Friend Christy is going to be teaching the book of Nehemiah in the fall. Christy is such a gifted teacher that if she developed a class on the lessons in the Chicago phone book, I would sign up. Unfortunately, I cannot go to Nehemiah. Yesterday I read through the book to see what I could glean on my own. Briefly, and in no particular order, here is what I found:
Nehemiah's heart was so tender that when he discovered all that had happened in Jerusalem, he wept. Do I weep before God when my fellow brothers and sisters suffer?
N's prayer in chapter 1, verse 5, is beautiful. In the same chapter, when N made his request to the king, he was polite. As he moved on the Jerusalem, he valued his people so much as they rebuilt the wall that he named them individually. When insults were thrown at N, he threw them straight to God in prayer. When a plot against N was discovered, first he prayed, then did the next practical thing: posted a guard. When his own people complained, he pondered their problems then acted promptly going to the leaders. N also came up with a plan repopulate the city. There is a lot of space in the book given to the reading of God's word, followed by praise, then confession followed by praise.
So what are some of the high points of this very quick read?
1. People in our lives are very important
2. Politeness is a good characteristic to have
3. Prayer to God is better than responding to insults
4. Pray first, then do the next practical thing (I think Christy taught me this!)
5. Pondering (thinking hard) is sometimes better than quick action
6. Praise should be my response to God - and often it is not
Okay, this was quick - maybe too quick. Who else is a Nehemiah fan and can add to my list? From this list I do have some things to ponder and pray about today.