Presentation on theme: "What is the historical background to this book? Nehemiah Chapter One: WE HAVE NOT OBEYED."— Presentation transcript:
What is the historical background to this book? Nehemiah Chapter One: WE HAVE NOT OBEYED
1. THE FALL OF SAMARIA AND JUDAH The deportation of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 B.C. The subsequent destruction and exile of the southern kingdom by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. Nehemiah himself was among the Jewish exiles living in the Persian capital of Susa.
2. THE RISE OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE The collapse of the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C. The Persian emperor during Nehemiah’s time was Artaxerxes I (465-424 B.C.)
3. THE RETURN OF THE JEWISH EXILES TO ISRAEL Zerubbabel led the first return in 536 B.C. and rebuilt the temple Ezra the priest led the second return in 458 B.C. and rebuilt the people Nehemiah led the third return in 444 B.C. and rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem
MESSAGE What is a cupbearer? Nehemiah 1:11 A high and responsible position requiring - intellectual prowess - administrative ability - total trustworthiness.
A/ THE ADVERSE REPORT ABOUT THE PEOPLE AND THE WALL OF JERUSALEM Nehemiah enquired about his homeland from his visiting brother Hanani and other Jewish brethren (verse 2) The people and the wall of Jerusalem were in a sorry state of existence (verse 3)
B/ THE PERSONAL RESPONSE OF NEHEMIAH TO THE DEPRESSING NEWS HOW DID NEHEMIAH RESPOND TO THE DEPRESSING SITUATION IN JERUSALEM?
Nehemiah took the following action steps: 1. wept and mourned (verse 4a) 2. fasted and prayed (verse 4b) 3. hatched a plan to rebuild the Jerusalem wall (verse 11a) What is the significance of Jerusalem wall ?
WHAT KEY SPIRITUAL LESSONS CAN WE GLEAN FROM NEHEMIAH’S ACTIONS: Nehemiah ’ s proactive stance teaches us to avoid the following pitfalls: - Far easier to be negative than to be positive - Far easier to be critical than to be prayerful - Far easier to be detached than to be involved
WHAT WAS THE UNDERLYLING CAUSE OF THE NATIONAL CALAMITY WHICH BEFELL JERUSALEM? Nehemiah correctly diagnosed the problem as being due to - the sinful behaviour of God ’ s people (verse 7a) - the willful disobedience to God ’ s commandments (verse 7b)