God: "You Matter to Me" - Radical

God: “You Matter to Me”

As we think of the greatness of God and the massive number of people around the world, it’s easy to feel small and insignificant. Even Christians can start to feel as if God doesn’t know or care about the details of our lives. However, as David Platt points out in this message from Nehemiah 7, the God who redeems us knows everything about us—and he cares for us! Followers of Jesus can find their identity in Christ and take comfort that they are in a long line of believers who, over centuries, have been redeemed and preserved by God’s grace and steadfast love. This should compel us to live for God’s glory in the time and place in which he has placed us.

Observation: What does the passage say?

1) Read Nehemiah 7:1–73 aloud as a group. Let group members share observations. Try not to move into interpretation of the passage or application of what you read quite yet. Simply share what you observe.

a) What did Nehemiah do after the rebuilding of the wall was completed?  

    • Who did Nehemiah appoint?  What positions were they given? Nehemiah 7:1
    • What qualities did Nehemiah look for in the leaders that he selected? Nehemiah 7:2
    • What tasks were assigned to them? Nehemiah 7:1–4

b) What did God put into Nehemiah’s heart to do, and what did he find? Nehemiah 7:5

c) What do you observe about the genealogy recorded? Nehemiah 7:7–69

d) What happened to the priests whose registrations were not found among the enrolled genealogies? Nehemiah 7:64–65

2) How did the returned exiles support the building efforts? What lessons can we learn from their faithfulness? Nehemiah 7:70–72, Ezra 2:68–70 

3) How would you summarize Nehemiah 7:1–73 in your own words?

Interpretation: What does the passage mean?

  1. Why did Nehemiah make it a priority to appoint leaders after the wall was rebuilt? Nehemiah 7:1–4 
    • What was the significance of appointing gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites first? What was Nehemiah (ultimately God) seeking? – Psalm 48
    • Why is it important to have God-fearing and faithful leaders in the church? 1 Corinthians 4:1–2, Proverbs 29:25  
    • Why is it important for God’s people to be on guard? Mark 13:33, Ephesians 6: 13; 1 Peter 5:8–9
  2. Why was the genealogy of the people important? Ezra 2, Nehemiah 7:6–69, Genesis 12:1–3, Matthew 1:1–17
  • What are some similarities or differences between the genealogy recorded in Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7? What may be the reason for the differences identified? 
  • What does the genealogy in scripture say about the importance of our heritage and identity? Genesis 49:10, 1 Peter 2:9

Application: How can we apply this passage to our lives?

  1. How does the truth that you, your heritage, and what you do matters to God, impacts the way you view your life? Acts 17:26
  2. How can the account of the people’s commitment in Nehemiah 7 motivate you to participate more actively in your church? 
  3. Are you a member of MBC? If not, what steps can you take to commit to being a part of the MBC church family? 
  4. What are 1-2 steps God is calling you to take to play your part in building up His church and spreading the gospel in this time and place in which you’re living?
  5. What God is leading you in this time and place to faithfully follow him?
  6. In light of today’s discussion, how can your church group/huddle members pray for you?

Nehemiah 7 ESV

1. Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. 3 And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.” 4 The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few, and no houses had been rebuilt.

Lists of Returned Exiles

5 Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:

6 These were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. 7 They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 the sons of Parosh, 2,172. 9 The sons of Shephatiah, 372. 10 The sons of Arah, 652. 11 The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818. 12 The sons of Elam, 1,254. 13 The sons of Zattu, 845. 14 The sons of Zaccai, 760. 15 The sons of Binnui, 648. 16 The sons of Bebai, 628. 17 The sons of Azgad, 2,322. 18 The sons of Adonikam, 667. 19 The sons of Bigvai, 2,067. 20 The sons of Adin, 655. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 22 The sons of Hashum, 328. 23 The sons of Bezai, 324. 24 The sons of Hariph, 112. 25 The sons of Gibeon, 95. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188. 27 The men of Anathoth, 128. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, 42. 29 The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, 621. 31 The men of Michmas, 122. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, 123. 33 The men of the other Nebo, 52. 34 The sons of the other Elam, 1,254. 35 The sons of Harim, 320. 36The sons of Jericho, 345. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721. 38 The sons of Senaah, 3,930.

39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, 973. 40 The sons of Immer, 1,052. 41 The sons of Pashhur, 1,247. 42 The sons of Harim, 1,017.

43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the sons of Hodevah, 74. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, 148. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, 138.

46 The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon’s servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.

60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon’s servants were 392.

61 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their fathers’ houses nor their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 642. 63 Also, of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food until a priest with Urim and Thummim should arise.

Totals of People and Gifts

66 The whole assembly together was 42,360, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337. And they had 245 singers, male and female. 68 Their horses were 736, their mules 245,[a] 69 their camels 435, and their donkeys 6,720.

70 Now some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics[b] of gold, 50 basins, 30 priests’ garments and 500 minas[c] of silver.71 And some of the heads of fathers’ houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver, and 67 priests’ garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns. And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns.

Sermon Recap

  1. God says that you matter. As such remember who you are as a child of God.
  2. God says that your heritage matters to Him. As such, remember who has gone before you in the family of God.
  3. God says that what you do with your life matters. As such, Remember how others have given their lives for the glory of God and resolve to continue the work of God in the time and place in which you are living.
David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!