Nehemiah 2 - Requests, Reconnaissance, Rebuild

Introduction: Have you ever been responsible for a big project? What steps did you take and what lessons did you learn from it?

1. How much time passed between when Nehemiah first heard of the problem in Jerusalem and the time that the king confronted Him?

Learn something about calendars at

2. What was Nehemiah doing during this time? (Neh. 1:4) Have you ever had a serious concern for the spiritual well being the church that extended for this period of time? What can we learn from Nehemiah's example?

3. The king was observant to the mood of Nehemiah. Are we observant to the moods of others even if they do not try to let on that they have a troubled heart? What could we do to be more observant?

4. Why would Nehemiah be afraid when the King commented on Nehemiah's internal state?

5. What did Nehemiah do before he made his formal request? (2:4b) Would you think to do this before you make request?

6. What technique did Nehemiah use in responding to King Artexerxies? Why is this a good technique?

See Cecil Barber p. 45, 46 - info on resources page.

7. If someone, in a position to help you, was able to give you nearly anything you would like what would you ask for? How does this request reflect your current spiritual condition?

8. What was the appeal based on? How is our relationship to our employers and employees? Are there issues between you and those in authority over you that might get in the way of cooperation?

9. Have you ever gone before government officials to make a formal request on behalf of God's people? How do you think Nehemiah felt? Have you ever felt that way? What kind of requests do you think believers should be making of government officials?

10. Why do you think Nehemiah put in a reference to his ancestor's graves in his request? What might be modern day trigger point which touch the conscience of those we are making request of?

11. What seemed to be the only concern of the King? How long did Nehemiah plan to take off?

It ended up to be about 12 years he was gone to Jerusalem

12. What additional requests did Nehemiah make? What can we learn about the nature and timing of making requests.

13. How do these request show that Nehemiah had already thought out a way to rebuild Jerusalem?

14. In chapter 5:14 we read that Nehemiah was given a new authority as well. Why do you think that the King appointed him governor of the area?

15. What did Nehemiah do before he got to Jerusalem? Trace the route on the map that Nehemiah probably took to get to Jerusalem. How long do you think this journey would have taken and how far was it?

16. Why do you think Nehemiah waited 3 days and then did his research by night ( Hint: it wasn't jet lag) What do you think he was doing during the day time?

17. How did he carry out his research? (With other men and on horseback) What specifically is mentioned that Nehemiah examined?Why take other men with him? This is a key to leadership!

18. What obstacles did Nehemiah find? Where was the damage the heaviest?

19. Why do you think he waited to tell others before revealing his plan?

20. What do you think motivated the people to want to get started? How did they have more ownership of this project? (V.17,18) To whom did Nehemiah give the credit?

21. Who were Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite? (See notes)

22. What concerned Sanballat and Tobiah? Is there any modern day equivalent of this real lack of concern for impoverished and vulnerable people? Who might seek to take advantage of them? What could the church do about it? ( vulnerable run aways, rebellious youth, prostitutes, abused)

23. What kind of opposition did Nehemiah face? How did the opposition attempt to stop the work? What kind of opposition do we face when we try to mend walls today?

24. How did Nehemiah respond to the opposition? What character qualities do his responses demonstrate?

For those who want to a real challenge:

25. Read Joshua 1 and meditate on leadership and the similarities between Joshua and Nehemiah. Why could God uses these men to lead Israel in time of turmoil? Can He use you? Why or why not? Is there any area of growth that you feel you need to work at?

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