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 5:17-19
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 17: At my table: 150 Jews, officials, besides those from nations around us.
Verse 18: Prepared each day: 1 Ox, 6 choice sheep, birds, once in 10 days all sorts of wine in abundance. For all this I DID NOT demand the governor’s food allowance, because servitude was heavy on the people.
Verse 19: Remember me, Oh God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
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 17: Nehemiah, the governor, fed at least 150 people a day from his own abundance,, that he brought with him. Even though Nehemiah was the governor, and had the right to hoard those things that were “his”, he freely shared them with his own people as well as strangers. These “officials” which were beating payment out of the people were probably some of the ones enjoying the gracious table at Nehemiah’s quarters! I should show grace, because I have received grace. So often we are quick to take for ourselves then demand more from others. Oh that I can be gracious and not hold on to things so tightly! Give of my things because someone else needs it more. Don’t hoard the blessings of God. True blessing is often in the giving out of our poverty than anything else. Hard to do….. but a tremendous blessing.
Verse 18: Nehemiah had every right to demand more for himself. Nehemiah was the governor! The people were required to house him, feed him and take care of him! Nehemiah represented the King and the people were to treat him likewise with the honor and things due him. Nehemiah took none of it. Instead of demanding food, which was his “right” he gave food. The people could hardly take care of themselves, let alone a Governor with all his entourage. A true leader considers the people before himself.
Verse 19: Nehemiah writes all this in his journal…. not thinking we would all see, thank goodness we are! Nehemiah doesn’t flaunt his rights in front of anyone, but can go to God with all genuineness and say, “Remember me for good”. How easy is it to flip and take all the power that he had a right to… but instead, Nehemiah fights that urge, and can go before God with a clean heart: He fought for God’s people. He didn’t take advantage of them, he loved them and lead them to his best for God’s glory. Nehemiah was serving for the eyes of One to see. Not worried about what anyone else thought of him, but God who placed him there. Whatever our hands find to do, may we do it as to the glory of God.
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 17: How is God challenging me to be that blessing of His grace to others in my life today? Give forgiveness to someone when it’s not even asked for? Give a dinner or a lunch to hurting friend? Give time to someone who needs to talk?
Verse 18: Where and in what aspect am I a leader? As a leader, what “rights” have you earned that you demand from your people (family, church (Sunday School teacher, VBS worker, nursery worker are leaders too), committee, work, coach)? What kind of leader am I? Do others thrive under my leadership or do I get a lot of call outs when I am in charge? How am I serving those under me? Am I leading by example, or by the rights I have well earned and deserve?
Verse 19: At the end of the day yesterday and today, can I honestly go before God and say, “Remember me for this day, for good, for all I have done for Your people?”
LIVE IT OUT!
LORD, help me start a new trend, that I look to You to give me the strength to love those You have called me to love and work hard for an audience of One. Help me to say at the end of this day, “Remember me this day for good, for all I have done for Your people.” Give me eyes to see, a heart to listen and the feet to do.
Homework: Nehemiah 6:1-4
Get stuck? www.annegrahamlotz.com and Anne will walk through the Three Questions with you and help you along!