Unit 10 – Perseverance
Lesson 27 – Nehemiah: The Man Who Would Not Quit – Nehemiah, 1,2,4;6:15-16
Preparation for The Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to appreciate some of the qualities of Nehemiah who is an example for one who persevered through all kinds of opposition.
2. Explanation of the Aim: The Lord used Nehemiah because he prayed, wept and sought to reconstruct the wall of Jerusalem for the sake of his people. The Lord always uses any who serves His people out of concern for their welfare. People are willing to humble themselves before God and ask him for success for the sake of His church can expect the Lord to give them extraordinary facility. The motives we have for doing good are more important than the actual good deeds that we do. The Lord honors obedience not sacrifice of our time, energy and possessions.
3. The Bible Story: The wall in Jerusalem had broken down and Nehemiah took it upon himself to oversee its reconstruction. The lack of a good wall meant that the Jewish people were constantly subject to attacks from their enemies. No one is able to prosper unless they have a secure environment to live and work in. Godly people like Nehemiah have faith and energy to serve the dwelling place of God’s people. Nehemiah was first willing to allow the Lord to work in the people before he knew that they would be able to accomplish His purposes. Do not think that people can serve God unless their hearts are made wholly committed to Him.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION is used to help the people consider all the problems that were involved with not having a good wall to protect the people of Israel? Ask the people what kinds of problems do people face when they are unprotected? Discuss what it takes to get people to work together for their common welfare, security and good? The BIBLE STORY gives us great insights into a persevering leader named Nehemiah. Allow the people to understand what motivated Nehemiah to persevere in the face of a whole host of adversity. The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES gives the people opportunities to make applications from the lesson. Ask the people if they are as persevering as Nehemiah when they run into challenges? Why are we to be strong and courageous and act in seeking to see Christ’s kingdom built up in our communities? What does it mean to build Christ’s kingdom and righteousness?
CLASS TIME (Begin With Prayer)
Help the people consider all the problems that were involved with not having a good wall to protect the people of Israel? Ask the people what kinds of problems do people face when they are unprotected? Discuss what it takes to get people to work together for their common welfare, security and good? Ask the people what it really means to be a person who is persevering (To continue with steadfastness, patience and endurance).
The Bible Story
The book of Nehemiah begins by describing Nehemiah’s distress for the misery of Jerusalem through His prayers. Nehemiah worked as a cup-bearer for the Persian King as a means of protecting the king from anyone who might attempt to poison him. Nehemiah had a relatively easy job but he was willing to sacrifice this for the sake of his own people. This man of God researches the best ways that he can help organize the people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Godly people make it their priority to look for ways that they can help build up God’s kingdom and righteousness. We should do everything we can to evaluate the needs of the church and its people to help them grow in all aspects into Christ. Every church, organization or fellowship has various deficiencies which require services from its friends. Ask the Lord to help you to make the most of every opportunity for spiritual development instead of mere fleshly appearances.
Nehemiah began by praising God for all of the rich resources the people had available to them. Let us begin every task by praising and thanking God for what we have before we begin to ask Him for things we think we need. People who are not grateful for what they have will not be happy when they are given news things.
Nehemiah knew that nothing can be accomplished unless people are united in prayer to the Lord. Otherwise people are tempted to try to get their tasks done in the power of their own flesh. Our best pleas in prayer are taken from the promise of God, the word on which he has caused us to hope. Other means must be used, but the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails most. Communion with God will best prepare us for our dealings with men. When we have entrusted our concerns to God, the mind is set at liberty; it feels satisfaction and composure, and difficulties vanish. We know that if the project is difficult, God can surely ease our burden. Prayer in the power of the Spirit helps us know that we have an advocate working things out for good on our behalf.
Nehemiah reminded the people of their responsibilities to God and to their own preservation. Wise leaders have the ability to lead people by reminding them of what is essential for their success. The person of God will pray as Nehemiah did, “Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of the king.” (Neh. 1:10,11) Often, we should begin by asking the Lord for approval from people in positions of power. Learn to work with the authorities rather than against them.
The Lord used Nehemiah to recruit, train and motivate a diversity of workers to re-construct the wall of Jerusalem. Only the Lord is able to give certain people gifts of administration to orchestrate effective management of people and resources. Trust the Lord to work out a coordination of all the spiritual gifts in your church for the accomplishment of His will. The Holy Spirit is able to synergistically use a wide variety of gifts, personalities and abilities to finish the work given to us by God.
God gave Nehemiah the ability to withstand all kinds of criticism, attacks and accusations during the construction of the wall. People who are willing to help the church move forward can expect to be wounded occasionally as a good soldier of Christ. Do not think that you can make progress without any resistance from the majority. Ask the Lord to help you to work with the faithful, available and teachable people in your fellowship while not listening to the antagonists.
Nehemiah learned that he must equip people to fight the good fight of faith in order to win the victory over evil. We cannot expect to wear a crown unless we have engaged the enemy of God in a struggle. As long as we are willing to lay down our lives for the sake of Christ’s purposes, we will be given the grace to finish every God inspired task. Many of the people in Israel were motivated by Nehemiah to work in unity toward one goal with one heart and with likeness of mind. People are unified when they have common objectives.
The Holy Spirit of God will help you lead others to overcome their difficulties if you are led by His word. Take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and the shield of faith so you can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Nehemiah helped his people realize that the power of God behind them was greater than the forces that opposed them. Be confident that “If God is for you who can be against you?” (Rom. 8:31) Know that He will supply you with everything you need according to His rich reservoir of resources through Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:32) You are only limited by your faith and obedience to His will.
Memory Verse: “Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” (Neh. 1:11b)
The Meaning For Our Lives
Give the people opportunities to make applications from the lesson. Ask the people if they are as persevering as Nehemiah when they run into challenges? Why are we to be strong and courageous and act in seeking to see Christ’s kingdom built up in our communities? What does it mean to build Christ’s kingdom and righteousness? (Matt 6:33) What are some of the ways that we can motivate others to do God’s will as Nehemiah did? What are some of ways that we can prepare ourself to deflect criticisms leveled against us? Why do some people like Nehemiah succeed when other well-meaning leaders do not?
Song: Faith is the victory that overcome the world
Prayer: Ask the Lord to help you become more like the persevering, motivating and prayerful Nehemiah. Trust the Lord to use you to accomplish some project that will contribute to the improvement of your church fellowship.
At Home: Ask your parents how you can contribute toward improving your family’s security, well-being and spiritual maturity?