Divide youths into 3 groups. Each group gets a different Bible passage to study and discuss:
Field questions to each group to tell the story so everyone can follow and get the gist.
Timeline: Briefly go through timeline of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah to show where Nehemiah fits in.
God is faithful and gracious
God had punished the Jews by exile to Babylon due to their repeated sins … yet by His grace, He would bring them back to Jerusalem again.
God never forgot His people, despite their disobedience. He used pagan kings and various leaders, such as Nehemiah, to effect His plans and purposes — to bring back the people, to rebuild the temple and walls, and to re-impart the Word to them.
He raised Nehemiah, a captive, up to a position of importance and influence — the 3rd most important man in Persia, with direct access to the king — for this very purpose.
Nehemiah knew that God was a Promise-keeping God who keeps His covenant of love (Neh 1:5). Under the Old Covenant, God’s covenant was conditional, e.g. “with those who love him and keep his commandments.” Under the New Covenant, we receive His unconditional blessings because of Jesus, and, in response, we love Him and keep His commandments.
Nehemiah was a shadow of Jesus
Jesus is our Cupbearer
Nehemiah was willing to take poison on behalf of the king.
Jesus took the Cup of Punishment and Suffering on behalf of us (Matt 26:39)
Jesus left all He had for us
Nehemiah left his high-ranking position in the king’s courts to serve his people by overseeing the rebuilding of the wall.
Jesus gave up His position in heaven to come to earth as a man and die for us.
Jesus is our Wall of Salvation
Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem to give the people to save and protect them from their enemies, to give them honour and remove their shame.
Jesus is our Wall of Salvation — when we are in Christ, we have eternal life, His divine nature and sonship — no more distress and shame!