Bible Journaling: Nehemiah

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were originally written as one single book but were separated much later. Our journaling and response to Nehemiah will follow what we did when we focused on the book of Ezra.

BlogFaith & Spirituality Bible Journaling: Nehemiah

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were originally written as one single book but were separated much later. Our journaling and response to Nehemiah will follow what we did when we focused on the book of Ezra.

For a broader view of this book of the Bible, we encourage you to watch this video: 

Bible Journaling Tip:


When you read about a story in the Bible try to find a theme and then use that to prompt creative ways you can respond to and interact with the text. For example, Nehemiah: building: building blocks. What building blocks are you using to build a life that is praising God and reflecting His goodness to other people? Draw a wall made up of bricks and write something inside each building block.

LOOK UP (information): encounter God through the Scripture 


This book is believed to have been written by Ezra, who we heard about in the previous book as well. This book was also written by him, but he is writing about who came after him: a man called Nehemiah.  


The Israelites needed this book to remind them of how God brought them back from exile and gave them three good leaders to rebuild the temple: Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.


This book picks up after the book of Ezra. The people of God returned from exile and they are now in the process of rebuilding their lives in Jerusalem: this includes rebuilding the walls, which is what the book of Nehemiah is primarily about. A wall can signify a lot of different things, for example: safety, property, and hostility. Can you identify the purpose of this wall that Nehemiah had to build? Did God tell him to build the wall?


The book of Ezra gave us the stories of the first two leaders who are tasked with rebuilding the temple. Each leader’s part has 3 parallel points of focus: See if you can sketch out and compare the trajectory of their time in leadership using those 3 focus points that were identified in our discussion about the book of Ezra.

LOOK IN (revelation): contemplate / reflect on our own lives

Key verse:

Nehemiah 1:5-7 NIV

O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.


Because the Israelites lived in a story-telling culture, they were well aware not only of what God has spoken to them individually but also of what He had been doing for generations. In these verses Nehemiah shows this in 2 ways: 1. He reminds God of promises He made before; 2. He repents for the sins of previous generations. How would thinking in this way impact your relationship with God? Have you ever thought about repenting for the sins of your parents / nation / people group when you approach God? Do you know about promises that God spoke to your family?

LOOK OUT (transformation): respond with creative worship action  

Drawing prompt:

Draw a comic strip about some of the scenes that you read about in the book of Nehemiah. Try to capture the most crucial points in the story so that you can see the storyline unfold by looking at the comic strip you made. Show it to somebody / post it on social media and ask if someone can guess what story you illustrated.

Bible Journey with JournalOwl:

Here are some questions/prompts provided by the JournalOwl community. 

  • What attitude did the people of Israel have toward the Book of the Law in these verses? (Nehemiah 8:3-9), (Nehemiah 8:17)
  • Why did the leaders declare the day sacred in Nehemiah 8:9? 

Follow this link to dive into this book with an online Bible Study group.

Writing prompt:

What are the building blocks that you are using to build a life that praises God and reflects His goodness to other people? Are there any things on your wall that are threatening its strength?

Use sticky notes to build your own “wall” in a place where you will see it this week - above your desk, in your cupboard, or on your kitchen fridge. Write such a building block down on each one of them. A good starting point is to try and write about spiritual disciplines that you regularly do: “When I serve at church on a Sunday I reflect God’s goodness” / “When I journal about the Bible I praise God”. 


God, I want to thank you for the book of Nehemiah. I have grown to have a deeper understanding of the grand narrative between you and your people, the Israelites. Help me to understand the significance of this book - How does this apply to my own life? Let my response to this text be worship unto you!