Nehemiah: Rebuilding the Faith

n02078_nehemiah

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Age Group

Youth

Brief Description

Intersection includes compete resources for teaching both younger and older youth, including learner’s materials, teaching guides, and handouts. The teaching guide is options-based, so teachers can customize sessions to match their favorite approach.

“Nehemiah: Rebuilding the Faith”

Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Hezekiah–what’s the difference? Besides, they’re all basically the same, right–just several more of those biblical names ending in “iah”? Without question, this echoes the sentiments of most youth–and many adults, for that matter–whenever anyone makes mention of a character from the “dry and dusty” Old Testament. After all, sometimes it seems hard enough just getting young people interested in Jesus and the goings-on of the New Testament, let alone something from which they feel so far removed. Of course, those who work with teenagers know that this is all just a misconception. We recall stories like David and Goliath, Noah and the Flood, Moses and the Exodus. Who among us could ever forget about Daniel and the Lions’ Den or even Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors? Sure enough, the story of Nehemiah is not boring at all; it is merely obscure, and therefore requires that we either discover it for the first time, or re-discover it for yet another of what hopefully will be many times.

As the story goes, one day Nehemiah receives terribly disturbing news about his home-land,the city of Jerusalem. He immediately begins weeping and fasting and praying for redemption to come to them, drastic behavior which the king and queen can’t help but notice in their trusted servant. Imploring their permission to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, Nehemiah is amazed when the king consents. In fact, not only does he consent, but he also sends Nehemiah on his way fully equipped with supplies, purchase orders for more supplies, and royal letters for safe passage.

Granted, Nehemiah doesn’t exactly get the red-carpet treatment when he arrives, but he is undeterred nonetheless. He immediately surveys the damage, declares his intent to rebuild the walls, and begins assigning the different areas of responsibility. Neighboring leaders are hostile, and some even taunt him deliberately. This goes on until they eventually realize that the Jews are serious about renovating the walls, at which point they mount opposition to stop the rebuilding. Luckily, however, Nehemiah planned for these problems, and the people of God are ready, taking turns standing watch on the wall and carrying weapons while they work, even as the building continues.

As this adventuresome story details the daring and brazenness of the people as they complete their task, the contrast of their solemn reverence is also felt when the wall is finished and they all gather to worship God. They have completed the physical task of mending the walls, which they view as instrumental in mending their covenant with Yahweh. Nehemiah has always been important to Israel because of his role in calling the people back to God, thus entirely re-centering the faith of the nation. Use this study of the man Nehemiah, and the Old Testament book that bears his name, to help those who call themselves God’s children hear the call to rebuild their own faith.

by Steve Cothran

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The purchaser of this file has permission to print twenty copies of this Learners Study Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

The purchaser of this file has permission to print one copy of this Teaching Guide. Neither the file nor the printed contents may be sold, copied or transferred to another person or church. The purchaser may make a backup copy of the file.

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