Nehemiah  8,  Proverbs 12:1-14,  Luke 17:20-37,  2 Timothy 3:1-9    Nehemiah  8: The reading of the Law is the central component of this book, and in particular the people’s remarkable response to that reading. There are several aspects to take notice of regarding how the teaching of the Bible was communicated. First, it was read…

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Nehemiah  7,  Proverbs 11:16-31,  Luke 17:11-19,  2 Timothy 2:14-26  Nehemiah  7: The wall has been built, but the work carries on—that is the work of rebuilding God’s people which the rebuilt walls represent and protect. Nehemiah first shrewdly delegates. He selects on the principle of faithfulness and being God-fearing (7:2). Those who fear God will…

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Nehemiah  6,  Proverbs 11:1-15,  Luke 17:1-10,  2 Timothy 2:1-13  Nehemiah  6:   Despite their ongoing success, the enemies continue their attack. Now it is a policy of fear mongering. They wish to make Nehemiah afraid, to make him look bad, to sully his name, and therefore cause his leadership to fail. They begin by inviting…

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Nehemiah 4-5,  Proverbs 10:17-32,  Luke 16:19-31,  2 Timothy 1  Nehemiah 4-5:   The next two chapters provide a master lesson in leadership based on the fear of God that is pure but not naive, canny but also generous and openhanded. We meet the enemies, Sanballat and Tobiah, and hear their public gossip despising the works that…

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Nehemiah 3,  Proverbs 10:1-16,  Luke 16:10-18,  1 Timothy 6:11-21 Nehemiah 3: This chapter lists all the teamwork that comes into play, the various groups of people as they now build as Nehemiah had led them to do. It takes every part of the body to do its task. Reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-20, we find the…

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Nehemiah 1-2,  Proverbs 9,  Luke 16:1-9,  1 Timothy 6:1-10   Nehemiah 1-2:  It is hard, if not impossible, to comment on all the good things in these two chapters regarding faith, leadership, and God’s answer to prayer. Note, for example, Nehemiah’s interest in the work of God (1:2). We are always to be interested in how…

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Ezra 10,  Proverbs 8,  Luke 15:11-32,  1 Timothy 5:16-25   Ezra 10: The principle at stake here is one that is reaffirmed in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 7:39), but it is important to understand the nature of the problem. What mattered was not the “race” of the people concerned—Israel was always meant to be a…

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Ezra 9,  Proverbs 7,  Luke 15:1-10,  1 Timothy 5:1-15   Ezra 9:   Things are going well, but then there is calamitous news. The officials come to tell Ezra that the people had intermarried with the nations who were not following God, and that the leaders and the officials had led the way in this intermarrying (9:1-2).…

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Ezra 8,  Proverbs 6,  Luke 14:25-35,  1 Timothy 4   Ezra 8:   The recording of the genealogy of those who returned with Ezra (8:1-14) reveals that there are none of the tribe of Levi (8:15). Therefore, to fulfill obligations in the Law, Ezra recruits successfully (8:16-20). He is careful to ensure that all is done properly…

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