Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study. This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
Kendra Graham NOTES from Nehemiah 4:3-5
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE.
In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
Verse 3: Tobiah was near and said: “What they are building- if a fox should jump on it, he would break their wall down.”
Verse 4: “Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads, give them up for plunder in a land of captivity.”
Verse 5: “Do not forgive and let not their sin be blotted out before You, they have demoralized the builders.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS.
Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
Verse 3: We like to say things like, “Sticks and stones break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” That is so far from the truth. There are times I wished my bones were broken instead of my heart that ached from sour words. Constant mockery and insults will wear us down. Here, the people are being told that all their hard work is just a total waste of time. They are not contractors, they have shoddy materials, all this wall is going to do is incite anger from the surrounding people and then they will see how weak their wall is. The enemy tells them they will fail…. just like they always fail…How the enemy loves to feed us lies, and how we love to feed on those lies for some reason. What we do, when we are doing that which God has called us to, does indeed matter. I love the verse I Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, BE STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, ALWAYS abounding in the work of the LORD, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the LORD. What God calls you to do, matters. Even if you “feel” like what you are doing does not matter and is not putting a dent in the problem… and since you started doing that which God has called you to, the matter often seems to have gotten a lot worse…. don’t believe it. Stay strong. Immoveable. Stop believing the lie that it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t do what God has laid on your heart. Rise up and be brave.
Verses 4-5: Nehemiah’s response? Go to the source of the lies, and chew them out? Put a status on FaceBook explaining his side of the story and get a “he said/ he said” battle raging in the community? Speak out against the bullies to the workers? The lies of the enemy want to divide God’s people into different camps, because if the enemy can accomplish that, then with that division among the people, no work will get accomplished. The enemy always seems to be able to unite on one premise: Destroy lovers of God. The enemy will unify to divide families (husbands and wives who love the Lord). The enemy loves to divide churches, committees, Christian schools, Christians on a sport team, members on a mission trip that started out with one singular purpose, but shortly after arriving on site…. everything falls apart and there is no unity. Nehemiah wisely sees this, so he goes to prayer. The same M.O. that Nehemiah has had since the beginning. Nehemiah knows that he knows that God has called him and the people to build the wall, so God must take care of the enemy for them. This is God’s glory at stake, not Nehemiah’s. Nehemiah asks God to do to the enemy what the enemy wants to do to God’s people. Nehemiah brings the problem to God in prayer, and then leaves it at the throne of God to deal with. God called Nehemiah and His people to this impossible task, God was not unaware of the opposition. The enemies were against God, God’s people, and God’s plan, so Nehemiah left them in God’s hands, refusing to be distracted, demoralized or divided.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY.
Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
Verse 3: When have I wanted to quit because I believed the lies of the enemy that what I was doing didn’t matter and would fall apart even though God had clearly called me to do it? Am I “immovable and steadfast” when it comes to obedience to God or am I quick to give up and run the other way when adversity strikes and my motives and work are challenged?
Verse 4-5: When have I spoken out of turn when I should have been silent and brought the issue to the LORD and LEFT it there? God has so many more resources, so much more wisdom and the power to correctly deal with the opposition, so why do I think it is my responsibility? When should I have let God defend Himself, me and His people instead of getting in the middle of things and making a bigger mess?
LIVE IT OUT!
Look over all your facts, lessons and applications for a given passage.
Is there a main theme to them? Does one verse stand out over the rest for some reason??
Hold yourself accountable to LIVE OUT in your daily life that which God impresses upon your heart. Write it out, sign it, date it and claim the transforming power of God’s Word and His presence in your life.
LORD, help me to trust in you today: to stand where You say stand and to stay when You say stay (even when I want to RUN), and to bring the opposition to You on my knees before I say or do anything rash. Help me to trust You.
Homework: Nehemiah 4:6
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!