Nehemiah 1 and 2 Devotional

Welcome to this edition of Blogging Through the Bible, where four sisters have banded together determined to read the Bible cover to cover, and take turns blogging about it.  

We finished the book of Ezra, and what a JOY it was!  Two sisters have a fabulous on-going index of our work: Angela @ No Longer Lukewarm, and Tatiana @ The Musings of Mum, and StaceyLynn knocked it out of the park with her insight and perspective shared last, at Words From the Wheel.  Visit again and again, we know you will be blessed.

We invite you to read with us, and join the conversations at our blogs, or in our women's ministry group, Titus Women's Gathering.

Nehemiah chapter 1
Interestingly, this book is written in first person, by a high Persian official, Nehemiah, whose family roots are back in Jerusalem.  He is serving as wine-taster for the King Artaxerxes.  When he hears of bad fortune, wall in shambles, around Jerusalem, he becomes depressed and weepy.

He prays passionately after fasting (v.4-11).  He literally asks God for favor before Artaxerxes, suspect that his topic of concern for his homeland will be brought up to this king whom he works for.

Nehemiah Chapter 2
Indeed the king notices Nehemiah's sadness and inquires.  It is then that Nehemiah asks for a favor, a big favor:

Nehemiah 2:4-5 King James Version (KJV)

Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

The king obliges.  Remember, this has been covered in prayer, it is to benefit God's people, and fasting preceded this turn of events. 

Nehemiah further thinks ahead and asks for official travel documents or "letters" to aid in smooth travels and cooperation of all peoples (political cultures) that he may come across.  Indeed it is helpful, if not necessary.

The rest of chapter 2 details his travels, his political maneuvering and visits, on the way to the city of his heart and homeland, Jerusalem.  When he arrives, he inspects and sees that the rumors were true, of the sad state of affairs.  The temple, the wall, the presentation of the city,  and the morale of the people were weakly.

Finally Nehemiah speaks his thoughts and plans to the high officials, the priests, the nobles:

Nehemiah 2:17-18 King James Version (KJV)

17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

Verse 19, mock and ridicule or resistance comes, but (verse 20) faith, determination, and good leadership prevails:

Nehemiah 2:20
...The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build...

What qualities of good leadership do you see in Nehemiah?
What can we learn by his example of how to accomplish for the Lord, or His people?
Did Nehemiah's service or accomplishment for God or His people, follow his heart?
What does God call your heart to do?  Where does He call you to serve?

Dear Father in Heaven, I thank you for Your word preserved for us.  I pray that my heart would care about what Your heart cares about, and that my life would be led by Your Holy Spirit to do Your work, and to represent Christ's LOVE, wisdom, and light.  In Jesus's name I pray, amen.

We want to inspire and encourage others to make time for study of God's word.  We would love to hear from you in the comments, and if you are a blogger and would like to join us in our regular Blogging Through the Bible activities, speak up.  We can make that happen!


  1. I love how Nehemiah prayed about everything before proceeding. And later in the book we see that he is selfless because he doesn't take a salary, but he supplies food to others from his own possessions.

    1. Thank you for visiting and bringing that up Susan. This is my first time to read the Old Testament thoroughly and I am ENJOYING it so much!! God's Word is such a blessing!!

  2. I love how all of you ladies are coming together to share what you learned from reading fron the Word in a year- such a great idea! Thanks for bringing to life the story of Nehemiah! It was a great reminder that he sought God for favor before the king.

    1. Agreed... that is one of my favorite take-aways for this chapter: how he preceded his work and endeavors with prayer. Thank you for visiting here Sarah.

  3. I think it’s awesome that there are four of you working together to read your way through the Bible. We’re made for community and i believe this year where you journey together will be one that grows all of you. Thank you for this post on Nehemiah, I’m very much impacted by the heart Nehemiah had to act for his people. When the Lord puts something in our hearts, it’s for a greater purpose hey. Bless you, keep up the great work xx

    1. I have enjoyed sweet community in blogging and you are so right about us being created for that. Thank you for visiting, and being a part of my new friends in blogging.


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