Quiet Time Coaching Episode 494 | New Thing Series — Part 49 | “Nehemiah’s Vision” | Malcolm Cox

A new thing! I’m Malcolm Cox. Welcome to your daily devotional podcast anchored in Isaiah 43:19: ‘See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’

We are currently looking at God doing a new thing in the life of Nehemiah. Today we explore Nehemiah’s vision.

“Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’” (Nehemiah 1:8-9 NRSV)
“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.”” (Nehemiah 2:17 NRSV)
“And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.” (Nehemiah 8:9-12 NRSV)
“We will not neglect the house of our God.” (Nehemiah 10:39 NRSV)
“They offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. The joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.” (Nehemiah 12:43 NRSV)

Nehemiah’s Vision

  • Nehemiah’s vision was founded on the promises of God
  • Nehemiah’s vision was that God would be honoured through removing the disgrace of his people
  • Nehemiah’s vision was that God’s word be understood
  • Nehemiah’s vision was that God’s word, when understood, would lead to conviction followed by great joy.
  • Nehemiah’s vision was for appropriate, devoted ongoing worship of God
  • Nehemiah’s vision was that God’s name would be honoured amongst people who did not know him

For Reflection
To quote again from Fabian’s notes on Nehemiah, “He understood that the rebuilding of the wall wasn’t the ultimate goal in itself, but a means to bring spiritual restoration to the people and protect it.

Nehemiah saw things that no one else saw. He saw with the eyes of God. One of the reasons we pray is to develop a ‘divine vision’. A ‘divine vision’ is about learning to see with our hearts, not our physical eyes. But it is important to remember the vision is not simply a dream. It is faith enacted. As Dallas Willard writes: “faith has two main parts: one is vision and one is desire, or will.” Life without lack. What Nehemiah saw prompted him to pray and to act.

What kind of version of God’s glory might prompt you to act with courageous faith? Why not ask God today to give you a compelling vision of his glory in your life, your church group and your community, then requesting him to fill you with a Nehemiah-type faith to act boldly?

I hope you find your heart, your life, your congregation and your world inspired by God doing a new thing. Until tomorrow, take care, and God bless.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License