“Remember me, O my God, for good.”
“Remember me, O my God, for good.” That’s how Nehemiah ends the book that bears his name, the book that we have been studying these past 18 weeks or so. These words are, in fact, a prayer. Nehemiah asks God to remember the good he has done, not only in his efforts to protect God’s people by rebuilding the walls, but also in his work to restore God’s people to spiritual faithfulness. In fact, as we’ll see this morning, that was his greater concern. When we think of Nehemiah, we tend to focus on the walls he built. But as Nehemiah reviews his life and all that has happened, he is more concerned that his efforts to restore God’s people to genuine faithfulness have succeeded! That is the legacy he wants God to remember!
So was he successful? Did God remember to honor his work? Well, think about this! While the walls Nehemiah built are long gone, the legacy of his faith lives on. You and I are still reading what Nehemiah did, and giving thanks to God for it! Not only that, but Nehemiah, along with his friend Ezra, helped establish a solid foundation of faith that would support the Jewish nation and preserve it from destruction for the next 400 years of war and chaos until the Messiah finally came! And even though many of his people would eventually reject Him, Jesus found a faithful remnant ready to embrace him once he stepped on to the scene! The spiritual foundation laid by people like Nehemiah was a big part of making sure that happened.
And so, as we bring an end to our study of Nehemiah and Ezra and the life of faithfulness each represents, I hope it’s been a help to you. And I hope it will prepare you for the study of John’s Gospel we begin next week. Just as God’s Old Testament people were waiting for Messiah to appear, so we have the joy of knowing He has appeared and that we can know God through Him!
Looking forward to starting this new adventure with you!