Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 1:1-11, Deuteronomy 30:1-5, Deuteronomy 30:11-15, Hebrews 7:25
Back in 2014, when the She Reads Truth community was not quite two years old, Raechel and I felt called to something unexpected and, frankly, a little terrifying. Feeling a kinship to Nehemiah and his call to rebuild the walls of his city to establish a safe place for his people to gather and worship, we believed the Lord laid it on our hearts to build a Bible app with our Shes—a place for them read Truth together, every day. As that app was being built, the community read Nehemiah—some with the very first She Reads Truth study book in hand.
Today, four years later, we are reading Nehemiah together once again.
The Lord has done remarkable things in this community of Bible-readers in those four years. So many women have opened their Bibles for the first time—or for the first time in a long time—and have kept coming back, day after day. Together, we’ve approached God’s Word again and again as days and weeks have stretched into months and years. And together, we’ve marveled at what we’ve found: God is still faithful, and His Word is still true.
When Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls had been destroyed and her gates burned to the ground, he was devastated. As he wept for his home and his people, he did the one thing he knew to do: he sought the Lord. With prayer and fasting and confession, Nehemiah petitioned the Lord on behalf of Jerusalem. He declared God’s goodness and recalled God’s faithfulness. He spoke the Lord’s promises back to Him, believing those promises to be true while also petitioning the Lord to act on them.
Nehemiah longed for his city to be restored, and we can guess from the gumption we’ll see from him in later chapters that he felt a fire inside to bring about that restoration with his own two hands. But before he put a hand to a hammer, he bowed his knees in prayer. In his humility we see a truth confirmed throughout Scripture: any sense of calling we have, even those directly related to our faith in Christ, rests on the strength, sovereignty, and grace found only in Him. Any good work is God’s work. He invites and equips us to participate in it, which we do by faith in Him, not in ourselves.
As we read this Old Testament narrative together over the next three weeks, we’ll see how God indeed called Nehemiah to lead the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. But today, as we read this prayer from a broken man for his broken city, may we, too, begin with prayer and confession. Let’s declare God’s goodness and recall His faithfulness. Let’s speak His promises back to Him, knowing that He has both fulfilled them and is fulfilling them right where we are.
May the Holy Spirit teach us more about God the Father and Christ the Son as we read this book together. And may God give us strength and courage for whatever work He puts before us—both the grand endeavors and the single acts of faithfulness—to the honor and glory of His name.