“Nehemiah” is a name that is found in the Bible. It translates to “Yahweh has comforted,” which is very apt as the Book of Nehemiah brings comfort to anyone who reads it. It guides how to trust God and overcome obstacles through faith and prayer. The question is, Who was Nehemiah in the Bible?
The Book of Nehemiah begins with the news about the condition of the wall surrounding Jerusalem, which is the city of the Lord. However, Nehemiah is far away from Jerusalem. He is an enslaved person who worked for the King of Persia in 444 B.C. Nonetheless, he continues to pray to God.
Although Nehemiah is neither a prophet nor a spiritual leader, he prays and fasts to trigger changes. Eventually, he becomes the governor of Jerusalem. Finally, he becomes a leader who supervises repairs and restorations.
The Book of Nehemiah is a first-person memoir that focuses on rebuilding and repairing Jerusalem’s walls after the Babylonian exile, as well as the people’s dedication to God’s laws. Nehemiah was a high Jewish official of the Persian court. His book teaches us many lessons on leadership, prayer, restoring hearts, holiness, defeating enemies, and integrity.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible?
Now that you know a little about Nehemiah and his book, it is time that you learn more about this great man who dedicated his life to worshiping and serving the Lord.
Nehemiah was a man who knew how important God’s calling was.
In the Old Testament, it was recorded that the people repaired and rebuilt the wall. They knew they would be vulnerable to attacks if they did not have borders. They did not want to be humiliated and defenseless. They wanted to have a sense of community and security.
When Nehemiah heard of the news about the burned gates and broken wall, he wept. He knew that this meant fear. The people feared men instead of God. So, Nehemiah recognized this calling from God, which was a challenge to bring about the change necessary to glorify the Lord. The rebuilding of the walls signified His blessings to His people.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible? – Nehemiah was a man of prayer
Nehemiah taught us how to pray and listen to God for answers. In the first chapter, it was said that Nehemiah spent a lot of time praying and fasting. He did this to show his faith and love of God. He also confessed the sins of the people. He believed in the promises of God to Moses. He knew that the people would be restored. He also prayed to God to help him deal with King Artaxerxes.
In the second chapter, God put a plan in Nehemiah’s mind. So, he told the people that the hand of the Lord had been favorable towards him. The people began to work and completed their tasks in fifty-two days. They got good results. Nehemiah continued to pray and reflect on his obedience to God.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible? – Nehemiah was helpful and patient
Nehemiah showed his patience by praying for four months before getting any answer from God. He also did not reveal his plan right away when he arrived in Jerusalem. He waited a while before telling the people about his project. He reminded them to believe in God because He would help and fight for them.
In addition, Nehemiah exemplified what is written in Isaiah 40:31: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Indeed, those who wait upon God will have their strength renewed.
Nehemiah believed that the Lord would use him to rebuild the wall. Therefore, he never attempted to attack his enemies. Instead, he trusted God to deal with them. This is evident in Nehemiah 6:14. “Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, my God, because of what they have done; also remember the prophet Noadiah and how she and the rest of the prophets have been trying to intimidate me.”
We should be like Nehemiah. In this fast-paced world, it is easy to get anxious. We must not fear, for the Lord is with us. Everything is perfect in His timing. Therefore, we must slow down and learn to wait.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible? – Nehemiah was wise and well-prepared
When the king asked Nehemiah how he could be of help, the latter replied that he wanted to go to Jerusalem and that he needed some supplies. The king helped him and signed letters so he could pick up the supplies he needed on his way to Jerusalem.
God guided Nehemiah so that he would arrive in Jerusalem prepared. Nehemiah 2:12 he said, “I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I rode on.”
Upon arriving in Jerusalem, Nehemiah stayed quiet for three days. He neither revealed his reason for coming nor announced his presence. Then, when nighttime came, he secretly looked at the damage.
Nehemiah’s plan involved persistence, cooperation, and teamwork. Above all, it involved trust in the Lord. Like him, we should also take our time to devise good plans. We should always listen to God and thank Him for his guidance.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible? – Nehemiah was a great leader
Nehemiah’s leadership inspired his workers and everyone around him. He spoke to the people with confidence. He always prayed to God for guidance before doing anything. He trusted God’s wisdom and grace.
For many years, Nehemiah worked for King Artaxerxes. This allowed him to learn a lot about leadership. He then set a goal to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and he succeeded. He supervised and organized workers. He administered and delegated tasks. He rose to all the challenges that he experienced. He also fed more than a hundred Jews and officials.
Nehemiah was an excellent leader and follower. He listened and understood the needs of his people. He was brave, helpful, wise, and had integrity. He prayed to God for help, guidance, and protection. He trusted and had faith in Him. He worshiped the Lord every single day.
We should embody the traits of Nehemiah. He did not let his leadership go to his head. He led the people with his mind and heart. More importantly, he sought guidance from the Lord before he made any decisions and actions.
Nehemiah is a Great Example of How to Do Inner City Ministry
In The United States of America, it’s common for people to run away from the inner city. So we see many common themes in how people talk about inner cities and Jerusalem.
- Without protection
- Uncared for
- Once a great place
- Without economic opportunity
All of the things listed above we see in America’s inner cities. What has happened for decades in this country is people run away from these places in the name of comfort. Churches will only plant in the suburbs; as soon as people have kids, they move to the suburbs for safer communities and better schools.
Since people leave, they take their resources and businesses with them, and everything keeps improving in the suburbs. So the only people left in the city are those scarce resources and those crazy enough to stay.
Nehemiah Decided to Go Back to The City
In Chapter 2 of the story, he asks the king if he can go back to rebuild the city. This is a big deal because most people would want to stay as far as possible from that city. It was not safe, and there was no future there. We talk about the cities in the same way.
What would it look like for Christians to think like Nehemiah, and instead of running from the city, Christians run towards it? What would it look like for Christians to be a light in a dark place (Matthew 5)? Instead of running away from the dark, Christians carry the light of Christ, and that should give us the boldness to go towards the dark. Christians should make everything they touch better.
Christians Should Make All of These Places Better
If Christians keep running away to suburbia, there will be nothing left in the city for people to rest on. The whole point of making disciples of All Nations is that you go into the places that others would not go, and you disciple people in the ways of Christ. If you keep running away to the safest situation, that will never happen.
Who Was Nehemiah in the Bible? – The Guy Re-Building The Wall
One of the first things Nehemiah did in Jerusalem rebuilt the wall. The wall represented security and safety; if people were going to flood back to the city, that had to be restored. So when you think of the inner cities nearby, what can you do to improve safety? If there are drug and gun problems, don’t just run away for your safety; lay your life down by picking up your Cross and be a part of the solution.
The book of Nehemiah is a great guide to come back to understand how to do life in the inner cities of America and the world. You can’t say that you are making disciples of all nations if you leave the inner cities to die. The people in the cities of America were also made in the image of God. They deserve to know the love of Christ, and it’s the call for the Christian to move in, be bold, and do something about it.
Let’s take action!