We are made to love stories—and Nehemiah draws us into a powerful one. It’s a true story, all about God’s faithfulness to His people and the call for their faithful response to Him. As Nehemiah leads the returned Jewish exiles to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, it is clear God is watching over His people as He promised in His Word—and calling them to walk in light of that Word.
To get into this story, we need context. The Book of Nehemiah is not just about a leader who masterfully accomplishes the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s broken-down wall. Nehemiah’s people and city have a history. These are the people to whom God has made promises— promises that reach back to the beginning of the biblical story, as we’ll see in this session.
The promises reach forward, all the way to us today. The Book of Nehemiah tells a crucial part of the story of redemptive history— our history, as Christians saved by the promised Christ who in the fullness of time was born of this people’s seed. Nehemiah’s restoration of a worshiping people tells our story, for the Old Testament system of worship points straight ahead to our Lord Jesus, through whom we have access to God. We must take this story personally. This lesson will help us get ready to take it in.