NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passage: Nehemiah 1–7
- How has God miraculously opened the door to a conversation or situation in your own life?
- What are some tasks God may call us to for which we might feel incapable?
- Which Scripture might help us when we find ourselves facing opposition?
Food for Thought:
The books of Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther all contain stories of God’s people in exile. After generations neglected God and His instructions, the Lord did exactly what He said He would do. He replaced the blessings of His covenant with curses through exile in Babylon.
After the Persian Empire took control, the possibility of returning home became a reality for those in exile. Yet the heroes of the exile found themselves in a state of flux. Could they be forgiven of their sin? Was God still with them? In each of these books, God’s answer is clear: Yes!
The Lord’s covenant was as faithful as ever because God’s faithful love endures forever.
In the book of Nehemiah, we see God’s faithful love on display through concerns of the heart, prayers of faith, and the work of protection that came through Nehemiah. This Jewish cupbearer to the Persian king brought the Israelites together to rebuild the walls of protection around Jerusalem. This would help with their safety and also their reputation. No longer would they be a disgrace in the eyes of the surrounding peoples. And this of course would impact the way people understood the God of the Israelites.
Jerusalem’s protection and image boost were not permanent. One day the city would fall again. Nehemiah’s work was timely and purposeful, a mission from the Lord; but only through Jesus’ death and resurrection allow us eternal protection from Satan.
We can’t dismiss the real-time and real-world benefits of a protected space on earth, but neither should we overplay its significance. Ultimate protection comes from the all-powerful God who cares for His people, guides them in His ways, and leads them home to eternal protection in heaven.
Because we Christians are protected and secure in Christ through faith in Him, we can cooperatively complete the kingdom work God has given us, both in the church and in the world. God’s gracious hand is upon us to love our fellow believers in Christ for their edification.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at Lifeway.com/gospelproject.