What a journey we have taken this month! We traveled with Nehemiah from the Persian capital all the way to Jerusalem. We mourned over the devastation of Jerusalem and rejoiced when God’s favor fell upon His servant. We watched as he faced fierce opposition and displayed an even fiercer faith. Through it all, we learned the importance of trusting God no matter what we face.
In the final chapter of Nehemiah, we saw things fall quickly apart. The repentance of God’s people seemed short lived. They turned from following the Lord and returned to their former wicked ways. This last chapter may not be the happy ending we longed for, but there are some important life lessons.
First, Nehemiah’s ending encourages us to examine our own lives and relationships with God. What has your relationship with God looked like in the past? When God’s people were in times of trouble, they were always encouraged to remember what God had done for them (Ps. 77:11). Remembering God’s provision gives us courage for our future. If God helped us overcome in the past, we need not fear our next steps.
Second, we are reminded to remain faithful to the Lord. It means walking each day in obedience to God’s commands. Obedience shows our allegiance to Him and keeps us on the right path. We are warned not to swerve off the path, but to remain faithful, even in the absence of a strong leader.
This book ends with a striking plea: “Remember me with favor, my God” (v. 31). It reminds us of a similar phrase in the New Testament, words that believers long to hear from God at the end of our earthly journey: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:23).
>> What is one lesson you can take away from this study? Share what you have learned and invite someone to study Today in the Word with you! Next month, author Kelli Worrall helps us understand what the Bible says about being called by God.
Father, the book of Nehemiah reminds us to be committed and vigilant in following You. We have learned to pray to You with honesty, with repentance, and with straightforward requests. We have seen Your mercy and holiness honored.