#SheSharesTruth | Nehemiah

by

Happy Friday, friends!

We’ve been so encouraged by your response to the book of Nehemiah over the past 17 days—the way you’ve engaged with God’s Word and the way you’ve wrestled with and received the truth within. After reading the final chapter yesterday, it’s likely you were left thinking something along the lines of Huh?!, or You guyssss. Or maybe it left you speechless—just a long, tired sigh. Even without the tidy ending and without the pretty bow, we know that those final verses of Nehemiah are not accidental. God inspired the text—His Word—this way.

Today’s #SheSharesTruth assignment is this:

Why does the book of Nehemiah end the way it does?
What does God want us to see here about Himself and the Church?

We want to hear what the Holy Spirit is teaching you about the not-so-tidy ending to this amazing story!

She Shares Truth

Here’s the scoop on how to participate:

    • Write your devotional/reflections/response to the above question on Nehemiah on your personal blog, OR on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtags #SheSharesTruth and #SheReadsTruth. (Feel free to use the image below!) You can even write your response in the comments section below!
    • Link to this page in your post so your readers can read and participate in #SheSharesTruth, too.
    • Share the link to your post (or Facebook post, Instagram, etc) in the LinkyTool below—just click it and follow the instructions!
    • Visit each other’s links, starting with the person or two who linked up before you. Leave a comment there—tell them you see and hear them!

**Please share your heart, Sisters. Our desire is not for this to be a time of comparison or sizing up writing abilities or spiritual maturity. Eloquence and insight are lovely, but we know that is not the thing our God calls us to. So, let’s not call each other to that either! If you feel ill-equipped—GOOD! If you feel like you have so much to learn—GREAT. SO DO WE! Every single time we sit down to write. And if we don’t, are hearts are not in the right place. Let this be a safe place to learn and share and love each other WELL.
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  • We need Him. We just do. If we didn’t, would we be here on earth to choose Him? This is the perfect illustration of what C.S. Lewis calls the Law of Undulation. Think ebbs and flows, ups and downs, peaks and valleys, a roller coaster. Until we reach heaven, the only consistency is in this cyclical law of falling, repenting, getting up, and trying again. He is constant. He is always there. He is “slow to anger and abounding in STEADFAST love.” That word steadfast…that describes his perfect love and what I strive to emulate, but still, I’m learning; still, I need Him.

  • kskaggsss

    Oh, what a sense of renewal. Sharing my thoughts: http://simplesunshinee.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-p

  • Reading the book of Nehemiah, basically taught me that God is in control of everything. No matter how many times we turn our backs away from Him, God has a way of stepping in and throwing obstacles and confusion in our path so we can turn to Him for answers and healing. The love He has for us is so unconditional, that there is nothing we could do which will allow Him to turn His back on us. I was happy to read the book of Nehemiah, because it displayed encouragement to me which indicated that no matter the amount of discouragements, trials and tribulations I am faced with, God is in control. He won’t give us anything we can’t handle. I also realized to turn to Him no matter how many times I have messed up. Just like Nehemiah, we must learn to trust God and to obey Him no matter if the world has turned against us and continue to give us negative feedback. Furthermore, as servants of God we must continue to do His work and turn away from our flesh because it is so easy to be persuaded by this world and fall off from our walk with Christ. However, God has a way of reminding us that He is control by showing us how far He has brought us from and how quick He can take us back if we continue with sin.

    Continue to stay strong and trust God because He will provide!!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen. Praise God for you, dear sister! He definitely reminds us of how far He's brought us– and it's something so beautiful and important to reflect upon. Knowing that He takes us back if we continue to sin– that He puts those obstacles and confusion in our path to bring us back to Him– fills me with such encouragement. Sometimes I sit around and get nervous, asking myself if I'm on the right track and even asking God if I'm mistaken in some area, afraid that I'll somehow "fall off the path" completely. I forget in those times that even if I am, I am still in His hand and He is faithful to bring me back to Himself through conviction and repentance if I ever stray. The Lord loves us too much. He honors our choices, but will never let anything take us out of His hands, including Himself. Praise Him for that! Be blessed this Sunday, sister. Praise God.

  • Frail human nature. We all mean well, yet are too weak to follow through unless there is someone keeping us on track and accountable. I feel like Nehemiah, with his pure heart and deep devotion to God, was the shepherd. He inspired people to rebuild, to recommit, change their ways. He watched over them as a loving and stern father giving guidance and correcting where it was needed. People lost connection with God, Nehemiah came to restore that connection through him somehow. As soon as he left – people became lost sheep again, scattered without their shepherd.

    I think that the ending of the book is first – a reminder for us to keep our focus on God, not only in the good, but in the bad as well. Connect with him every day. Thank Him for all the blessings in our lives. Ask for His guidance in every situation. Ask Him to watch over and guide us and pray to not loose sight of Him.

    Secondly – because of an a possible parallel between Nehemiah's rage in cleaning out the temple and Jesus, I think it is God's way of predicting that eventually we people will need Jesus Christ to wash away all our sins and show us the new way of living.

    Thank you all for this study and amazing insight! Can't wait for more!

    • AnnaLee

      Mukasha, I definitely agree that Nehemiah was the shepherd– like you said, I see him as another shadow of who Christ was to be! "People lost connection with God, Nehemiah came to restore that connection through him somehow. As soon as He left – people became lost again, scattered without their shepherd." I think the people never had a true connection with God, but one built on covenants and commandments, laws (which are beautiful, glorious things, but without that real relationship built out of Love, the connection is faulty). The Lord was bringing the Israelites back to Himself through Nehemiah in the only way possible at the time: by bringing back exiles physically to live in Israel, and re-instructing them of the laws and commandments.

      It was still very faulty, but it shines a light on how the Lord loves our true repentance and devotion– even if we cannot ever fully live up to His righteous standards, He loves a heart that is bent towards Him, pursuing His face and His standards with love and whole-hearted devotion. Praise Him that He sent Jesus, who TRULY brought us back home and put His own spirit within us to keep us close by to Him in obedience and love. Lord, give us hearts that cling to your words, as Nehemiah did!! I pray only you'd mold and shape us: that no leader, no matter how "Holy" or devoted to you, would come close to You and You alone. I praise you for that. Amen.
      Be blessed sister. Thank you for this post. :)

  • Here are my initial thoughts after finishing this study of Nehemiah-
    Perhaps is God teaching us that we’re not perfect- we have to keep coming back around to His way, and keep pursuing and recognising that we’ve done wrong. We can so easily be led astray.. but we need people like Nehemiah to realign us. We need to turn to God to cleanse us, and put us back on the path He wants us to be on.
    And looking at Jesus, this is what He did- he was sent to earth to help us, and to open our eyes to our wrongdoings. But also, He came to give himself for us, as a sacrifice, taking on all our imperfections and wrongdoings, and saying, you just have to turn to God, and ask for forgiveness; I have died for all your sins in place of you, to show you that God has forgiven you, and loves you so much, despite those imperfections. We just need to remember that it’s the turning to God, confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness which is the most important part.
    Nehemiah reminds us that it’s so easy to get caught up in negative ways of living, but we need to keep checking whether our lives and ways of living line up with God’s will for us.

  • stinav96

    Well, these #shesharestruth assignments are starting to persuade me of the efficacy of starting that blog I've occasionally considered starting. :) But, since I haven't had time to start one, here are some of the observations I've taken away from Nehemiah:

    1. Could it be that God continues to allow pain and opposition because in those times, His children are drawing to Him, calling out to Him, relying upon Him? I read this in a comment from one of the earlier days of this study, and yes, I would tend to believe from Scripture and experience that God does, indeed, use pain to mold us and make us after His will.

    2. Jerusalem had fallen back into spiritual ruin by the time the book of Nehemiah comes to a close because they had forgotten to stay vigilant and fight. They knew when the wall was still unbuilt that they had to work diligently, work with their weapons in hand, sleep in their clothes, and be constantly on the watch for their enemies. But once the wall was built, they relaxed. They were less guarded. The urgency of following God’s commands perfectly was less pronounced. They maybe even “reinterpreted” what the law to which they so initially dramatically responded meant.

    3. Israel forgot that life after rebuilding the wall was worship. They lost the urgency and the sense of holiness that set their lives apart from the merchants who came to desecrate their Sabbath.

    4. Nehemiah ends reminding us that a one time act of repentance and its subsequent renewal is not enough. Without constant and continued fellowship with the Lord, remembering His calling, and looking forward to what He is doing and will do in and through us, without the empowerment of His Spirit each and every day, in each and every instance, we, too, will forget and grow weary of doing good. Again, only those who endure to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

    5. Finally, what a sobering reminder that it doesn’t take very long after a mountain-top experience to fall back into the “easy,” conformist way of doing things. The high is gone. Life moves forward at its constant pace, full of distractions and decisions. This is when it is so tempting to fall back on what seems right in our own eyes, rather than considering the more difficult, dedicated task of following what we know we’re supposed to be doing. It becomes easier to be persuaded by the “good” life we may feel like we haven’t experienced in some time. We weary of fighting the good fight…. because let’s face it, it is most definitely a fight! And we need the bold yet humble audacity of people like Nehemiah to step in and beat the lazy out of us and rip the beautiful facade of fitting-in off of us.

    I would suggest these as just a few of the reasons Nehemiah ends the way it does. Thank you, Father, for the lessons. May I heed them before I am required to reap the immediate consequences of them. In Jesus’ Name.

  • This chapter brought me back to Genesis, the fall of man. It is something that affects us all. Sin is so powerful, so present, and so destructive. And it happens all the time. It's a circle – sin, repentance, forgiveness. Nobody escapes sin, and Satan works overtime in churches. This passage has God's mercy and grace written all over it. Even as His people, we fail over and over again. But He gave us Jesus, and that is enough. We need to embrace Him, accept His healing, and live for Him. That doesn't mean we won't sin, fail, and make the same mistakes. But it does mean that we can live in the peace of knowing that He has paid the price, and we are forever indebpted to Him, so let's live like it!

  • "Neglecting the house of our Lord"

    Posted on my blog :)

  • This story is actually encouraging and beautiful in so many ways. First, I believe that God is telling us, through the end of this story, that no one is going to "get it" on their own. We might have great intentions and a willing heart, but we will fail every time. That is why we need Jesus. He is the standard. He paid the price for every sin I have committed and will commit and it is through the blood that He shed that I am forgiven and free. I believe that the Israelites had the best intentions when they started out, but it was only a matter of time before they would fail — which brings me to my next point: This story shows a portion of God's endless forgiveness. His mercies are new every morning. He knew the Israelites would go back to their old ways, but He still forgives and loves them.

  • Thinking back over the ending of Nehemiah makes me start to think, "How could the Israelites do that to God? Again? After all God has done for them!" And yet, are we not the exact same way? How many times have I said "Okay Lord, I promise no more fooling around, I'm trusting you." But, then I fail again? Maybe God is trying to show us that we are exactly like the Israelites. Lost and sinful. But God forgives us every time we call on Him. I think the book of Nehemiah more then anything wants us to focus on God and his forgiveness. The book puts a spotlight on God whether its him forgiving the Israelites or how Nehemiah constantly points to Christ in all he says and does. I think the book wants us to see how merciful and gracious God is. And how he will come through for us.
    "And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous." Nehemiah 9:8b
    Truth is, Nehemiah is extremely fitting for our world. It's vividly realistic, powerful and convicting because we can all relate personally. I think it also shows how important accountability is. Notice that the Israelites drifted away from God when Nehemiah returned to Babylon to serve the King. I think it is important for us to stay among encouraging Christians who help us stay focused on Gods word!
    I've loved reading all y'alls points!! <3

  • Rebekah Pyle

    #SheSharesTruth; May 30, 2014

    1) Why does the book of Nehemiah end the way it does?

    ***I think the purpose of this almost disheartening ending is to show us, Christians, how easy it is to fall back into sin even after we have been restored for the Kingdom work. Nehemiah left his duty as cup bearer to the King to come and rebuild his "hometown." They drew together as a community to rebuild, but as soon as the work was done and Nehemiah went back to his job, it didn't take the people of Judah too long to forget about the God who saved them and the covenant they had made with Him. I think the main thing God is trying to show us through His word here in Nehemiah is the importance of keeping our eyes completely fixed on Him in the storms, in the valleys, in the trials and tribulations, but ALSO on the sunny days, on the mountaintops, and in the times of sheer rejoicing. The moment we take our eyes off of Jesus is the moment we turn our eyes to ourselves. This is especially dangerous if we do it in the "mountaintop" times because then we start thinking that WE got OURSELVES there and we forget about the God who delivered us.

    2) What does God want us to see about Himself and about the Church?

    ***I believe a great answer for the first part of this question can be found in the book of Nehemiah itself, in chapter 9, verse 17b:
    "You are a God ready to forgive, gracious
    and merciful, slow to anger and abounding
    in steadfast love."
    I think that God wants us to see that He is standing right there waiting for us to accept the GIFT of forgiveness. When we fail, HE IS STILL FAITHFUL. I think that's what He wants us to see about Himself in this last chapter. To answer the second part of the question, I think the main thing God wants us to see about the Church (the Body of Christ) is that IF we are NOT lifting each other up, encouraging one another, and holding each other accountable, we will fall (as a whole) back into the sin we were delivered from. The idea of community has never been more important (and in my opinion, never will be more important) than in the Body of Christ.

  • I processed this post with my Bible study last night—we've been talking about Romans 7 where Paul talks about the battle between the flesh and the Spirit and how he doesn't do what he knows he should do. Thought this was perfect timing for reading the end of Nehemiah! I think God was showing us that no matter what good deeds we do, no matter what 'camp high' we get on, we always turn back to our flesh. It's inevitable. Thus, the need for a Savior because there was NO way that we were gonna get this right on our own! He is faithful to an unfaithful people. Praise the Lord.

  • Oh Nehemiah.. such an interesting ending to the story. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s crazy that just before starting this plan I felt like I was on a spiral that was headed downward. I kept feeling as if I was messing up constantly, and even asked the question, WHY can’t I just get it right? How can I be a follower of Jesus and yet still can’t seem to get it right? (Dumb thought.. but of course when things aren’t going as planned, negativity always seems to get the best of us at times!) Oh, but the truth is, I am getting it right; we are getting it right. We are at the realization that we can’t do this life without Him. His commandments are so important, but when many view them as constraints or bondage, I see them as freedom. I see His commandments as love. When we first understand God’s love and learn to love Him for who He is, we delight in those commands :-) Especially because we live in a fallen world, He knows we’re not going to get it right, but it makes Him so happy when we realize we need Him. I’m just glad that we started this Book when I needed it the most. And because we did such a thorough study, and with all of your encouraging posts, I can confidently say the words have been burned into my brain! I know I will mess up again, but I can now cling on to these truths found within these pages. <3 Oh by the way if ya'll have an Instagram, follow me!! I would absolutely love to see your creativity & be more involved in this She Reads Truth community through that form of social media! Instagram: @jaidanicole

  • Father, thanks You for allowing us the blessing to come along side You and work. For the awesome opportunity to do a task with the gifts and abilities You provide! And sometimes even to celebrate in the results. Thank You Father! I know that these tasks are also meant to make me stronger in You and more well-equipped for the tasks and/or battles yet to cornea and ready for the kingdom! Help me to keep my eyes and heart open to the opportunities You present. Help me to be hard-working and never give up! Help me to be viligant and complete the task. Enable me to recognize the gifts and abilities You have given me for each task and not to focus on the limitations. Forgive me when I neglect Your House. Forgive me when I neglect Your temple! Forgive me for neglecting to serve like You have called me to do. Enable me to get more aggressive in protecting my children from the evil around them. Enable me to be wise, discerning and diligent.i pray for continued strength for the task! Help me to be mindful not to fall into the same old sins! Forgive me for being double-minded! Help me keep focused on You! Not one my circumstances! You are Awesome! You are Almighty! You are Able! You are FOR me! You are FOR my children! You are FOR my marriage! And NOTHING can stand against You!

  • I'm reading the Bible in a year chronologically and after yesterday's reading, I had to check to see when these events in Nehemiah took place…it turns out it was one of the last books before the break in between the old and new testament. I thought that was important because I think the ending points directly to our need for Jesus. No matter how many chances God gives us and how many times we repent, we will always be in need of a savior. We will never get it right on our own. I just love how the OT is always pointing to Jesus and how that was God's plan for us all along. Our God is "ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love." Amazing!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Abby! Knowing that this book was one of the last of the OT before Jesus was born is really interesting and beautiful… to know that the Lord was showing us how insufficient the law is, how grim and depressing the fate of those who try to live up to it without the blood of Jesus, is so… sobering. And then to read the gospels shortly after– to see the Light of Christ a midst the darkness of sin, law, and death, is so needed. "We will never get it right on our own." Father, forgive me for trying to get it right without You, when the whole point of this entire life is never to get it right, but to be incredibly close to You. To learn how to be. This entire life is going to be lived getting to know You and learning how to walk with You, how to dance… You've given us an entire life to let this relationship unfold and deepen. May it do just that, Lord. May we come to You, knowing it's not at all on us, wanting to embrace You because we love You instead of merely obeying Your words because we fear Your wrath.
      Thank you for this incredibly insight, Abby! God Bless you! :)

  • Looking back at the whole book of Nehemiah (or Nemo as my husband calls it), in the end I find it as a great reminder of our walk as Christ-followers. The Israelites have made it a habit of rejoicing, praising, worshiping and giving thanks to God when He brings them back into the fold, but then, like in yesterday's post, the high wears off. God rescues the nation from Egypt! Yippee!!! Then 40 years wandering the desert. God rebuilds their city and brings the people back together!! Woohoo!!!! Then how quickly they fall away. They are so fickle! How often we are like them though. We see God working in the positive times, but when our lives get a little cloudy, how quickly we start relying on ourselves and our human knowledge and abilities. We forget that praise and worship isn't just for times of great joy, but also for times of sorrow and pain. In fact, remembering to worship and give thanks is so much more important in those times when finding joy is the hardest. Nemo is a good study for self reflection, to see in our own lives where we have been just like the Israelites and have been fickle in our commitment, worship, and love of Christ. We look at how quickly they fell back into their human routines and we think, "You stupid people! Don't you see all that God has just done for you?!", and then it hits us, "I am just like Israel."

  • I felt that the book of Nehemiah relates to today's society in the way that many people are falling away from God's truth and promise. I, like many of us sisters, was left in confusion to why the book ended in this way. I didn't understand how a group of people, after seeing the way that God renewed their city, could fall back into their old and demolishing ways. It saddens me that this is happening in today's society, too. The percentage of teenagers who grew up in a Christian home, yet lose their faith when going away to college is quite scary. The enemy is at work in our hearts, trying to take us away from what we need most in this world.

    I really appreciated what I could learn from this study-I felt that I was learning knew things every day. God is so good at reveling His very being through an individual, in this case Nehemiah. Nehemiah is such a prayerful and faithful servant of the Lord, and there is a lot to be learned from this individual.

    Thank you #SheReadsTruth for an opportunity to share and to see what others learned through this study of the book of Nehemiah. Looking forward to the next study and learning with you all! Thank you, sisters! #SheSharesTruth

  • Jill haymon

    Me and my daughter have finished the study and both have enjoyed it so much. We definitely have been challenged. I was kinda left hanging as I read the last verse but forced to reflect. I almost feel it was included here just so we would be aware that in spite of God's goodness and forgiveness and healing- still there are ones of us who just don't really want it, it's hard to imagine not wanting His protection or benefits. But still again- hope is written through the book of Nehemiah in such a profound way! Always faithful is our God to us!!! Always ready to forgive and always abounding in love. I am thankful!!

  • Nehemiah

    There are multiple lessons to come away with from Nehemiah. Most valuable for myself was to see how complacency settles in when we fail to remember the greatness of fellowship with Christ and allow ourselves to become off guard.

    Purity, purifcation. Keeping the temple Holy. We must not allow the world to take residence in our temples as Tobiah did in God's house. Tobiah ultimately became homeless with his belongings strewn about. How humbling for him.

    God is so relentless in His forgiveness toward us. Chance after chance. He longs to see us succeed.

    We see in this chapter the value of keeping God's commands. The value of leadership, accountability, organization. The value of being grateful which leads to sustenance. May I never become complacent. May I always be grateful and careful to guard, protect and follow His plan for my life. Never to stray or allow the world to infiltrate and infect what He has established.

  • Crystal, I agree! It’s an amazing time God has chosen for us to live in. It’s awesome to know that we were made for such a time as this just like Ester. I’m so grateful that we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit here with us every step of this adventure.
    In the last chapter of Nehemiah in struck even more by Nehemiah’s heart than by the human nature I see in the Israelites who slide back into sin. Over and over he says “remember”. Remember Soloman who was amazing and fell away due to the sin your committing right now. Remember the punishment that came to our fathers who chose what you are choosing. Remember Gods love for David who chose a different way; a way imperfect but dedicated to God. Remember. I see Nehemiah’s zeal and passion for God and his ways wrapped up in his rememberance and understanding of who his God really is. It encourages me to seek to know God more, to remember his faithfulness to me, to my family and to the Israelits thousands of years ago.

  • I feel badly for Nehemiah! How many times have we pored our souls into a project only for it to not last after we leave?
    At the end,was Nehemiah trying to reassure himself of God's faithfulness?
    I loved the example of middle school camp! I remember those summers after camp when I was going to evangelize the world!
    Nehemiah is a great example of leadership and perseverance through failure. He didn't fail God,those around them did

  • The book of Nehemiah reminds me of the wonderful beginning in the Jesus Storybook Bible. "No, the bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young hero who comes from a far away country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne – everything – to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful fairy tales that comes true in real life!" I think God inspired Nehemiah to end his book with the Israelites falling back into their old patterns of sin because He was foreshadowing the coming of his son Jesus Christ. He is again laying the proof that WE cannot save ourselves with anything WE do and by following God's laws and living a sinless life, but that true peace and true freedom from the slavery of sin can only be found in his son, Jesus Christ. He is showing that the bible is not about rules and mistakes, but about love. A great big, real life, TRUE love story. I love reading the bible knowing that Jesus was a part of the plan from the very beginning. John 1:1&2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." Thank you, God, for letting me be apart of a generation in the Story that is alive after you revealed your Son to the world!

    • Kaitlin

      Love this, Crystal! I always love reading passages in the Jesus Storybook Bible. Glad you're here!

      xoxo Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • It's hard for me to sum up my comments on the Book of Nehemiah without writing pages. Each day there was something to learn and was applicable to my life. Nehemiah was a leader who struggled with opposition, fear, and criticism, to name a few. But he focused on God and God's will. I think that's the whole point of the chapter. We're going to continue to fail when we take our lives away from God. It's about trust in God, renewing ourselves in God, and choosing/supporting leaders with reverence and integrity, such as Nehemiah.

    • Kaitlin

      I agree, Michele! So much to absorb from this book. So glad you've enjoyed the study! We love reading with you!
      -Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • heathermkneisler

    Love all of these posts. Thank you for sharing and being a part of this amazing community!
    http://www.asweetsimplelife.com/home/2014/5/30/bu

  • It's funny because while I recognize the falling away of His people and the restoration and the cycle that continued and continues….the part that struck me most was Nehemiah last verse asking God to remember the good he had done. I can't imagine how Nehemiah felt. Actually I guess I can….lol. Have you watched your children lately? Haha! My children are entering the preteen years and I'm learning more form them then I think I am teaching them. I see them struggle spiritually and socially. I pray for them I guide them…I come to their rescue. I sit on the side lines and listen…..giving God a high five when the overcome their weakness. I cry when I see their weakness overcome them and consequences are inevitable. They know I won't give up on them because I've told them and I'm there good or bad ugly or beautiful. Isn't that how it was with Nehemiah? Of course on a bigger playing field…..but he held his breath waiting to see would they keep on or would they fall into temptation. Then he is there representing Christ helping them brush themselves off…..even getting angry….ok I do not beat my kids and pull their hair out! But I do get angry. Nehemiah like us as parents can see the forest through the trees knowing there is something bigger and greater to be won. He didn't give up on them! He could have walked away and said God you deal with them…..but he didn't. I think sometimes we come across Christains like this who need us to represent Christ and we give up. We say well you made your bed and now you have to sleep in it. ( I understand there is a point where even God leaves us to our own) but as a church are we Nehemiah's? That ministry that is getting tiresome or people are critical over but don't want to take the load. Those who come in and are struggling with sins they cannot let go of. Are we standing up and confronting that sin and then lovingly stand beside them? I don't see it much and I live in the Bible Belt. I see Christian snobbery that people struggling won't even admit to a sin they need help with. I see giving up ministries because it's just too much. I see people standing alone because no one will reach out and love them inspire of their addictions. Of course Sunday morning we all have out best on and we hug each other's neck and walk out and our minds never go back to the people we just left until next Sunday. Nehemiah took a leave of absence to help out these peopl!e! His testimony must have been great at his workplace. He then fought for right and stood in the gap and literally did not allow the sin to enter the gate.

    I ask God to forgive me for not being a Nehemiah. I ask him to help me to be that encourager and that strong hold for someone else who needs it. I pray I never give up on my kids, my husband, or others because I need God just as much as anyone else. God is good and faithful. He is forgiving and steadfast. God is love and ever patient. Thank you lord for keeping me focused and for forgiving me! I need you!

  • God KNEW in advance that his people would fail. He knows everything. And yet he still makes the effort always. He doesn't give up on us even though he knows we will fall again.

    • AnnaLee

      Isn't that beautiful? He knows our whole stories from beginning to end, and He loves us all the same. That unconditional love is fierce, unending, and intimate. Lord, I love you! Praise Him for how glorious He is to us. Such an important reminder; Praise God for you, Liz.
      Be blessed. :)

  • These Israelites are the people that God loved, that He chose. These ordinary everyday people with faults and weaknesses who got it wrong as much as they got it right, with a whole lot of goings in between. We are just as ordinary but we are also just as chosen. God already knows the flawed people that we are but He doesn't give up on us. He still loves it when we listen and build His walls, rejoice, celebrate, praise, repent…remember Him. Each day is a new day, His mercies are new everyday. Let's remember our God who's love for us is so much bigger than all the weight of all the times that we keep messing up. God is our way forward, every time.

    • AnnaLee

      Megan, praise the Lord for your words. "God is our way forward, every time." Father, usher us to yourself, forgive us of our sin, and show us where you'd have us head next. We need you, O Lord. We need you.

  • This book of Nehemiah reminds us that God's mercy and grace is available to all and more importantly is needed by all. Where you live, what you own, how you dress, who your relatives are, just doesn't matter. In the end, we all have the same words, the same plea; "Remember me, oh my God, for good,"

  • The ending of Nehemiah is not a fairy tale "happily ever after" story because real life is almost never that. I strive for that perfect ending in earthly situations and sometimes become frustrated and discouraged when there are messy loose ends and disappointments. However, I must keep remembering that there will be a final happy ending when time on this planet ceases and I am ushered into the throne room of my King to dwell in Him forever. So, like Nehemiah, in my simple life and walk I will keep working on things that are broken and striving for a better standard but always knowing only one day can I expect perfection not by my works or fixing. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NASB)".

    • Kaitlin

      Such a great reminder, Alece! LOVE the verse you shared!
      -Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I think my first reaction to the end of the book is to condemn the people for forgetting God again. But how can I, when I do the same thing? How many times am I convicted by something, decide to repent, but late fall right back into the same sin? Or worse yet are the sins I want to escape but can't seem to. I know I can't do it on my own, but even when I am trying to lay the sin at the foot of the cross so to speak, I still don't seem to change. It is so frustrating. For me, it is fear and self-doubt that I struggle with the most. I just finished a Masters and am about to start a job and feel terrified because I don't think I can do it. It is wrong to live with this fear and anxiety – it affects my life, my family…. How do get free of something that is sinful?

    • Brandi

      Janet, I think it's pretty important for us to recognize the tools, the weapons the enemy uses against us – like fear and self-doubt. We live in a fallen world in fleshly bodies. In our strength we can't break free! But what I have to remember is that the work has already been done for us! What I have done is every time I have a thought that produces fear or self-doubt I try to immediately replace with scripture, with God says, with praise! It takes more discipline than I have on my own. I'm lifting you up my Sister!

    • AnnaLee

      Janet, I'm right there with you. Self-doubt and fear are two of my worst enemies… I actually have a job interview today, and long story short, I'm very confused and not feeling too good about it, and I think fear and self-doubt are apart of it, among a lot of other things. These things are definitely tools of the enemy, and time & again they keep us from living out God's plan for our lives– He wants to bless us, to make us courageous, to enable us to live for Him all in our very unique ways!! Don't let these things stand in the way of embracing the Lord more and more. I'm praying for you now, Janet; may He keep you in His arms, lead you to what is true, and give you strength to do what He's called you to do. Amen.

      • Kimone

        God has not us the Spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind. Whenever you feel fearful, remind urself of that scripture. Also Joshua 1:9 Be strong and of good courage, for the Lord is with you wherever you go. Shun the enemy and glorify God in every stunt he tries to pull against you. You have victory in Jesus.

  • Nehemiah is another book that shows God’s people drifting away from Him. It’s constant isn’t it? A prophet comes and reminds them of God’s faithfulness to them and how they should repent and they do and then they all drift away again. I suppose I would too, there were so many laws to follow and I know I would fail following them every day. This book, along with many others, points us to Jesus. The One that rescued us from the Law! Praise God for the spotless, perfect Lamb that took my sins and the sins of the world so that we would be made holy and able to stand in God’s presence one day.

  • I feel as if this ending is a reminder. A reminder that everyone messes up, a reminder that God is still there when you do, a reminder that no one is expecting us to be perfect, a reminder that even when you turn your back to Him, He is still there just waiting for you to turn back around.

    Lord, thank you for this reminder. Thank you because I don’t have to be perfect. Thank you for always being right there, that no matter how far away from the finish line I’ve let myself go you were and are and always will be right there beside me, ready to pick me up and continue the race! Lord, I love you and I thank you amen

  • KatSmith1026

    So SO thankful for today's #shesharestruth! I was honestly left a bit confused yesterday, but loved taking the intentional time to think & process through chapter 13 more – we can't have Holy revelations unless we make room, SLOW DOWN, & provide opportunity for it! I just love reading everyone's insights here. I posted mine on my Instagram @katsmith1026 and it's linkup #6 Confusion & Revelation. Love you sisters!

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV
    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    This scripture defines the book of Nehemiah. There you saw the Israelites among others being reproved, corrected and instructed into righteousness.

    God is telling us here to :
    1) STOP committing the same sins
    2) STOP forsaking grace
    3) Cleanse ourselves and those around us from all things displeasing to Him and get ourselves in order. Its time to do what we ought to, raise the bar and start living at the standards He has set for us.

    The book of Nehemiah is inspired as such because it is how many of us are living today. As was shared yesterday, our lives can be so much like a church camp. We know we are living wrong, but refuse to confess our sins and repent until God points it out to us. Then we repent, more like ask for forgiveness, because repentance means to turn away from, then the fire is reignited and we are fully committed again. Only to find ourselves at a later date in the same position. Thats not christ like. Thats fleshy living. We've been on this road for too long, its time to switch lanes and get it right, in fact keep it right. Grace is sufficient, but at the rate some of us are going, it'll soon be out. (Exaggerating)

    We need to make up our minds, and align our hearts to the will of God, and go full speed ahead with no looking back.

    God was also showing us that, the offerings of men could not take away sin. We needed a saviour. It required the sacrifice of His Son to perfect forever them that are sanctified. Man couldnt do it, Nehemiah couldnt do it, but Christ sent by God, could.
    God bless you all.
    #SheSharesTruth #SheReadsTruth

    • AnnaLee

      Agreed, Kimone. I'm so glad to know of the great love of God, that even when we don't get it right or are flippant, falling on our faces, He is faithful to gently yet firmly pick us up, dust us off, and help us to overcome the sin that we fall into (sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously). What a good, gracious, God… that His love changes us into something that laws and man could never fathom alone.

      Have a blessed day, sister. Praise God for your words.

  • I have come to love this book! Ah, it truly shows me/us the heart of God. I remember vividly all the countless times I fell flat on my face and my earthly parents loved me and forgave me and pointed me back to the cross. They never gave up. The Word tells us that we are the children of the Most High and if an earthly father (or parent) can show us great love how much more our heavenly Father will. Also, not that this is ANY excuse to sin and be an "Israelite" but if we were perfect there would be no need for Jesus. God knows we will stumble and want he wants is true repentance when we do and do again! He wants a heart like David! God bless you all my SRT sisters! Can't wait for the next study to start!

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Katie! Thank you for these encouraging words! That He picks us up when we fall flat on our face… that all He desires is a truly repentant heart, one like David's. Father, give me that heart. Show me how to be more and more like you. We need you, Lord, and You are all we need. Praise you, father God.

      I can't wait for the next study either, Katie! SRT is SUCH a blessing! Have a great day, sis! :)

  • Jmtoad777

    The book of Nehemiah reminds me of the book of Jonah. I always want it to end "better". Doesn't everyone want a happy ending? This book is real life – not the fictional stories that movies are made up of – so we wonder why didn't God just leave the last part out?? Well, how many of our lives are just like this book? God leads us to do something, we humble ourselves before Him, we're generous and so grateful and then what? We fall flat on our face – AGAIN. I think with all the stories in the Bible if we didn't see the humanness of the Israelites we would lose hope. Who can live up to perfect/happy endings? Definitely not me! I've grown to be thankful for books like Jonah and Nehemiah because they are so realistic to the life I live…and they remind me how easy it is to get blinded and distracted, but more importantly it reminds me how much I need Jesus :) have a happy Friday, SRT :)

    • AnnaLee

      Thank you for this, sister! "God leads us to do something, we humble ourselves before Him, we're generous and so grateful and then what? We fall flat on our face – AGAIN." That's me. Lord, pick me up… show me what tripped me in the first place, and show me how to guard myself against it in the future. You are the Lord; let it be as YOU say, not as I say. Forgive me, Father. I love you. Amen.

      Be blessed, dear friend. Your words are so encouraging!

  • The end of this book was oddly encouraging and timely for me. I am in a place of discouragement, feeling like a failure and wondering if our marriage is doomed. It seems as if my husband and I just keep playing replay and reliving the same yuck over and over. Like Israel, we go through a time of true heart wrenching confession, forgiveness, recommitment and worship and a time of obedience and then wham we are right back in our muck again wondering how we got back here…

    As always it helps to know that this is part of the human condition and not just a personal defect. I really feel God saying through this that we continue to live with temptations in our lives and we are letting other things take precedence. There are things we need to be rid of. This is a tough one! But God is a ruthless God who goes to any length for His people. How great is that!

    • Candacejo

      Oh Melinda, He WILL go to any length for YOU and your husband! I remember those early days, with the busyness of life, raising children, just trying to hold everything together. You wonder if that love walked out the door, never to return!

      Do not despair, it is the trick of the enemy to get you to believe that your marriage is doomed! Stop him in his tracks, take charge of the situation and claim your marriage for Jesus. You have authority over the negative and the lies that he is whispering in your ear.

      No, it isn't easy, I am guilty of listening to him for far too long! But I believe half that battle is won in our minds and when we get that under control we have the power and energy to tackle the rest. ♥ Praying for you, friend. God is FOR you!

      • Melinda

        Thankyou for your encougement and prayers Candace! It really helps to have others hear and stand in my corner with me in prayer.

    • Katie

      Melinda, thank you for your honest transparency! I've been there – done that and like you may find myself doing it again. The truth God revealed to you about not feeling like it is a "personal defect" resonates strongly! Be encouraged! You have encouraged me. You will be in my prayers!

      • Melinda

        Katie, it is so amazing when God can use us to encourage each other. Thank you for your prayers. We are in this together, even at far distances.

    • Tiffany

      Melinda, I am right where you are at! My husband and I are currently in counseling and there are times where it feels like it's not going to get any better. This study has been encouraging to me as well and to know that I am not alone helps also! I will be praying for you and your husband.

      • Melinda

        Tiffany, i am praying for you and your husband this morning. I pray that Truth be made clear in your minds and in your marriage! I pray that you will grow in seeing each other as God has created you and prepared you for each other.
        I am so thankful that God gives us community to walk this road with. I will continue praying for you.

    • Nichole

      God is on your side. Praying for you! Xoxo.

    • AnnaLee

      Praying for you, Melinda. I just heard an encouraging message on Marriage during all times by Raul Ries, and it really put in my heart the truth of sticking with someone and letting the Lord work in the relationship, no matter how hard it gets. I could never understand the pain and conflict you must be going through, but hearing the message resonated with me all the same. I went to his site and it looks like there's a few on marriage… I hope that somehow, they are encouraging. Trust in the Lord. As Candace said, He IS on YOUR side! Don't lose heart, you are so very, very loved!! Be blessed sister. xo

      • AnnaLee

        Woops, I forgot the link! Here it is. http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/somebody-loves

        "Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." -Proverbs 1:7. I pray that if you listen to them, the Lord would work through them in You! Even if you don't, that the Lord would continue to minister to both you and your husband concerning fearing Him, and that it'd build you up in both wisdom and discipline. Love you, sister.

        • Melinda

          Annalee, thanks for this link, for your prayers and for this verse. Thank youfor standing with me. I will check this out. I appreciate your words about fearing Him alone.

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