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Random observations on Nehemiah 13

We just came to the end of a series of bible studies on Nehemiah at church. A few thoughts on the last chapter.

  • Chapter 13 is an anti-climax. Everything looks fine at the end of 12, but goes Pete Tong by the time we hit the next chapter.
  • He seems to see his main accomplishment not as the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, but as the restoration of worship in the temple.
  • His use of scripture for instruction and illustration is far more prominent at the end of the book than the beginning: it seems clear that he devoted significant time to studying and trying to understand and apply scripture to his substantially different circumstances.
  • He knew how to pastor men. (Nehemiah 13:25)
  • He was fearless and unwilling to compromise - at the same time he managed to be down-to-earth and practical.
  • He is a man who depends on prayer. Even when writing his journal.
  • He studied and learnt from the lives of great men of God, like David, Asaph & Solomon.
  • He knew how to keep friends and how to spot enemies.
  • He knew how to delegate, when to delegate and who to delegate to.
  • He was a humble man, willing to repent publicly, concerned that his legacy was that God would be remembered when he was forgotten.