Saturday was our Men’s Breakfast, which happens to be one of my favorite ministry activities. We have them on the first Saturday of every month (with the next being February 1st), but they seem to be so well received I’m considering having them monthly. We’ve been going through Nehemiah to see what we can learn from this great man to help us as husbands and fathers. With chapter 1 finished I wanted to share a few of the lessons we discussed…
- 1:2 says Nehemiah “asked concerning the Jews who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.” He was a concerned man, and husbands should be concerned about their wives “loving them as their own bodies” (Eph 5:28).
- 1:4 says when Nehemiah “heard how the Jews were doing, he sat down and wept, and mourned for many days.” He was a sensitive man, sympathetic to the difficulties and struggles of others. Wives appreciate having husbands that are concerned about them and seek to “dwell with them in understanding” (1 Pet 3:7).
- 1:5-7 discuss him “fasting and praying before the God of heaven,” Whom he considered to be “great and awesome.” He was a deeply spiritual man with a very high view of God. Men need to pray with and for their wives and children, and exalt God to them.
- 1:7 quotes Nehemiah saying, “We have acted very corruptly, and have not kept Your commandments, statutes or ordinances.” Even though it wasn’t Nehemiah’s fault the Jews had been taken into exile, and we can be sure he was more righteous than them, he still included himself as one of the transgressors. This sets a great example for men who should confess their sins, and not make excuses, but seek forgiveness.
- 1:8 continues his prayer where he quotes Leviticus 26:33 and Deuteronomy 30:2-5 showing he was a man who knew God’s Word and relied on His covenants. Men need to regularly be in God’s Word and lean on the promises He’s made in it.
- 1:11 he prayed, “Please grant me mercy in the sight of the king” regarding his request to return to Jerusalem. He recognized if he would be allowed to return it would be because that’s what God granted. He sets a wonderful example for fathers and husbands to completely depend on God.
- The chapter closes with the words, “I was the king’s cupbearer.” He was a very trusted and loyal man to have this position, showing the loyalty men should have to their wives and children and the trust that should be able to be put in them as a result.