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Nehemiah 4:1-6

Talks for Growing Christians

Nehemiah 4:1-6

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Lesson Number 9

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There will always be opposition to the work of the Lord.
  2. Imprecatory praying is biblical.

Practical Application

  1. Expect to be ridiculed as a Christian.
  2. Your best defense is a good offense.

Questions

  1. Who are the Samaritans? Why is there friction between Jews and Samaritans?
  2. Why is there always opposition to the work of the Lord?
  3. What surprising things does Nehemiah pray?
  4. Define imprecatory prayer.
  5. On what basis is imprecatory prayer used?
  6. How effective were their insults in stopping the repair of the walls?

Answers

  1. When the northern ten tribes of Israel were conquered and taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC, the Assyrians repopulated the northern area of Israel with captives from foreign lands. The Samaritan people were the result of intermarriages of foreigners and the remaining Jews. They developed their own system of worship and made Mt. Gerizim their official place of worship. Since the Samaritans’ bloodline was not “pure” and they did not worship at the Temple in Jerusalem, there was constant friction between them and the Jews. In Jesus’ time the “Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9).
  2. Satan becomes active when he sees a work of the Lord doing well and prospering.
  3. He asked God to retaliate! “Give them as plunder…do not cover their guilt or blot out their sins.”
  4. It is prayer invoking the opposite of a blessing, calling for judgment to fall on God’s enemies, and that they will not prosper or be blessed.
  5. It is based on divine justice, with God’s standards being upheld (not based on personal grudges!)
  6. The insults motivated the people to work harder (verse 6)!

Discuss/Consider

  1. What should we do when we are ridiculed for our faith? What did Nehemiah do?
  2. What gives you the most trouble: external criticism or internal doubts and fears?

Challenge

  1. We read that “the people had a mind to work” (verse 6). What happens when people do not have a mind to work? How could you turn this kind of a situation around?

Key Verses

  • “So we built the wall, for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6

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