Tuesday, November 19, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL
November 16-22
Nehemiah 10: God and the Covenant


Look, we already gave to the temple!

I mean, we were big donors to that particular building project . . . 

And yes, it was a thrill seeing our money turn into something you could actually see! 

But now you're telling me that giving money to build the temple is not enough -- that you need money to pay for salaries, and utilities, and all the other "operating expenses" that it takes to keep the temple open?

Sorry.

Not interested.

No, we were happy to give what it took to get that temple built . . . 

But why should we give more to keep it running?


Tuesday, November 12, 2019


FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL
November 9-15
Nehemiah 9: Our Forgiving God

Sure, mistakes were made.

But why do we need to dwell on them?

I mean, this is our heritage we're talking about -- the stories we tell about the past in order to feel good about today.

So why is Nehemiah so negative?

Yes, why does Nehemiah keep going on and on in this prayer about the sins of our ancestors?

Unlike them, after all, I've never worshipped idols -- much less sacrificed my children to them . . . so why should I feel guilty about something they did -- not me!

No, the past is dead; it's dead and gone.

So why is Nehemiah digging it up again?

For more on this topic, 
go to the Adult Bible Study Guide for this week.

Monday, November 04, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL:
November 2-8
Nehemiah 8: the Reading of the Word

It's a sad day when God's people don't read God's Word -- not the way it's meant to be read.

I mean, Ezra's from Persia.

And he's paid by the Persians.

So what has he done?

HE'S TRANSLATED THE BIBLE INTO THE LANGUAGE OF THE PERSIANS!

Yes, Ezra has translated God's Word into the language of his foreign masters -- foreign masters with foreign gods and foreign ways of thought.

And in doing this, Ezra has opened the door to compromise: to Persian words, Persian ideas, and maybe even Persian music all finding their way into our religion.

That's why I'm telling you it's a sad day -- a sad day when God's people don't read God's Word the way it is meant to be read.

I mean, Hebrew was good enough for Moses.

And if Hebrew was good enough for Moses, then it ought to be good enough for us.

For more on this topic, go to the Adult Bible Study Guide.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL
October 26 - November 1
Nehemiah 5: Violating the Spirit of the Law

So they're complaining about us to Nehemiah?

Let them.

Nehemiah's a realist, after all; he knows that he needs our support.

And yes, they'll tell him that we're taking advantage of this famine -- that people are dying so that we can get rich.

So?

Remember: Nehemiah needs us more than we need him.

And given the choice between poor people like them and rich people like us . . . 

What makes you think that Nehemiah is going to back them?

For more on this topic, go to this week's Adult Bible Study Guide.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL:
October 19-25
Facing Opposition

Don't get me wrong -- I'd like to see this wall get built as much as anyone . . . 

But you've got to admit: it's been nothing but trouble ever since Nehemiah showed up.

And no, I'm not a big fan of Sanballat and Tobias, but you can't blame them for being upset. 

I mean, Nehemiah shows up and starts changing things -- starts demanding that things get done his way . . . 

So it's only natural that local leaders are going to push back -- right?

Then too, Sanballat and Tobias were here a long time before Nehemiah ever showed up . . . and I'm guessing they're going to be here a long time after he's gone (if you know what I mean).

And again, I like what Nehemiah's doing in theory . . . 

I just don't want any trouble.

So why is Nehemiah making life difficult for the rest of us?

Friday, October 18, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL:
October 12-18
God's Call

Thank you for appearing on our show, Nehemiah . . . and I'm sure that our viewers would like to hear more about your call.

My what?

Your call -- the way God called you to rebuild Jerusalem.

Well, I'd been talking to my brother . . . and then I prayed about it . . . and then things just sort of "happened."

And God confirmed all this with a vision?

No.

A dream?

No.

Angels . . . a voice . . . maybe even a message from one of our prophets?

None of that, no. 

But when you moved ahead in faith, then God confirmed His call by clearing away all obstacles -- right?

Yes and no. I mean, getting the Shah's permission was a miracle -- no doubt about it . . . but after that, it was just one headache after another.

So . . . how do you know that God called you to rebuild Jerusalem?

Me? I just saw a problem, and did something about it. 

That's it?

That's it. I mean, what more of a "call" do you need?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

FIVE-MINUTE SABBATH SCHOOL:
October 5-11
Nehemiah

Did you hear what happened to Nehemiah?

The Shah's cup-bearer? 

Not any more!

I'm not surprised -- the way he's been acting lately, you'd expect the Shah to be a little suspicious!

He was -- and when the Shah asked for an explanation, Nehemiah asked for a new job!

He's lucky he didn't get a new head!

Yeah, but Nehemiah got lucky; the Shah gave him what he wants.

Which is?

Nehemiah's in charge of rebuilding Jerusalem.

That's on the frontier, right? I can see why the Shah might go for it . . . but why's Nehemiah giving up a sweet job like cup-bearer to do something like this?

He said something about it being "an answer to prayer."

Since when does the Shah answer prayer?!?

Ever since Nehemiah started praying, I guess.