Mar 3, 2024    Pastor Matt Haywood

Last week we began looking at Nehemiah and how he had concern for the people of God who were living in Jerusalem. We have to remember that the people had been exiled from the land for their unfaithfulness to the Lord and had been taken into captivity, first with the northern tribes of Israel into the hands of the Assyrians, then with the southern tribe of Judah into the hands of the Babylonians.

After a period of about 70 years according to the prophecy given to Jeremiah, God raised up a Persian king by the name of Cyrus the Great who conquered Babylon and who would issue a decree that a group of Israelites could go back to Israel and begin rebuilding the temple. This first group was led by a leader named Zerubbabel and they began to rebuild the temple under the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah the prophets.

The next wave of people who came to rebuild was led by Ezra the priest in 458 B.C. The original group that had been there to rebuild had fallen into sin and Ezra led the people in a revival to purify themselves and turn back to the Lord.

Finally we arrive at a third group of people who will be led by Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. First they built the altar and then the temple under Zerubbabel, but the walls of Jerusalem still lay in ruins. 

Last week we saw how when news of the condition of the people reached Nehemiah in the palace of the Persian King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah wept and sought the Lord. Tonight, we are going to pick up with the story and see what happened next and how we can trust in the good hand of God.