By Henry Jaegers
Completing the Temple
The book of Nehemiah completes the section of historical books found in the Old Testament. Although it is listed as a separate book, it is actually the second part of one book. The book of Ezra and Nehemiah originally were set forth as one book and focuses on the building of the temple. That was the purpose for which Cyrus drove the Israelites out of Babylon back to their promised land. The purpose was to build the temple.
The book of Ezra and Nehemiah cover a period of about 110 years. These books speak of the building, the obstruction, and the completion of the temple. Upon the building of the walls, the temple was completed and the final act was, instituting the law of God, reading and explaining it with clarity in order for the people to understand and be encouraged.
After the reading of the law by Ezra, the people were greatly encouraged and given determination to continue on as God's chosen people.
But the completion of the temple was accompanied by some negative happenings. As time progressed, the priest became lax in their responsibilities and the people began to worship God in a superficial manner.
To deal with the problems left behind by a corrupted priesthood, Malachi was raised to deal with these problems and we shall discover that upon completion of this book.
As to Nehemiah himself, a simple outline of the book may be:
First, the man himself.
Second, his leadership abilities, and
Finally, his continued ministry up until the final days of his life.
He was not only a great leader, but he was a man greatly involved in keeping corruption from taking hold.
1. Regarding the temple, what does this tell us about Nehemiah the man.
2. In verses five through eleven, consider the various aspects as a model for praying. Consider these elements as a pattern for our own praying.
3. In chapter 2, verses one through six, discuss the caution exercised by Nehemiah as he sought to approach the king
4. In chapter 2, verses 12 to 14, why do you think that Nehemiah kept his mission secret?
5. In chapter 2, verses 17 through 20, discuss the opposition that was mounting and how Nehemiah recognized and handled it.
6. In chapter 4, verses 13 through 23, discuss the strategy employed by the Israelites to keep the enemies from hindering their progress in building the wall.
7 in chapter 5, discuss the problem from within the camp that needed to be addressed before progress could take place?
8. Read chapter 8 summarize the things that took place upon the arrival of Ezra to the temple.
9. In chapter 9, a revival of the people was now about to take place. Discuss the attitudes of the people that precipitated this new thing that God was about to do.
10. In chapter 13, distressing events were occurring in Jerusalem which caused Nehemiah great concern. Read through the chapter to discover the corruption that was taking place that Nehemiah wasn't able to completely contain. Consider this condition caused by a corrupted priesthood that led to the fuser message given by Malachi at the close of this period?