Key Verse 1:4
1. Who was Nehemiah (1:11b)? Who was his boss and what kind of job did he have (2:1)? Where was he living (1)?
2. Why had Israel been exiled to Babylon (8)? What did God promise them after 70 years of exile? What had the retuned exiles began doing (Ez 3:2,3,8) and with what result (Ez 4:4,5,23)? What did Nehemiah hear about them (2,3)? What did Nehemiah do upon hearing this (4)? Why? What can we learn about him?
3. After weeping, what did Nehemiah do (4b)? What can we learn from his prayer about God (5)? About confession of sins (6,7)? About the basis of his prayer (8a)? About having a specific prayer topic (11; Jn 17:1,5)?
GOD’S VISION FOR YOU
Key Verse: 2:17b
1. What was Nehemiah’s request (2:1-9)? Why might this be dangerous (Pr 20:2)? What was the outcome (8b) ? What might be a most important requirement of a leader (1 Sa 17:26)? What is the source of courage (1 Sa 17:37)?
2. What did Nehemiah do when he arrived in Jerusalem (11-16)? Why? What was his decision (17)? How did he plant faith in them (18a)? How did the people respond (18b)? What must a leader be (17)?
3. Who was very upset about the rebuilding project (10,19,20)? What do we learn about doing God’s work (2 Ti 3:12; Jn 15:18)?
BUILDING AT THE GATES
Key Verse: 3:1a
“…Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place…”
1. Read verses 1-2. How does the Sheep Gate remind us of Jesus, the Lamb of God? (Jn 1:21, Jn.10:7-10) Where should building a Christian ministry begin? How did the leaders set a good example?
2. Read verses 3-5. What was the Fish Gate used for? What are some different methods for Christian witness? (Mt. 4:19) How can “outsiders” like the men of Tekoa participate in God’s work?
3. Read verses 6-12. What does “Jeshanah” mean? Which “old” teachings must remain in a new generation? (Jer 6:16, Is 58:12, Mt.5:17) How might tradesmen and women have helped with the work? (8,12) How can you use your skills to serve God’s work?
4. Read verses 13-14. Where did the Valley and Dung Gates lead? How does God help us in the valleys of discouragement? (Ps. 23:4) Are you willing to do unpopular tasks for God as well as glorious tasks? Which habits and attitudes in your life need to be taken out to the trash?
5. Read verses 15-27. Where did the Fountain and Water Gates lead? What does the symbol of water represent in the Bible? (Jn. 4:13,14) What is different about Baruch’s quality of work? (20)
6. Read verses 28-32. What was the Horse Gate used for? How do Christians engage in spiritual warfare? (Eph.6:10-18) What is special about the East Gate? (Ezekiel 43:1-5) What occurred at the Inspection Gate? (1 Cor.3:10-15) What are some advantages of working from home? How do you evaluate your work for God?
HOW TO SUCCEED
Key Verse: 4:14b
1. Briefly review lecture 1. Why was Nehemiah a great leader?
(1) He was a man of heart who _________ for his people (1:4).
(2) He was a man with a _______________ prayer topic (1:11).
(3) He was fearless and ________________ and willing to risk even his life to do the work of God (2:4,5).
(4) He thoroughly assessed the situation and _______________ the problem clearly (2:11-16).
(5) He was a man of _________________, a man of resolve (2:17).
2. What was the response to building the wall of Jerusalem (1-3)? What should we expect whenever we want to do the work of God (Lk 4:14-30; Mk 5:1-17)?
3. How did Nehemiah respond to their insults and persecution (4)? What can we learn about prayer (6, Php 4:13)?
4. As the persecution continued (7,8), what did Nehemiah and the people continue to do (9)? What can we learn about faith and action (Jas 2:22, 26; Eccl 11:6)?
5. Identify the enemy within and the enemy without from verses 10,11. How did Nehemiah deal with these 2 enemies (13,14)? How does Satan weaken us (Heb 2:15; Ro 8:15)? How can we overcome fear (14b, Eph 6:12-17)?
6. What is the fruit of prayer and faith (15)? What can you learn about prayer and strategy in verses 16-23? What was Jesus’ strategy for world conquest with the gospel (Mk 3:14)? Do you have a personal plan and strategy?
Nehemiah 5: 1-19
Key Verse 5:7a
1. Read verses 1-5. What was the outcry of the people about? Who was their outcry against? Why are “enemies” among us and within us more difficult to deal with than enemies from the outside? How does discord among God’s people interrupt God’s work?
2. Read verses 6-13. What does it mean that Nehemiah “pondered” these charges? (Proverbs 16:32, Eph 4:26) How did Nehemiah appeal to the nobles and officials? How did their actions go against God’s redemptive plan? How does the fear of God instill a sense of righteousness? How does public assembly improve accountability?
3. Read verses 14-15. How did Nehemiah show genuine love for his people? How was Nehemiah’s leadership different from the preceding governors? Why did Nehemiah act differently than them? How does Nehemiah’s leadership remind us of Jesus? (John 10:11)
4. Read verse 16-19. Review Nehemiah’s work ethic and methods of management. What source of temptation could have made Nehemiah selfish? How did Nehemiah show concern for the poor? How can we see problems as opportunities for God to work?
WHAT IS YOUR GREAT PROJECT?
Nehemiah 6: 1-19
Key Verse 6:3
1. Read verses 1-4. How had Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Arabs opposed the work of Nehemiah and the Jews? (Neh.4:7-8) How were they now offering to cooperate with Nehemiah? Did Nehemiah compromise with them? When is compromise good and when is it dangerous?
2. Read verses 5-9. How did the enemy slander Nehemiah in these verses? How could this gossip tempt Nehemiah to become fearful? How did Nehemiah handle false accusations?
3. Read verses 10-14. How did Shemaiah’s words threaten Nehemiah and tempt him to act selfishly? How did Nehemiah respond? How can we recognize a false prophet? (Isaiah 8:20)
4. Read verses 15-19. Did the completion of the wall fully defeat the enemies’ intimidation? How did Tobiah attack through political intrigue? How were the nobles of Judah influenced by the enemy? Do human relationships influence or hinder our spiritual unity? How had Nehemiah demonstrated his faithfulness to God?
HOW TO KEEP GROWING AFTER THE WALL IS BUILT
Nehemiah 7: 1-73
Key Verse 7:2
5. Read verses 1-2. How did the roles of the workers change after building the wall was completed? Who did Nehemiah put in charge? What are two most important qualifications for a godly leader?
6. Read verse 3. What direction did Nehemiah give to the guards at the gates? Why is it necessary to guard what we have built? How can we be good guards of God’s church? (Psalm 127:1)
7. Read verses 4-60. How were these people the hope of the Jewish nation? What were the roles of priests? (39), Levites? (43), singers? (44) (Psalm 149:1), gatekeepers? (45) (Neh. 3), temple servants? (46).
8. Read verses 61-69. What was the standard for citizenship in Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time? What happened to the Jews who could not prove their ancestry? How do we prove our heavenly citizenship today? (John 5:24) What were the Urim and Thummim used for? (Exodus 28:30) How do we determine God’s will today? (Psalm 119:105, Matthew 6:10, 7:7)
9. Read verses 70-73. What do the people’s offerings show about them? What offering does God expect of us today? (Mt. 6:33) How did the rebuilt city of Jerusalem make an environment for worshipping God? How does this passage show that people are important to God?
THE JOY OF REPENTANCE
Nehemiah 8: 1-18
Key Verse 8:3b
“And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.”
10. Read verses 1-3. Who Was Ezra? (Ezra 7:10) What did the Water Gate represent? (John 15:3) What was the Book of the Law of Moses? Who asked Ezra to bring out the Book of the Law? Who was in the assembly? How long did Ezra read the Book of the Law aloud? What was the people’s attitude? What is the result of this attitude? (Psalm 1:2-3, Matthew 13:23)
11. Read verses 5-8. How did the Israelites make an environment for Scripture reading in worship? What is an appropriate method for Bible reading in today’s generation? Does the Bible have a single clear message that can be understood by all people? What has God revealed to you through his word recently?
12. Read verses 9-12. Why did all the people weep as they listened to the words of the Law? (Jeremiah 3:21, Romans 3:20, Luke 22:61-62) Why did Nehemiah tell the people to stop weeping and be joyful? (Rev. 21:4, Jer. 31:13, 2 Cor. 7:10) How can we find true joy? (Luke 2:10) What is the connection between joy and strength?
13. Read verses 13-18. What were the Israelites instructed to do during the feast of the seventh month? How did they respond? (James 1:22-25) What was the meaning of living in booths? (Lev. 23:43) Why were the booths necessary now that the walls of Jerusalem were completed? How does remembering faithful acts of God benefit you? What was the result of the people’s obedience? How could living in a booth bring “very great” joy? (Heb. 11:13-16, John 1:14)
THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD
Nehemiah 9: 38
Key Verse 9:17b
1. Read verses 1-3. What did the people do on the 24th day? What is meaningful about these things? What is the meaning of separation from foreigners? Why is confession of sin so important?
2. Read verses 4-15. Describe the praise of God. Describe the people’s confession of sin and God’s response. What are several of God’s characteristics? What are several acts of God that are listed in this passage? How has your life been changed by God’s acts? Do God’s acts give you insights about your “great project” or your life direction?
3. Read verses 16-21. After God blessed Israel, how did the Israelites respond? Describe their rebellion. How did God deal with them after this? What specific blessings did he give? How has the love of God touched your life?
4. Read verses 22-32. What did God do when they reached Caanan? List some specific things they received. What did Israel do after God blessed them this time? Describe the punishment God gave Israel for their disobedience. Why didn’t God destroy Israel? What troubles of the people are mentioned?
5. Read verses 33-38. How did the people compare the conduct of Israel to the conduct of God? How did the Jews summarize their current circumstances? What did they intend to do about this? How can you renew your commitment to God?
HOW CAN I LOVE GOD?
Nehemiah 10: 1-39
Key Verse 10:29b
1. What was done by the people in verses 1-27? How does this follow chapter 9:35-38? What was the meaning of this agreement? Read verses 28-29. Who else joined in this commitment? What did they commit themselves to do? In what way is this similar to our Commitment to Christ according to the New Testament?
2. What did they promise to do in verse 30? What is the reason for this? (Ex. 34:12-16) What did they promise to do in verse 31? What was involved in keeping the Sabbath day? (Ex. 20:8) What is the New Testament equivalent of the Sabbath day? (Mt. 6:33, 1 Cor. 12:27, Eph 4:12) What was the purpose of the cancellation of debts? (Dt. 15:1-6)
3. Read verses 32-33. What was the temple tax and what would it be used for? (Ex. 30:11-16) Read verse 34. What was the wood offering for? (Lev. 6:12, Neh.13:31)
4. What promises were made in verses 35-37? What are the origins of the law of the firstborn and firstfruits? (Ex. 22:29, Ex 23:19a) What were the tithes and why were they given? (Lev. 27:30-33, Mal. 3:10) What offerings does God want us to give according to the New Testament? (Romans 12:1, Mark 12:30,33,44, 1 Cor. 16:1-3)
5. Read verses 38-39. What was the final conclusion about these activities in verse 39?
THE NEW RESIDENTS OF JERUSALEM
Nehemiah 11: 1-36
Key Verse 11:2
1. Read verses 1-2. Where did the leaders of the people live? Where did the other people live? How did they decide where people would live? Explain casting lots. Compare “one out of every ten” to tithing in Nehemiah chapter 10. Why were residents needed in the capital city of Jerusalem?
2. Read verses 4-9. What was special about the descendants of Judah and Benjamin? (1 Kings 11,12) What does it mean that they were “able” (Nehemiah 11:6,14; Ruth 2:1) Why were they needed to live in Jerusalem?
3. Read verses 10-24. What was special about the priests, Levites, and temple workers? (Joshua 21; Jeremiah 40:1-6) Why were they needed to live in Jerusalem?
4. What risks might have been involved in moving their homes to the capitol city of Jerusalem? To what degree does “hanging around” the house of God reflect the peoples’ love of God? Would you be willing to relocate your home if it were needed to serve or extend the work of God?
5. Read verses 25-36. What other towns and cities did the people live in? To which persons in this chapter did Nehemiah give recognition? Compare this with recognition given in Nehemiah chapters 8, 9, and 10. How can one acquire God’s recognition?
DEDICATE AND CELEBRATE
Nehemiah 12: 1-47
Key Verse: 12:27b
1. Compare the names in verses 1-7 with 12-21. How many of the priests raised second generation leaders? Read verses 27-29. Why did the people gather in Jerusalem? How many times is “singing” mentioned in this chapter? Why is joyful celebration necessary? (2 Thessalonians 5:16) Discuss dedication and celebration as aspects of worshipping God.
2. Read verses 30-37. How many groups of people made processions? What was influential about the songs of King David? (1 Samuel 16:23) Where did the first group go? What did they do when they marched? Who led this group? What do you know about the gates which they passed?
3. Read verses 38-39. Which way did the second group go? Who went with them? What do you know about the gates which they passed? What was the purpose of marching around the walls? What are some examples of “stepping out by faith” (Gen. 13:17, Joshua 1:3)
4. Read verses 40-43. Where did the two groups meet? What did they do when the met? Who also rejoiced in verse 43? What was the reason for their joy? How was their rejoicing influential?
5. Read verses 44-47. After dedicating the wall, what other tasks were appointed? What is involved in stewardship of the offering? Did the priests do their job well?
LEAD BY LOVE
Key Verse: 13:6-7a
“But while all this was going on, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I had returned to the king. Some time later I asked his permission and came back to Jerusalem.”
1.What did the Jews learn from Moses’ law? Why was this law given? Tell the story of Balaam (Numbers 22).
2. Who was Eliashib? Who was Tobiah? What had Eliashib done for Tobiah? Explain why this was a perversion. What lesson can we learn about the danger that enemies may influence God’s people, even leaders?
3.Where was Nehemiah when this happened? What did he do when he returned? What act of Jesus does this remind you of? Application: What lessons can we learn about the church today from Nehemiah’s act and Jesus’ act?
4. What other work had been neglected (vv 10,11)? How did this relate to Tobiah’s use of the storerooms? Where had the people promised to do this work? What did Nehemiah do about it?
5. What else did the people do (v12)? What did Nehemiah do to facilitate this work?
What other sin did people commit in v15? Where else have we read about this day?
Who else joined in this sin (v16)? What did they do? What did Nehemiah say and do regarding this sin (vv 16-18)? Application: In what ways might emphasis on material prosperity hinder worship to God today?
6. What other measures did Nehemiah take to insure that the traders did not lead the people to violate the Sabbath (vv 19-22)? What other sins had some people committed (v23)? Where else have we read of this problem? Describe the consequence this sin had (v24). What danger of intermarriage does this demonstrate?
7. What great king had committed this same sin? What was the consequence? Who is named in v28 as being guilty of this sin? What sin did we earlier learn that Eliashib had committed? What did Nehemiah do regarding this grandson of Eliashib?
Application: What should be done today when a member of the church is involved in an unscriptural marriage and will not repent?
8. What other good deeds did Nehemiah do to restore the people to God’s service?