The three Old Testament books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther address the theme of rebuilding and restoration. It would be worthwhile to study all of these books as a single unit. We will confine our focus to the book of Nehemiah in our All Comers class (February 20 through May 14). It will be an open-Bible study devoted to one chapter a week for thirteen weeks. Assisting me in teaching this class will be my co-workers Daniel Webster and Wayne Brewer
The book of Nehemiah is the story of restoration, resolve and rebuilding. It is a refreshing study of resiliency and determination among God’s people. It never fails to encourage us when such a spirit seems to be in short supply. Nehemiah provides insights into how to get things done when we put our minds to it. The book, however, is not all positive. To quote Wes McAdams from a book we studied a few years ago: “Nehemiah loses control. He screams and yells and curses at people. He threatens them, beats them, and even pulls out their hair. He is beyond frustrated. He is irate that the Jews continue to forsake the Sabbath, marry foreign wives, and dishonor the temple” (Beyond the Verse, 71). It should be an interesting study for sure!
Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem and finds the walls broken down and gates destroyed. He and the Jews had returned to a city whose walls were down and gates destroyed (1:1-3). He was determined to do something about it. This was not the typical response of, “Rebuilding the walls? That’s a good idea. Somebody ought to do something about that. Let’s appoint a committed to look into it.” In the spirit of, “here I am send me” he led the people into a rebuilding project. He faced opposition from enemies, and many frustrations among the rank and file, but the project was finished in 52 days. Why? Because “the people had a mind to work” (4:6).
The book of Nehemiah helps us to see the need for restoration. It’s theme is never out of date. We are far removed from the post-exilic period of Israel’s history, but a study of Nehemiah will keep its message deep in our hearts. Whether we are still struggling to bounce back from a global pandemic, to get our feet back on the ground spiritually, or struggling to help the church grow – there is hope! If you are a disheartened senior Christian, a self-absorbed young person, a discouraged teacher or a burdened parent – there can be restoration!
The All Comers class meets in the Adult 2 classroom on Tuesdays at 10:00 am. The seats are comfortable, the company is great, the conversation is energetic, the study is enlightening, the need is ever-present, and the opportunity is yours to be a part of it all. We livestream the class on Facebook. This is a wonderful time for fellowship and spiritual growth. It’s a little something extra to help you in your daily walk with Christ. If All Comers class has not been your thing in the past, try something new this year. Bring your Bible. Let’s grow together!