeat his word back to him. Nehemiah didn’t come to God all scared.
Do you have authority when you pray to God?
I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, laws, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
Oh My Lord Jesus. Nehemiah confessed his sins to the Lord. Nehemiah was sooooooooo bad that he confessed the sins of his own family. Now how often do we go to God on behalf of our family wrong doings? How often do we go to God and say, “Forgive my brother for he is not walking in your way. Forgive my sister for she is not obeying your laws, regulations or comands?”. When do we ever do that? I know I don’t! I know I don’t. Even though Nehemiah knew that his prayer asking for forgivness of his family sins couldn’t save them, but he had enough passion for people to be concerned of where they stood in God’s eyes. Oohhh, how profound. Thank you Nehemiah. Thank you for revelation.
Nehemiah didn’t only go to God telling him what his family did wrong, he said WE HAVE SINNED. WE HAVE SINNED! He didn’t leave himself out. He was a man that admitted his own mistakes and faults. He came to God like that!
Even in that confession, he made God aware that he KNEW THE LAW. Because he said who God gave it to, which was Moses. Do you ever confess your sins to God and then make God aware that you know what the true law is?
Example: God forgive me for my foul mouth today. Forgive me of my tongue today father. You said in your word that a man who claim to be religious but doesn’t control their tongue is just fooling himself and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26).
Do you let God know that you know his law when you confess? Basically telling God, “I’m wrong! You’re right! I confess! Forgive me!
8“Please remember what you told your servant Moses: `If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations. 9But if you return to me and obey my commands, even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’1
Nehemiah was repeating the Word back to God. This shows that for Nehemiah to repeat the word of God, he had to know the word of God. This shows us that Nehemiah studied his word. He chose to follow God’s law. Despite the news Nehemiah just gotten about Jerusalem, he was a man about God’s business in his personal life. He studied the word. He prayed it so easily. He studied often.
Can you repeat scripture back to God?
10“We are your servants, the people you rescued by your great power and might. 11O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you.
Nehemiah was telling God, I HONOR YOU. FIND DELIGHT IN ME JESUS. YOU HAVE RESCUED YOUR PEOPLE BEFORE GOD. DO IT AGAIN! DO IT AGAIN!
Please grant me success now as I go to ask the king  for a great favor. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.
Nehemiah wasn’t a punk! He wasn’t no punk! He asked God for success. Nehemiah basically prayed in this chapter for God to help him help God’s people. Nehemiah felt bad for what the saints were going through in Jerusalem and he wanted to help. He wanted to be a part of helping the people of God come out of spiritual bondage. He wanted to be used by God to help the people of God get out of spiritual warfare. He asked God, “PLEASE GRANT ME SUCCESS NOW! ”
That NOW sounds like Authority to me! That Now sounds like, “God, I serve you. I honor you. I love you. I pray to you. I’m faithful to you. You hear me when I call you. I’m asking NOW! He didn’t say, “Well, God if you feel like it. God if you want to. God if you can. Nehemiah said, GRANT ME FAVOR NOW!
See, Nehemiah also realized that in order for him to complete God’s mighty work, he would need other folks favor. Oh my! Oh my! Nehemiah knew that God would send him to do what he needed him to do, but Nehemiah knew that God would have to soften mens heart so he could get to the places God was going to send him.
That’s a word. That’s a word! Nehemiah didn’t start acting all crazy to the King. He didn’t go to the King after this and thought his stuff didn’t stink talking about, “HEY I’M ON A MISSION FROM GOD. I’M ABOUT TO DROP BEING CUP BEARER. SEE YA!”
No Nehemiah had enough sense to do things in DECENCY AND IN ORDER. He didn’t run out on a prayer. He followed proper protocal. He told HIS MASTER (GOD) to bless his eartly MASTER (the King)to give him (nehemiah) favor. Although our heavenly Master outweigh all authority here on earth, Nehemiah didn’t overstep the Kings authority because he was about to get a job from the real master, God.
Did yall just get that? Nehemiah told God, “Put it on his heart to be kind to me”. Wow!!! What also does this show you about God? Maybe before we begin doing things, we need to check with our master first. We need to tell God to prepare the hearts of folks that we have to deal with.
See MAN CONTROLS NOTHING. God controls EVERYTHING. So I rather pray to the GOD that controls everything, so it can work in all of my situations. I waste my time asking man to pray for me. I need to pray to God who controls what I’m going through! Oh my lord jesus. See, I knew I didn’t want to type this thing. I knew I didn’t.
Who hearts have you been asking God to prepare for you?
Are you getting a new job? Have you asked God to prepare the heart of the man who has to interview you?
Do you have to go to court for something? Have you asked God to prepare the heart of the Judge?
Anything that needs to be worked in your favor and you have to deal with man on that level, you need to learn how to pray to the Lord your God to prepare their hearts. If you believe that God is in control of everything, then you must know that he controls the hearts of men.
He truly will make all things work in your favor if it is his will.
Thank you Nehemiah for just setting up a great example in only the first chapter. Let’s review. We established that Nehemiah is a caring man. He cared about God’s people. He cared about Ministry. He didn’t ask who was the leader. He didn’t inquire about who was heading up stuff. He wanted to know about God’s people and what was going on. He cared about God’s Ministry. He cried. He was a man but he wasn’t afraid to cry. He wept for the wrong doings of saints and where they were in their faith. He cared! He was a man who studied his word. He believed in the word. He fasted and he prayed. He was a man who had faith enough to pray to the Lord God for answers. He believed in confessing his sins. He honored God. He honored him in his prayer. He had so much compassion for people that he even asked for forgivness for his family sins. Nehemiah was a man about Ministry and business. He saw a problem and wanted to be a part of the solution.
From the first chapter in this book, we can recognize that Nehemiah had all the great tools God needs a leader to be. He honored God! He had compassion! He cared! He prayed! He looked for vision from God! He had respect for the man he was working for, the king!
We can tell just by Nehemiah Characteristics in this first chapter, he was about to be the bomb leader for the Lord Jesus!
Hope I can make it through all 13 chapters. I pray God gives me the time to follow through on this study!
Be blessed ladies!!!!! Lets be on our way in being a NEHEMIAH of our day!
“A Gem that fell from Heaven”
Angela F. Armstrong
Gold there is, and rubies in abundance,
but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel