BIBLICAL GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY

Issue No. 25

7 - 13 July 2008

THE NEHEMIAH “4-4-1” STRATEGY: Concern, Prayer and Action

Mr Siew Kim Siang, our Alumnus (Grad DipCS, 2002, MCS, 2008) and BGST Council Member was our Chapel Speaker on 2 July, 2008. He invited us to reflect with him on Nehemiah 1:1-4 and its applications for BGST.

Nehemiah’s Concern

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:1-4).

Nehemiah’s reaction to the problem faced by the Jewish remnant

  • He was frustrated that his people did not experience any progress for almost a hundred years since the first returns from the Babylonian exile during the reign of King Cyrus
  • He was ashamed of the disgrace and hardships experienced by fellow Jews back in Judah
  • He carried a sense of sin of his and that of his people still suffering from the judgment of exile

The feelings created in him a strong desire to do something about the problematic situation in which his people found themselves.

Nehemiah’s Solution to the Challenging Task (1:5)

  • He acknowledged he could not solve it by himself but recognized God could make all things possible (Jeremiah 32:17)
  • He acknowledged God’s greatness in his prayer, “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God” (1:5).

    The word “LORD” (Yahweh) speaks of His covenant relationship to Israel, “God of Heaven” refers to His sovereignty, and “Great and Awesome” describe His power and majesty.

Nehemiah has confidence that the “LORD” who keeps His covenant of love (hesed, “loyal love”) with those who love and obey Him will surely answer his prayer for His people.

Nehemiah’s Concern Leads to Prayer and Action

  • He began with a confession of sins (1:5-9).
  • He specifically prayed that King Artaxerxes would grant his request to return to Jerusalem to rebuild it (1:10-11; 2:4-5).
  • He even made plans and thought carefully about what he would need for the rebuilding project.

Four months later (from Kislev [1:1, Nov-Dec] to Nisan [Mar-April], Nehemiah’s opportunity arrived. “One day, the king noticed that Nehemiah was sad and inquired. Thus, he was able to present his proposal when the king asked what he wanted” (2:6-9).

Finally, he travelled to Jerusalem, surveyed the state of the city and encouraged the Jews in Jerusalem to rededicate themselves to the work of rebuilding (2:11-20).

Thus, concern for the state of God’s people leads to prayer and action.

Applications for BGST

  • We are thankful to God who has enabled us to maintain the work of BGST for many years with a relatively small Faculty and staff, aided by a dedicated Council.
  • We have a concern for the ongoing work of the Lord through BGST and looking forward to expand in a number of areas:
    • To welcome back our new faculty members-in-development in the next few years
    • To increase our staff strength
    • To increase our student body
    • To embark on significant projects
  • We are praying to our Lord for wisdom, empowerment and boldness to execute our plan of action.
  • The “4-4-1” Strategy
    • 4 months of prayer
    • 4 months of action
    • 1 day event, the “Fundraising Dinner” on 21 November, 2008 (Friday)

We invite you to pray with and for us

  • For an openness to God’s leading during these months of preparation
  • For discernment, that we may make our need known in ways that are God-honouring and people-edifying
  • For good insights regarding the practical details
  • For honesty in the presentation of BGST’s plans and needs
  • For the role BGST may play in the future growth of the church in Singapore and East Asia
  • For His guidance to approach people to host tables at the Fundraising Dinner
  • That those present at the event will continue their involvement to pray and support the work of BGST
  • For God’s empowerment on the Dinner Organizing Committee
  • To achieve the target amount

WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS

Graduate Diploma in Education for Christian Formation
Wee Hao Wei Silas is an English Teacher in an International School and a Graduate of the University of Northumbria. He worships at Covenant Presbyterian and is actively involved in the Boys’ Brigade Ministry, Young Adults Group and Cell Group.

Master of Divinity
Agnes John is a Christian Ministry Staff with the Methodist Church in Singapore. She worships at Wesley Methodist and has obtained her degrees from the University of Singapore, National Institute of Education and Regent College. Her ministry experience includes Youth Ministry, AV Ministry, managing the Resource Library at TRAC, speaking at School chapels, House groups and organizing retreats.

2008 June Convocation Images 

  • To view, click here.
  • To download an image, see instruction on the right of browser.
  • To request BGST to print an image, select the image, click “more info” l ink on right of browser and take down the filename. Indicate the quantity. Repeat this process for other images. Email your orders to bookshop@bgst.edu.sg. Each 4R print is 50 cents. 
  • To order this set in CD please also email to bookshop@bgst.edu.sg with your personal details. Each CD costs $10.

CHAPEL NEXT WEEK

Mrs Leong King Teng will be our Chapel Speaker on July 16. She will be speaking on Psalm 19.

Search for Tenant

Our tenant on the 3rd floor has vacated and we are looking for a new tenant. If you know of someone who is looking for an office space in town, please pass the contact to Serene at 62276815 or serene@bgst.edu.sg

Thank you!

Introducing Our Recent Graduates...

Dr Ng Liang Wei
Grad Dip CS (cum laude), M Div (magna cum laude)

Liang Wei has been a medical doctor since 1998. He worships at Faith Methodist Church. He will be serving in Indonesia with his wife, Tricia and their daughter, Kayla upon graduation from BGST. His current favourite verse is Matthew 5:3 - ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’

31 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088454. Tel: 62276815 Fax: 62276816 Email: bgst@pacific.net.sg
To access previous issues of BTW click archives | To access BGST website click HOME
To subscribe click here |  To unsubscribe click here.