1. Accept hardship and difficulties as road bumps on the journey of life (Nehemiah 9:36-37)
2. Reflect on the past: See your journey through the rear-view (Nehemiah 9:1-35)
a) God is powerful beyond every circumstance in your life
b) God is loving despite our pride and unfaithfulness
c) God is patient, waiting for us to return
3. Commit to the destination: Make no provision for Route B (Nehemiah 9:38; 10:1-39)
4. Course-correct along the way: We all need a Nehemiah (Nehemiah 13:1-31)
Follow-up Questions from Sunday:
Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or that caught your attention, challenged, or confused you?
1. Read Nehemiah 9:36-37. Now compare this to Nehemiah 9:9-12 which reflects on a similar problem at an earlier stage in Israel’s history. Why do you think Israel has returned to a similar situation again? Why is confessing this helpful for God’s people?
2. Read Nehemiah 9:16-18. Why do stubbornness and arrogance inevitably lead to failure? Have you ever repeated mistakes because of stubbornness? Name a couple examples and pray that God would give you freedom from stubbornness.
3. Read Nehemiah 10:28-29. The people of Israel make a strong vow to keep the Law and obey God in the future. We still make strong vows as part of our marriage ceremonies. What is the value and purpose of a vow? Why do you think vows are rare, in today’s world?
4. Read Nehemiah 10:30, then compare it to Nehemiah 13:23-27 and 1 Kings 11:4. Intermarriage with those who did not follow the Lord was a problem that plagued Israel. Paul brings up a similar problem in the lives of believers (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). How do you maintain friendship with non-Christians without being drawn into ungodly behavior? If this is a struggle for you, how can you manage relationships more wisely? Has this boundary changed at different points in your maturity as a Christian?
5. In Nehemiah 13, Nehemiah responds to compromises the Israelites have made during his absence. Read Nehemiah 13:6-9 and compare it to Matthew 21:12-13. Jesus and Nehemiah both take strong action to remove the source of corruption from God’s house. Why was strong, physical action appropriate in both situations? Have you ever “cleaned house” in your own life or urged someone else to remove a distraction or compromise from theirs?
Close your group with prayer, asking the Lord to give us wisdom for our daily lives in these unique days we’re living.