The Inside Column 16/9

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 17, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be looking into the book of Nehemiah.

Who wrote the book?

Jewish tradition identifies Nehemiah himself as the primary author of this historical book. Much of the book is written from his first-person perspective. Nothing is known about his youth or background; we meet him as an adult serving in the Persian royal court as the personal cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. This prestigious position reveals something of Nehemiah’s upright character. The book of Nehemiah could be read as a sequel to the book of Ezra, and some scholars believe the two were originally one work.

The book of Nehemiah opens in the Persian city of Susa in the year 444 BC. Later that year, Nehemiah traveled to Israel, leading the third of three returns by the Jewish people following their seventy years of exile in Babylon. Most of the book centers on events in Jerusalem. The narrative concludes around the year 430 BC, and scholars believe the book was written shortly thereafter.

Why is Nehemiah so important?

Nehemiah was a layman, not a priest like Ezra nor a prophet like Malachi. He served the Persian king in a secular position before leading a group of Jews to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the city walls. Under Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jews withstood opposition and came together to accomplish their goal. Nehemiah led by example, giving up a respected position in a palace for hard labor in a politically insignificant district. He partnered with Ezra, who also appears in this book, to solidify the political and spiritual foundations of the people. He did not claim glory for himself but always gave God the credit for his successes.

Nehemiah recorded the reconstruction of the wall of Jerusalem, Judah’s capital city. Together, he and Ezra, who led the spiritual revival of the people, directed the political and religious restoration of the Jews in their homeland after the Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah’s life provides a fine study on leadership. He overcame opposition from outsiders as well as internal turmoil. Accomplishing those goals resulted in a people encouraged, renewed, and excited about their future.

Church Garage Sale 27 October 2018

It is just over a month until our Church Garage Sale. So if you have anything that you are wanting to clean out of the house or garage (please no tv’s or broken things) then you can start bringing items to the church hall.

Thanks to everybody for supporting the Youth Baking stall over the last couple of weeks. The money will help pay for Spring Camp.

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

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