How does Nehemiah identify himself?Nehemiah introduces himself as the writer. What was Nehemiah’s job in Susa?He refers to himself as a “cupbearer of the king of Persia.”(v.11) How long was Nehemiah governor of Judah?Nehemiah 5:14 says 12 years. Was God in Nehemiah’s desire?Yes. God put it in his heart to rebuild Jerusalem; Nehemiah 2:12. What did Nehemiah desire to do?He desire to please God by rebuilding Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:5 Did the king let him go?Yes. King Artaxerxes II honored every request concerning Nehemiah’s return and provisions. Nehemiah 2:8 How did Nehemiah distinguish himself from the other Israelites?Nehemiah didn’t take a food paycheck because former governors did that with gusto. He also paid to feed 150 Jewish officials who ate at his table out of his own pocket. Nehemiah 5:14 Why did he do this?Because the people were struggling to survive already. The food paycheck came from their heavy taxes. Note: Do you have an opportunity to stand out for God? Be a testimony through personal sacrifice. Just do it! Nehemiah 5:18 What is the correct way to respond when enemies come against us and/or wish us harm?Continue in God’s work no matter what. If you are doing something great for God, opposition will come! Nehemiah 6:9 What benefits does sticking with your mission through times of trouble have?It brings fear and humiliation to your enemies because they will realize that God has helped your mission be successful. Nehemiah 6:15-16 Does God exonerate His people when one’s respected friends trash them before their mutual friends?Yes. But sometimes it takes a while. Stick to the mission! Nehemiah 6:17-19 Did folks in Old Testament times lift their hands toward heaven, shout "Amen!" and chant "Amen!" while praising God?Yes! They even bowed down with their faces to the ground to worship God. Nehemiah 8:6 When the bible was read, did they just read it or did they stop to explain each part?They went through it slowly so they could explain each part. Nehemiah 8:8 What is the strength of the believer?The joy of the Lord! I love this scripture! Nehemiah 8:10 The Israelites celebrated the Festival of Shelters during Nehemiah’s time. When was the last time it was celebrated properly?When Joshua was prophet! Nehemiah 8:17 This celebration of the Temple along with Jerusalem being rebuilt and completed was a special time. On what day did the people confess their sins to one another?October 31. Note: Halloween, a totally non-God national day, totally distracts from the real use of the day. Think about it: God’s people confess their sins to one another. A day of repentance. Later, Halloween became a gruesome day of hell let loose. Today, we forget the dark side of Halloween, still a day of havoc in some places. Children receive sweet gifts from kind adults and we get acquainted with neighbors and elderly shut-ins. I like the original celebration, don’t you? The completion of a mission and the confessing of sins to one another. How righteous is that? Nehemiah 9:1 That’s interesting. What else set October 31 apart?1). God’s people separated themselves from all foreigners 2). They heard the Word read to them for 3 hours 3). They worshipped God for 3 hours 4.) Some Levites stood on stairs, crying out to God, and later, ordered the people to stand up and praise God too. Nehemiah 9:2Note: No wonder Satan has corrupted this day! Halleluiah! What a day! What causes people to praise God so greatly?The reading and understanding of God’s word. You can’t help but praise God for His awesome love. Nehemiah 9:5-31 What else does knowing God’s word bring?Life, if people obey God’s word. Nehemiah 9:29 What was the irony of this era of the Jews?They were in the land of plenty, having an abundance, yet still slaves to Persia. Nehemiah 9:36 What time period does Nehemiah cover?During Ezra’s time. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after Ezra. Nehemiah 1:1 What lessons can we benefit from in Nehemiah?Lesson 1: While we are focused, as the Israelites were at the ceremony that went on for days, we love God and praise God. But when life resumes its routine, we don’t think of God in everything. We need to focus. The Holy Spirit helps us to stay focused.Lesson 2: Don’t compromise; learn from history; God loves you in any case. You do well for yourself to be in God’s will.Lesson 3: You may live out your whole life with an enemy close by. You may not have to today! Ask God to remove your enemy or else bring about peace between the two of you. God may decide to leave your enemy there for reasons you won’t learn till the end of days. Nehemiah had such a challenge and was unable to alter his circumstances. Keep doing the ministry anyway! Lesson 4: Our modern Sunday worship service resembles this celebration.