Beyond Our Assumptions

If you think about it, we make a lot of choices and decisions based on assumptions. We assume we know what someone meant; that we have all the information; that we know the outcome. The problem is that our assumptions often turn out to be completely wrong and this can get us into trouble. How many times have each us said with regret, “but I assumed . . . “ We also make a lot of assumptions about God and they are often just as wrong. Today we’ll examine an episode in the Book of Nehemiah in which the people assumed they knew who God was and what He wanted for them only to find out that God is far beyond our assumptions.

Discussion Questions

Can you think of a time when you assumed something about someone or some circumstance and were dead wrong? What were the results?

What are some assumptions that you once had about God that turned out to be untrue of Him? How did you find out you were wrong? What were the results for you?

Read Nehemiah 8:1-8 carefully. What do you notice about the reading of the Law and what people needed?

Read Nehemiah 8:9. How did the people respond to the reading of the Law of Moses? Why do you think they responded this way?

What does Nehemiah tell the people to do in response to what they had read? (See v 10 – 12). How does this go beyond the assumptions of what the people expected?

This series is all about going beyond where we are to where we need to be. In this chapter God took his people beyond their assumptions of who He was to a new and deeper and better understanding of His love for them. What are some things that you need to understand more  or better or in a new way about God?

Beyond Our Plans

Life is filled with the unexpected. Sometimes our plans exceed our expectations and other times we fall short as we trip and stumble along the journey. We need to leave room for both successes and failures. Our plans must always create space for God to work in ways we...

Beyond Our Comfort

The cost of achieving great things usually requires sacrifice and focus. When the Jewish people were called upon to occupy Jerusalem, they found themselves at a crossroads. This next step of faith would require giving up their comfort. In fact, it would require they...

Beyond Our Failure

We’ve all failed. From minor mistakes to persistent sins, failure has marked our lives. The best place to turn in times of failure is to God. But sometimes turning to God about our sins just seems to magnify our moral crisis. Thus, we’d prefer to keep our distance...

Beyond Our Indifference

Some problems in life are so big they are overwhelming. At the beginning of the book of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem lay in ruins. The people living there had grown accustomed and indifferent to the ruin around them, but Nehemiah’s heart was broken by it. He was...

Beyond Our Doubt

It’s not unusual to find people paralyzed by doubt. But with God’s help we can go beyond where we are to where we could be. And that means our doubt can get replaced with confidence and faith. Nehemiah led the people of Jerusalem in a rebuilding project that was met...

Beyond Our Reach

It’s usually a good sign when we’re reaching for things that require God’s help. If we could make progress without God, then maybe we should reconsider the goal. The story of Nehemiah and the Jewish people is one of remarkable accomplishment. It all began with an...