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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Prophecy Fulfilled (Nehemiah 2)

This morning in my reading, I was reminded how thankful I am that I have learned to study God's Word inductively, precept upon precept, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. Without that I would breeze right through Nehemiah 2, having no clue why this chapter is so significant to every follower of Jesus today.

Really, it starts out kind of boring. Nehemiah 2 just gives a date on the Jewish calendar when Nehemiah was serving as King Artaxerxes' cup bearer. God put it on Nehemiah's heart to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city. But he had to get King Artaxerxes' permission, commission, and support to make the journey, get the material needed, and get the Jews to come together and do the work of rebuilding the wall.

Nehemiah 2:1,5 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. [5] I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.

So God grants Nehemiah favor before King Artaxerxes and he commissions him with letters of permission to go rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, to protect it from their enemies, and rebuild the city.

But why is that a big deal?

Because later in Daniel 9:25 we are told that the Messiah would come a specific amount of time after "the command to restore and build Jerusalem."

Daniel 9:25 So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;

Nehemiah 2 gives us the date of the "command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem." History records the date of this decree as March 14, 445 BC. This is when King Artaxerxes commissioned Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls and the city.

From this date, you can calculate 69 weeks (7 weeks + 62 weeks) which is 69, 7-year periods or 483 years on the Jewish calendar. That means the Messiah, the Prince, would enter Jerusalem approximately, April 6, 32 AD.

Did anyone come into Jerusalem at this time who was recognized as Messiah, the Prince?

Matthew 21:6-9 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!

Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey, approximately April 6, 32 AD, and was recognized and celebrated by the crowds as the Messiah, the Son of David, who comes in the name of the Lord.

That also means that Jesus was crucified approximately, April 11, 32 AD, and rose from the grave approximately April 13, 32 AD.

Isn't that amazing that we can get all that from what could appear to be a boring historical book of Nehemiah.

This history reminds me that God has a detailed timeline for all of life. He has a timeline of when He formed our world and when He will say enough is enough and take His followers out of here and then carry out His judgment on a world that has rejected Him.

That passage in Daniel 9 goes on to tell us there will be an additional 7 years of judgment on this earth for all who refuse to acknowledge Messiah, the Prince.

But God loves us so much that He came to earth in human flesh as Jesus, to reveal Himself to us and demonstrate His love for us by taking on our sins and sacrificing Himself in our place. And now He has patiently waited for almost 2000 years for generation after generation to have a chance to choose to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus' sacrifice in their place. All who choose to repent and trust in Him, will receive His free gift of eternal life.

That eternal life begins the moment we choose to make Jesus the Lord of our life and live for Him rather than for ourselves.

That means as we draw closer to the end of the church age and see the birth pangs increasing with frequency and intensity in anticipation of that remaining 7 year period of God's judgment, we do not need to fear. Jesus' has already taken the wrath of God's judgment for us upon Himself on that cross, approximately April 11, 32 AD. Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave defeating sin and death for all who have trusted Him. Because of His sacrifice in our place, we who have repented and trusted in Jesus, will not experience those remaining 7 years of God's wrath.

But as we live now in the time of the birth pangs, God is telling us to wake up and get on mission telling others about His great love for us and His desire that all would repent, trust in Jesus, and receive eternal life through Him, while there is still time.

So as the date in Nehemiah 2 reminds me that God's timeline can be counted on, it also reminds me that He has placed me here, on this earth, at this time on that timeline for a specific purpose. My purpose is to live in a way that brings Jesus glory and draws people to Him while there is still time.

Dear Lord, I pray for those who don't know You today. Lord, prepare me as I spend time with You daily in Your Word. Lord, equip me to share exactly what You tell me to share. In Jesus' name. Amen.

How are you praying, preparing, and sharing Jesus with those around you, today?

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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