Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Privilege of Prayer”, pp. 93–104, in Steps to Christ.
“The work of restoration and reform carried on by the returned exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, presents a picture of a work of spiritual restoration that is to be wrought in the closing days of this earth’s history. The remnant of Israel were a feeble people, exposed to the ravages of their enemies; but through them God purposed to preserve in the earth a knowledge of Himself and of His law. They were the guardians of the true worship, the keepers of the holy oracles. Varied were the experiences that came to them as they rebuilt the temple and the wall of Jerusalem; strong was the opposition that they had to meet. Heavy were the burdens borne by the leaders in this work; but these men moved forward in unwavering confidence, in humility of spirit, and in firm reliance upon God, believing that He would cause His truth to triumph. Like King Hezekiah, Nehemiah ‘clave to the Lord, and departed not from following Him, but kept His commandments. … And the Lord was with him’. 2 Kings 18:6, 7” - Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 677.
- Why must we do all that we can before God to be supportive of our leaders?
- Why is the servant leadership style so difficult, demanding, and at the same time rewarding? Why is it so important for a Christian leader to be a servant, as well?
- In the beginning and at the end of the book, as well as in between, Nehemiah was praying. Both Ezra and Nehemiah were men of prayer. Count carefully how many times the word “prayer” or “prayed” is mentioned in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. These leaders were constantly praying. What should that say to us about our own prayer lives?
- “For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses” (2 Kings 18:6, NKJV). How does one “hold fast to the LORD”? What does that mean? How does holding fast to the Lord relate to keeping His commandments?