Today in our study we will be in the book of Nehemiah. Contained within our scripture text is a man who found God’s highest priority for his life. We will never be at peace unless we live in God’s highest priority for our life.
Let’s start with a quick history lesson. As the book of Nehemiah opens it has been 90 plus years since King Cyrus made the original decree allowing the children of Israel to leave the land of their captivity and return to their home land. The book of Ezra records that only a fraction of the children of Israel heeded the call, 42,360, and were led by a man named Zerubbabel. Upon their arrival they went right to work restoring the altar and laying the foundation for the temple walls. When God’s people get serious about serving and honoring God it is only a matter of time before Satan comes calling. The neighboring communities, stirred up by Satan, assemble the lawyers and went to work trying to stop the children of Israel from building the Temple. A temporary injunction was obtained and the work stopped. Ultimately a search of the official records was performed and the original decree from Cyrus was found granting permission for Israel to go and rebuild. Well great, the good guys win! While it is true the injunction was overturned the children of Israel became their own worst enemy. The prophet Haggai informs us the people put themselves first and God was offered leftovers. Poor choices allowed the work of God to languish for many years leading up to the scripture text in Nehemiah. People lived and died around them never knowing the one true God because Israel was busy collecting this world’s goods. Read the rest of this entry »