Nehemiah was a man of prayer: “Nehemiah had often poured out his soul in behalf of his people. But now as he prayed a holy purpose formed in his mind. He resolved that if he could obtain the consent of the king, and the necessary aid in procuring implements and material, he would himself undertake the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and restoring Israel’s national strength.
And he asked the Lord to grant him favor in the sight of the king, that this plan might be carried out. ‘Prosper, I pray Thee, Thy servant this day’, he entreated, ‘and grant him mercy in the sight of this man’. Four months Nehemiah waited for a favorable opportunity to present his request to the king” – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pages 629, 630.
In answer to Wednesday’s question, what does it mean that all through the Bible — Old Testament, New Testament — those called by God faced tremendous opposition? In fact, what does it mean that in almost every case they did? Perhaps a better question could be: What examples can you find of someone called by God to do His will who didn’t face opposition? What does this tell us about how we shouldn’t get discouraged when, even while doing God’s will, we face strong obstacles in accomplishing what we believe the Lord has called us to do?
Read Nehemiah 2:18. What does this tell us about the power that a personal testimony can have, and how it was crucial in getting the positive response that Nehemiah got from his fellow Jews?
Neither Ezra nor Nehemiah could have accomplished anything without the help of the king. In other words, these men of God worked in cooperation with the political authorities, who were pagans as well. What lesson can we draw from this about when and how we as a church can work with the political powers that be, whoever they are? At the same time, when doing so why must the church be very careful?
Go over Nehemiah’s prayer (Neh. 1:1-11) in class. What can you take from it that can help deepen your relationship with God? What does it teach about surrender, confession, and claiming promises?