The Story of Nehemiah
Part 1: Worried
Nehemiah was a man who loved God. He was living far, far away from his homeland, and far away from his city, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem had been a beautiful city, with a beautiful temple where people worshiped God. It was a place for festivals and songs and music in praise of God.
But there had been a war. Most of the people from the city of Jerusalem had lost their homes. They were living far away in the kingdom of Babylon.
While he was living far from home, Nehemiah was working in an important job for the king.
But he worried about the people back in his city.
One day, his brother Hanani came back from a trip to Jerusalem.
"How are the people in Jerusalem doing?" Nehemiah asked his brother.
"Oh, not good." Said Hanani.
"Oh!!" said Nehemiah.
"The wall around the city was ruined in the war. Also the gates were burned in the war. The people wish they could rebuild."
"Hmm, maybe we can help," said Nehemiah to his brother. Let's think about it for a while. We can think and pray"
Part 2: Talking with the king
One day, Nehemiah was serving some food and drink to the king.
"You look sad," said the king to Nehemiah.
"Oh, I'm okay," said Nehemiah.
"No, you don't look okay," said the king. "You look like you have something on your mind."
So Nehemiah told the king that he was thinking about the people back in Jerusalem. About the broken wall and the gates. About the temple and the music in praise of God.
The king told Nehemiah to take a few weeks off and go to Jerusalem. "Who knows," the king said, "Maybe you can fix the wall."
Part 3: Working together
Nehemiah traveled back home to Jerusalem and looked at the broken wall. It had been a stone wall that went all around the city. But after the war, many of the stones were charred with fire and scattered everywhere.
Nehemiah met with the people who were still living there. He organized them into small groups to fix the wall. Every small group fixed a small section of the wall.
Soon the work was complete. There was a new wall. New gates. New gardens. There was a celebration! There was singing and food and praise to God.
The musicians and all the people walked in a big circle all around the wall, singing, and praising God.
Discussion: Sometimes people see a park or playground or street that is a mess. They wonder what they can do. Sometimes people all get together to clean-up and re-build. If everyone does a little bit, a lot gets done. That's what happened in this story when they repaired the walls and gardens. This story is famous for being an example of working together.
Craft: Making musical instruments (continued from previous week).
View as Word document (booklet form): Nehemiah