Talks for Growing Christians
A Broken Heart for Broken Walls
Lesson Number 1
- God desires to see strong spiritual walls.
- Our first step in spiritual wall-building must be concern.
- Why is it important to understand the historical setting of events recorded in Scripture?
- Approximately when did the events in this book take place?
- Name the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, and to whom each one fell. Why did the kingdoms fall?
- Discuss the return of the Jews to their homeland. Which prophets were instrumental in touching the hearts of the Jews? Who led the first group back? Who led the second group back?
- Who was Nehemiah, and what was his response to the news of the walls of Jerusalem?
- In order to appreciate more fully the spiritual lessons and principles that God wants us to learn from each portion of His word.
- Near the close of the Old Testament period, 445-430 BC.
- The Northern Kingdom, Israel, fell to Assyria 722 BC, and the Southern Kingdom, Judah, fell to Babylon 586 BC, because they forsook the law of the Lord their God.
- In 538 BC, the Persians conquered Babylon. Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, issued an edict which permitted 50,000 Jews to return to Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel. A Jewish state was established under the Persian government (recorded in the book of Ezra). The prophets Zechariah and Haggai motivated the people to rebuild the temple in 516 BC. In 458 BC, Ezra, a great spiritual leader, led 2,000 more Jews back to Jerusalem, but the walls were still in ruins.
- Nehemiah was the Hebrew cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes I. He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed. He showed great concern for his city, Jerusalem, and his people, the Jews.
- Review the “triple S” of wall-building.
Strength: How can we defend our faith against Satan and his attacks?
Stability: What methods help us to grow?
Separation: How can we become more separated set apart) and less governed by attitudes and values of this world?
- Read Nehemiah 1:4. How do you respond when you become aware of broken spiritual walls (either your own or another Christian’s)? When you see a job to be done at your church, what is your response? When you see or hear of a problem or need in another country, do you forget about it? Consider what you could do in each of these situations.
- “Fasting is giving up something to spend more time with God.” What does this mean?
- Write a specific resolve for building, re-building, or strengthening your spiritual walls.
- “I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” Nehemiah 1:4