Summary: Applying the principles that Nehemiah had in his relationship with God.
The Nehemiah Principles
Pastor Rick Leis
Ezra 1:1-4 (NIV)
1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:
2 "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3 Anyone of his people among you--may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.
4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.'"
It is obvious that Cyrus had been touched by the Lord and the Godly men around him. When God spoke, Cyrus took immediate action.
He recognized that God was the true King of Kings.
At this point the city walls and gates were still in place. The temple was rebuilt during this time. It was magnificent and much larger than Solomon’s Temple.
One of my Biblical Heroes and some history
One of my many biblical heroes is Nehemiah. His relationship with God and his Godly determination to fulfill God’s plan for he and his people is one that is important for us to remember and follow.
History: Contemporary prophets – Daniel, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah
Despite some dating Nehemiah and Ezra were contemporaries.
Nehemiah was governor of Jerusalem for 12 years from 465 BC – 454 BC. He was absent from Jerusalem from Jerusalem from 453 – 445BC and lived in Susa serving King ARTAXERXESA. Cup bearers were held in very high esteem and they had love for those that they served and would gladly give their lives for the ones they served. The commissions previously given to Zerubbabel and Ezra extended only to the repair of the temple and private dwellings.
During the absent years Tobiah the Tisbite was given permission to occupy the temple storerooms from 446-444 BC. The walls were then broken down, the gates burned and the people abandoned the city because of the constant threat of danger.
It was at this point that Nehemiah’s friends came to him and shared the horrible state of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah 1:1-3 (NIV)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire."
Nehemiah was very powerful
Nehemiah was a very powerful man, but listened to his brothers from Jerusalem
Despite some reports of some liberal commentaries, the walls had been intact up to this point. It would have made no tactical sense to rebuild the temple without the walls in place to protect it.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 (NIV)
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
5 Then I said: "O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands,
6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you.
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,
9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'
10 "They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.
11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this 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 this man." I was cupbearer to the king.