Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

NEHEMIAH: A MAN WHO USED THE PREGNANT PAUSE WELL
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 by BARBARA M BRITTON

 

PLEASE WELCOME

BARBARA M. BRITTON

TO

ANYTHING GOES TUESDAY

 

Have you ever heard a Bible story so many times that you think you’re an expert? I taught the story of Nehemiah and the Israelites rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem many times in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. I thought I knew the entire story until I went to write a book about Nehemiah.

One thing I admire about Nehemiah besides his unswerving faith in God is his manner of speech. Nehemiah took his time in responding to infuriating events. He certainly wasn’t one to blurt his emotions or feelings to others. We can learn a lot from him in these present times.

In Nehemiah 2:4-5, when King Artaxerxes asks Nehemiah, “What is it you want?” Nehemiah prays before answering. Nehemiah knew what he wanted, but he took the time to seek God before bringing his request. Nehemiah 2:4b states, “Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king.” How many of us would have sent an arrow prayer to God before our answer?

When Nehemiah is rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall, bad guys show up. They threaten Nehemiah and the workers. Nehemiah needs to speak to the people to calm their fears, but instead of hurrying everyone into an assembly, Nehemiah looks things over first. Nehemiah 4:14 states, “After I looked things over, I stood up and said…” Nehemiah tells the people to not be afraid and to remember the Lord. I’m thinking that Nehemiah’s calmness was catching.

Later, when Nehemiah was angry with the officials for allowing Israelites to be sold into slavery, he stops to ponder the situation. Nehemiah doesn’t lash out in anger. Nehemiah 5:6 tells us, “When I heard their outcry and these charges, I was very angry. I pondered them in my mind and then accused the nobles and officials.” Wow! What have we said when we were very angry? Have we stopped to ponder our words before speaking, or have we spoken harshly to others—even fellow believers?

Although James wasn’t alive when Nehemiah lived, his words in James 1:19-20 could have been written with the wall builder in mind. Maybe we should remember Nehemiah for more than rebuilding a wall?

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

ABOUT BARBARA M. BRITTON

Website

Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction and mainstream markets. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter and watch her Book Trailer

ABOUT JERUSALEM RISING

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When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah's unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David. Nehemiah challenges the people of God to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Will her father, who rules a half-district of Jerusalem, be forgotten forever? Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city's wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside the city but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God's call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same stones they hope to construct?

 

 

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Comments

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/3/2021 8:56:09 PM

Hi Karen. Isn't the Bible great that way. I'm always learning and seeing new things in Bible stories. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Karen Malley From Pennsylvania At 3/3/2021 7:32:08 PM

Thanks for this reminder to stop and pray before making decisions and before responding to others. I love how the Bible teaches us something new every time we read it!

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/3/2021 7:05:17 PM

Hi Mary! I'm glad you're here. I was surprised how patient and wise Nehemiah was in his life.

Mary A. Felkins From Hickory, NC At 3/3/2021 4:46:10 PM

I absolutely love the question, "What is it you want?" When I've read this in scripture, I believe God's motive is to test my faith: Do I really believe he can do what he's promised? Or is strong enough? Or timely in delivery? etc. Great to see you here, Barbara!

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/3/2021 3:43:38 PM

Hi Erin. I love those arrow prayers. Thanks for joining us today.

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/3/2021 3:42:51 PM

Hi Kathy. I'm glad I'm not the only one who missed Nehemiah's speech tips the first go round. The Bible is always teaching me something new. I'm glad you joined us.

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/3/2021 3:41:31 PM

Thank you, Pam. You're right. Nehemiah's speech tips are perfect for today. Thanks for joining us.

Erin Stevenson From Des Moines, Iowa At 3/3/2021 3:16:43 PM

Nehemiah is one of my favorite stories from the Bible. I love that phrase "arrow prayer" to God. No doubts, no detours!

Kathy Bailey From New Hampshire At 3/3/2021 9:39:37 AM

Barbara, this is great and an unexpected insight into Nehemiah. I've taught this story too and never stopped to think about HOW he responded. This is such a lesson for anyone today, when tempers are rising in so many areas (and social media allows us to say things we wouldn't say in person). Great!

Pamela S Thibodeaux From Louisiana At 3/3/2021 8:37:13 AM

GREAT example and such a timely reminder, Barbara. Thanks for sharing! Good luck and God's blessings to you and Linda. PamT

Barbara M. Britton From Wisconsin At 3/2/2021 8:05:40 AM

Thank you for having me back on the blog, Linda. The story of Nehemiah is a favorite of mine.

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

I am always encouraged by his story.

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