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Posts Tagged ‘Nehemiah’


Nehemiah’s enemies sought to promote fear.  Oddly, they feared him because they saw that he was getting the job done.  They knew they had to cripple or remove him somehow.  They sought to inspire fear in him & the people (the Hebrew word for fear is found in 6:9, 13,14 & 19).  Rather than fear man, Nehemiah feared God.  The tables are turned because after the wall is completed the surrounding nations were afraid.

One resource in exploring and addressing the fear of man is Ed Welch’s excellent book When People are Big and God is Small.  I can’t recommend it enough.

In doing some research for illustrations, I realized I wish I could play this Monty Python clip for them.

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As I slog my way through Nehemiah- which has been every encouraging and convicting- here are the resources I’m using.

  • Ezrz and Nehemiah (NICOT) by Fensham.  It’s been very helpful from an academic standpoint.  Not overwhelming at all.  Sometimes authors in this series have been influenced by the higher critical schools, but this seems to be a solid, conservative volume.
  • The Messaage of Nehemiah (BST) by Raymond Brown.  Very good commentary with some use of the original language and some application.  I really enjoy using this whole series.  It is very useful for preaching and teaching.
  • Nehemiah: Building a City Within the City sermon series by Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill.  His sermons are typically about an hour.  At times he can belabor his point, but I learn alot about leadership from Mark.  Sometimes his jokes are funny.
  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 (edited by Frank Gaebelein) including Ezra & Nehemiah by Edwin Yamauchi.

Here are some good resources other guys in the study group are using:

  • Ezra-Nehemiah (WBC) by Williamson.  It comes highly recommended by Tremper Longman.  The Word Biblical Commentary series can seem overwhelming at times.  It works thru each passage in terms of Form/Structure/Setting and then Comment.  It includes lots of work in the original languages.  Some authors have been influenced by the higher critical school.
  • A Passion for Faithfulness: Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah by Packer.  It is thematic rather than exegetical.  That has its place, obviously, but makes it more difficult to use when you’re approaching the text exegetically.  But … it is J.I. Packer so it’s got to be good!

Nehemiah is a helpful book to develop a heart for the city (please, don’t use it during a building program or to demonize those who oppose your ministry- 2 common errors pastors make).  There are lessons about handling conflict both from outside and within the church.  But the main theme is God’s glory- how our great and awesome God works for us, in us and thru us to accomplish the restoration of the city thru the gospel.  It should humble and encourage us seen that way instead of “be like Nehemiah.”  See instead what God has done in Christ.  Okay, off my soapbox……….

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Here’s what I have lined up so far (all of them are at Cypress Ridge PCA):

8/31     A Trustworthy God for People Who Don’t Trust Genesis 17:1-8

9/7      A Heart for the City     Nehemiah 1

9/14     Taking Risks for the City     Nehemiah 2

9/21     The Battle for the City     Nehemiah 4

9/28     Justice & Generosity for the City     Nehemiah 5

10/5    The Battle for the City Part 2    Nehemiah 6:1-14

10/12  A Few Good Men for the City    Nehemiah 6:16 -7:73

10/26  Revival in the City   Nehemiah 9:1-37

11/2    In, But Not Of, the City     Nehemiah 9:38-10:39

11/9    Joy in the City     Nehemiah 12:27-43

11/16  Sin in the City- Part 1     Nehemiah 13:1-14

11/23  Sin in the City- Part 2     Nehemiah 13:15-30

13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.  (1 Timothy 4, NIV)

I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to continue to devote myself to these things rather than neglecting the gift given to me.  May I be diligent!

It should be noted that God’s spokesmen did not ‘fail’ when they faithfully deliver God’s messages.  The people who disobey are the ones who ‘fail.’  Edwin Yamauchi

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