THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH
The book of Nehemiah is cited for so many lessons such as leadership, heartfelt prayer and fasting, restoration, favor with those in authority, tenacity and so on. Some Bible scholars think Nehemiah was an Old Testament type of Christ Himself.
However I’d like us to look at how much Nehemiah typifies the Holy Spirit. First of all, the name Nehemiah means Yahweh has comforted or The Comforter. Nehemiah received an assignment from the Lord when Jewish exiles were returning to Jerusalem at the end of their captivity. The temple had been rebuilt but the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair. (See Neh.1:1-3). With the potential of enemy threats, Jerusalem was vulnerable and the rebuilding of the wall around it was a pressing need. So Nehemiah prayed for favor with the king of Persia and pled for God’s mercy over the situation. (See Neh. 2:4-5)
Nehemiah was granted the permission to go, the resources necessary for rebuilding the walls and even for the house he would occupy. Despite the opposition of the enemy, with great persistence, he managed to rebuild the walls. He then led the people in national repentance and instituted reforms since they had began to disobey God again.
In addition to overseeing the building of the wall, Nehemiah cared for the least among the people: the oppressed, the helpless, the enslaved and the poor. He fed the hungry and redeemed slaves. (See Neh. 5:1-19) You can see his compassion through his work. The walls he rebuilt brought about protection, security and comfort.
Does not that sound like the work of the Holy Spirit? Remember Jesus said this of the Holy Spirit:
John 14:16 KJV says: And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
John 14:26 Amp. says: But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.
Nehemiah whose name also means the Lord comforts is a type and shadow of the Holy Spirit. He said it was the hand of God (usually a reference to the Holy Spirit) on him that had been good to him and helped him. (Neh. 2:18). It’s certainly the Holy Spirit who put the direction and the assignment (burden) in his heart to go to Jerusalem and fulfill his assignment to rebuild the wall and bring counsel, help, strength and comfort to the people.
Nehemiah the comforter who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem to comfort and remove the fears of God’s people typifies the Holy Spirit who comforts us and eliminates our fears, failures and shame. The broken down walls and rumble were a symbol of Israel’s past failures. The Holy Spirit reassures us that all is well and He restores, refreshes and renews us with God’s presence. He’s your stand by, a very present help in time of trouble.
As you fulfill your purpose, you can be sure you’re not alone. He’ll surround you as a wall of fire and the glory in your midst as you carry out your mission in life. (Zech. 2:5).