I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Nehemiah. What a ride through that period in the history of the Jews, seeing how their spiritual experiences have parallels to our own.
We finish off the series on Nehemiah this Sunday with one message the following week from the book of Ezra that was written by the priest and teacher we have seen already.
In chapter 13 of Nehemiah we hear the final words of a spiritual veteran, a man of God who spent big chunks of his life helping the Jews rebuild their lives on the Word of God along with rebuilding the physical wall and the city itself.
There have been times of great exertion by the people to complete the building project in amazing time while facing fierce opposition. Revival broke out after the reading of the book of the Law and commitments were formally made to God to practice holiness. All of this culminated in a great celebration service punctuated with much praise to God for his greatness and blessings.
Nehemiah returned to Susa to resume his duties with the king after twelve years in Jerusalem. Now, perhaps twenty years later, he returns to Jerusalem to see how the people were doing in keeping their promises to God and bringing glory to God as a testimony to the nations. What he found shocked him. He was not amused.
I’m going to speak to you Sunday about how Nehemiah responded to the spiritual declension and what he wanted to be clear about for his own life. Read Nehemiah 13 and hear the words of a man who had spent himself for the sake of the people and their spiritual identity and destiny. Had it been worthwhile? Had his service for God produced anything of consequence long term? Was God watching and taking notice?
These are the questions of a godly man or woman in later years, when self-evaluation is being made and the desire for leaving a spiritual legacy is intensified. Nehemiah was taking account of his life with the eternal picture in mind. Had he managed his life well and had he influenced others for God by doing so?
These are great questions for any of us to ask ourselves in younger years as well. Experiencing God at work and helping others to do so as well is the best way to live. And at the end of life on earth, what do you want God to say to you? I know what I want to hear….how about you?
See you Sunday….