Nehemiah 1:1-3:14; 1 Corinthians 7:1-24; Psalms 31:19-24; Proverbs 21:4
Today is the 11th day of August. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is wonderful to be here with you today. And as we are take the next up forward in the adventure that we are on, following the pathway that leads through the scriptures in a year, we have now come to a new book in the Old Testament, the book of Nehemiah. And the book of Nehemiah is one of the books of history in the bible, as the bible is kind of grouped. And it’s going to up, pretty much, where we left off with Ezra. And Christian tradition offers that Ezra is likely the author of Ezra and Nehemiah because they were at one time a single text. But Nehemiah was a real person. He was a Jewish exile in Persia and he hears of what’s going on with the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. And Nehemiah is high ranking. He’s a direct servant to the king and he has a passion to rebuild the wall. So, he knows his brethren have returned from exile and of begun to rebuild the temple but he gets a passion in his heart to rebuild the wall protecting Jerusalem because he sees that the temple is the heart of the Jewish culture but he also sees that there’s nothing to protect it. And, so, his heart moves in that direction, to rebuild the wall, which presents many metaphors for our lives right there. Nehemiah faces all kinds of opposition but he’s perseverant. He’s smart. We’re going to see this. It’s a great book. He remains single minded. He remains committed. He remains tenacious. Not to mention that he has completely put himself out there. He is utterly dependent on God. These are all things required for a successful life of faith. So, the wall is rebuilt in record time. Nehemiah returns to Persia and he is able to come back a couple years later only to find a strong wall and an incredibly weak people. And, so, he then sets about the task of restoring Israel to its glory before the Lord, which brings about revival in the land, repentance through the reading of the law, of the Hebrew story. So, Nehemiah isn’t just a great story or piece of history. It full of metaphor for our lives and we will certainly find ourselves in its pages. And, so, with that we begin Nehemiah chapter 1 verse 1 through 3 verse 14. And we’re reading from the Good News translation this week.
Ok. The book of Nehemiah is a place that we land each year and I love coming to this oasis. Because we’ve been moving through…ya know…a lot of kings…and goings on…and exile…and destruction…and…being carried off…and being returned…and just a lot of that for quite a while and it’s very important. And then then we get Ezra and we see that God does not forget and He brings his people back. And they begin to rebuild the temple because where else would they start. I mean, the restoration of the temple is more than a symbol to them. It’s the restoration of the heart of the people and the connection to God. So, that’s where they would start. But when we get to Nehemiah this really interesting thing that happens because it really shows us God’s call and then a person, kind of, discerning that call, preparing for that call, leaping into that call but soberly and truly counting the cost of leadership and then beginning to work. So, we just read the story but Nehemiah is the cup bearer to the king. So, he has access to the emperor of Persia every day but he’s a Hebrew and he knows that many exiles have returned to Jerusalem. And, so, he’s trying to keep in touch with that story but they’re a long way from Jerusalem. And, so, you know, he just takes the news as it comes and what he finds out is that it’s pretty hard going. The city of Jerusalem was completely destroyed when the Babylonians took over. So, the people have gone back and its rubble. So, it’s all just been knocked down. It’s burned up. Everything is destroyed. So, they’ve kind of got to wade through, find the remnants of the temple, kind of figure out how to go from there and this is a very, very tedious, kind of, earthmoving kind of thing where allot of things have to be moved out of the way. And, so, Nehemiah’s hearing this. It’s tough going. And he realizes that the temple is being rebuilt and there’s nothing to protect it and that really, really, sinks into his heart. That really, really affects him on an emotional level, that the temple of the most high God is standing within the rubble of a city that was utterly destroyed because the people rejected and walked away from their God and brought these things upon themselves. But now God is giving an opportunity for restoration. And the restoration is happening but everyone is exposed. Even the temple is exposed. There’s nothing to protect it and that bothers him. And, so, he begins to fast and he begins to pray and he begins to kind of move into this desire that is emerging in him. He wants to see the wall of Jerusalem rebuilt so that Gods temple is protected and revered and honored. And, so, he begins to get this desire but the way that he focuses that energy isn’t into drawing up all the plans that he’s going to do and the team he needs assemble and the way they need to plan this. What he does is, he begins to intercede diligently for the people in the place that he is going to go, should God allow him to press into this desire in rebuilding the wall. So, his heart is in intercession to God for the people that are there doing the work on the temple. Four months later…alright this is burning inside Nehemiah…its four months later that he finally has the opportunity to tell the emperor what’s going on inside of his heart. And the emperor, four months later, agrees to let him go and rebuild. And he does. But he goes prepared. The emperor’s willing to send him a guard along that path, which is a long way. He takes it. He’s also given the ability to reach out for supplies that he’s going to need including the supplies that it’s going to take to create a dwelling for himself. So, he plans to plant himself there during this work even though he’s going to be summoned back to Persia. He’s making preparations for what he’s going to need to do this job. He’s got the paperwork that he needs. Right? All the building permits, as it were. He’s got everything that he needs to give to all of those who are in authority governing the place of Jerusalem. And then he goes and makes the trip and he arrives and he makes the connections that he needs to make but he doesn’t, you know, go through the broken gates among the rubble following pathways that have been built just to get around to try to find leaders to try to get up on a large rock and declare, I Nehemiah am here. He’s totally, completely, low key. He comes in and gets some rest and begins to observe. He has a burning passion but he’s just observing the lay of the land. And, so, as he’s observing the people and the lay of the land and the destruction of Jerusalem, the purpose, the passion that he has is for the wall. And so, he sneaks out at night when no one knows, takes a couple people with him, and walks around the broken down walls of the city, surveying everything. Before he invites any other voices into the mix, anything like that, he goes out and systematically surveys everything that’s going to need to be done before he makes any kind of announcement about why he’s there. So, he arrives and sees, actually, what has to be done, assesses the situation before he says anything. This is so helpful because this pattern, this model can be used in just about any situation in our lives. It’s not magic. Right? I mean, it’s not magic. Like he’s not going to have any problems. As we will see, he’s going to have to face plenty of obstacles. The difference is he’s prepared for them. He knows exactly what’s going on. He’s totally not making this up as he goes. Allot times when we feel that call, that passion rise up in us, that God is introducing us or inviting us into a new season, and there’s going to be some new things and we begin to think about it and dream about it get more excited about it and we can’t wait and then we just go. But Nehemiah took months, he took a long, long time. Not only did he take months to intercede for the people in Jerusalem, it took him months to get to Jerusalem. So, there’s a lot of prayer and preparation that went into this before he even left Persia. And as we will see, this posture of leadership that Nehemiah exhibits is necessary. It’s what’s going to help lead this thing forward.
Father, we thank You for another day in Your word. And as we approach the book of Nehemiah, we invite Your Holy Spirit because it truly is helpful and practical in our lives. I mean, every page of Your word is practical and helpful to our lives and some things deal with what’s going on inside of us and other things give us common, solid, true advice about how to approach life on planet earth, walking with You, following You and what You lead us into. And, so, Nehemiah is such a book. And, so, come Holy Spirit, as we work our way through it. We ask, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayers and Praise Reports:
Hi Daily Audio Bible. It’s Margo from Australia. It’s, actually, kind of my first call. I did call last week but had a really bad line and you really couldn’t understand it. I only found out about DAB a few weeks ago I have instantly loved it. I know I’ve got limited time, so I want to get straight to the point because I feel so desperate for prayer right now. My 20-year-old son, his name is Elliot, he was in very bad car crash nearly four months ago and I nearly lost him. He was on a comma in ICU and then in hospital for about a month. He is recovering incredibly well, thanks be to God and many, many, many people praying for him. But for the last two years he’s been in a toxic relationship with a girl who is really bad for him. We have prayed and prayed and prayed about this relationship and since his accident she’s only gotten worse. She has been so nasty and has caused him and half of his family so much pain and suffering. And now she’s almost effectively turned him against us. Elliot is blind to her manipulations and he seems to be under her power. He’s angry at me. He’s very cold towards me. After nearly losing him to death I now feel so rejected by him. Would you please pray for him? I feel so desperate. His anger towards me is so painful and all I ever did was love him. Please pray that he’ll see the truth and the truth will set him free and that the stronghold will be broken in his life. And please pray that God will give me strength to bear what I need to bear. Thank you for praying and God bless you all.
Good afternoon Daily Audio Bible family. This is Lee from New Jersey. Today is August 7th. Yes. And it is a rainy, rainy Monday. And I’m on my way back home from work and just wanted to call in and thank you doctor Jordan. I am sorry that I couldn’t meet up with man. I hope you had a great time on your birthday and down here at East Side Heights, which is a great place to be during the summer time. So, blessings to you and your family. Also, just wanted to call and thank all of you that are continuously praying for my family, for myself, my salvation, the salvation of my family. I also wanted to mention that I share a birthday with a twin sister. Her name is Dianna. And she’s lost. She’s been lost for a few years now. She’s lost her two children. She’s addicted to drugs. She’s actually selling herself. And I haven’t seen her for over two years. And no one knows her whereabouts. So, family, please pray for my sister. Pray for Dianna. Please pray for God’s intervention, that she’ll seek help, that she’ll look to get better and forget about any mistakes that she made. And, you know, coming to God. That’s what it’s all about. So, just asking for our prayer warriors, our friends and family that’s out there just to pray on our behalf our intercession. I just want to say that I love you all and I’ll be calling back soon.
Hi. This is Ola from Athens calling. I had a leading from God to do this for a while now but I was basically feeling uncomfortable about it but I still need to obey. So, here goes. It’s about giving to the Daily Audio Bible. I’ve been a one-and-a-half-year listener and a couple of months ago God led me to start to give to this ministry because, I mean, it’s doing awesome things in my life and your life as well. I struggled because of financial obligations with the family, with kids, with work, and all of that. And God laid in my heart to give part of my tithe to this ministry because, the truth is, this ministry saved me even more than my home church because I listen on a daily basis I get prayers, I get commentary from Brian. I mean, it’s almost like church in the house for me. And this was the revelation that God gave me concerning the Daily Audio Bible. So, I committed to God to give a portion of my tithe to this ministry. So, I don’t know who this is for. I don’t know who really wants to support this ministry and is struggling financially and thinks, ‘oh where am I going to get the money from’. This is what God asked me to do. I have done it. And it’s my job to obey. It’s His job to turn the hearts of men to listen and be convicted as well. But please, please, there are many, many, ways - many ways God will lead you to give if you have a heart to give. Thank you and God bless.
Hey family. This is Pastor Gene from Bradenton, Florida. I love you very much. I’m returning from the airport from dropping Pastor John, who is going for major surgery in San Diego. I pray that you guys will help me pray for him, that everything will go according to the Lord’s will and that He will keep my husband safe and that the surgery will be a success. And I just want to pray with you guys now. Let’s pray. Father, I thank You very much for my brothers and sisters, whom I love very much. I want to testify to Your goodness and greatness during our youth camp. You worked mightily and we are so grateful to You Father. We also recognize the attacks of the enemy that have followed after the camp, an expected strategy from the enemy. But we declare that no weapon forced against us will prosper and we are more than conquerors in Your name. Father, thank You for affirming the word that You have started in each one of those young people as we continue our work with them as the months go by. Father, I want to thank you for my sister, Sharon, from California, I believe. She’s an older lady. She says she has struggled with depression most of her life and she says that she’s given up. But she hasn’t because she was motivated enough to reach out to us for prayer and that shows that she has hope. She has hope that prayer works. And, so, we come before You and we call upon Your name on behalf of our sister and we pray for a miracle, for a breakthrough in her life, for flesh and bones brothers and sisters that can surround her and be arms and legs for our sister. In Jesus’ name, Father, I pray for my brother David from Kansas and I continue to believe that You are going to lift him up and give him the strength to get up and fight for what You’ve already given him.
My name is Laurie in Los Angeles. God led me to the Daily Audio Bible in January after I received divorce papers from my husband of 33 years. This ministry has nourished, strengthened, encouraged, and helped me grow in the Lord. Even though finances are tight, I felt led by God to give monthly donations to this ministry and I encourage all listening to do the same. I’m grateful for all that have called in asking for prayer and to those who have blessed us with encouragement and prayers. A big thanks to Sandy in New Hampshire for calling in and praying for marriages. When my husband told me he was filing for divorce I fervently prayed for God to move mountains in our relationship and for restoration of our marriage. But I was soon convicted to change my prayers. I stopped telling God what mountains to move and I let Him show me what needed to be restored. I laid the desires of my heart at the foot of the cross so that I can be receptive to what God was wanting to do in my life. I began to focus my prayers on healing and restoring my relationship with God. I cannot hope to have healthy relationship with others if I don’t have a healthy relationship of God first. I pray that as we listen to God’s word being read and the insight shared by Brian, we will come to a place of surrender, forgiveness, healing, and complete trust in the works God is doing in our lives. Thanks to all in this community for being used by God to help each other walk through the painful seasons of our lives.