Book Review: Nehemiah For You by Eric Mason

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I know all too well how sometimes, it can be overwhelming when trying to find a Bible study companion to aid you in your study time. There are an endless number of books available, and I know that for me, it can be difficult to find one that is easily readable, easy to follow, and one that helps answer any questions you have along the way. It can also be hard finding one which is biblically sound, keeps the truth of God’s Word, and is scripture-based. In this post, I will be specifically looking at Bible study books for the Book of Nehemiah.

I was kindly sent a copy of Nehemiah For You by Eric Mason. It’s a book which helps the reader to be strengthened to build for God, meditate on God’s Word, be equipped to teach the Bible to others, and to learn more about this particular book of the Bible during personal study time. 

“Join Pastor Eric Mason as he opens up the book of Nehemiah, helping you to follow its ups and downs and showing how it transforms our hearts and lives today.”

I came across the ‘For You’ series a few years ago after purchasing my first book in a Christian bookshop, Philippians For You. These books are written by different authors, but are based on the same principles. The style in which they are written is similar, and they all aim to help you when reading God’s Word in a particular book of the Bible.

These series of books can be freely read as a standalone book, as a guide to a specific book of the Bible, but also as a reading companion in your Bible study time. They can also be read as a daily devotional. This is something that I did when reading the Philippians For You book. The pages in the book are split into different sections, making them easily digestible so they can be read in small, manageable chunks, as a daily devotional. They are also great for explaining a particular book of the Bible in a group Bible study, and when preaching, in a way which can be applied to our own lives.

It’s important to remember that these books are not commentaries, but to help you familiarise yourself with the selected book of the Bible that you are studying. Specifically looking at Nehemiah For You, the author goes into great detail discussing the verses in the Book of Nehemiah, presenting a thoughtful, in-depth look and interpretation of the meanings of each verse, in a language that is understandable for the reader. The author also looks at how these verses and their meanings can be applied in our day-to-day lives, with insights from the author’s own life experiences. The author also discusses what other things that can be taken from the verses in Nehemiah, considering how they can be used in and applied to events in our own lives. 

The author asks questions to provide us with a thought-provoking look at how we ourselves react to difficult and unexpected life events that occur. Whilst looking closely at what Nehemiah did and how he acted, the author explores how we too can apply that to our own lives, thinking closely about how God worked through Nehemiah, and how God too works in and through us.

This book is written in good clear print, with an eye-catching cover that clearly tells the reader what the book is about and its purpose in just a few short sentences. It also has the same look, design and feel as other ‘For You’ books in the series. When opening the book, the contents are easily readable, so you can find straight away which section you want to read or are currently reading and working through. This book also includes a very handy glossary at the back to help with further understanding of words that are marked in grey throughout the book. The sections within the book have a helpful question and reflection time at the end, which can be done individually or within a group discussion. Again, on the back cover, the book clearly describes what it is about and what its aims are 

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve also included a second book, Nehemiah: God’s Building Project, also sent to me, which although not in the ‘For You’ series, is a handy book which can act as a companion to Nehemiah For You, and when reading straight from the Bible. The first half of this book predominantly includes questions asked by the author to be answered by the reader, along with study notes. The second half includes a leader’s guide, filled with different topics that can be looked at and discussed with a small group or study group. 

The questions asked enable the reader to start to reflect on the Book of Nehemiah, to write down their thoughts on the book, to interpret one’s own understanding in words, to discover what had been read and learned, and to note down how this can apply in our own lives and those around us. It can also help us to think about what we, as a person, experience and are experiencing in the world around us today, and to see how not only is the Book of Nehemiah about past events, but how what we read can be applied and is very much relevant today.

These books, and those in the same series have proven to be valuable in helping me to study the Bible. These books in particular have helped me to dive deeper into the Book of Nehemiah, and to develop my understanding and knowledge of this particular book in the overall context of the Bible. A great study aid for personal use and within groups. 

This book has clear, easy-to-read print throughout. The presentation of the book is easily laid out, although the boxes to write in are quite small, so a notebook is highly recommended. The quality of the book is very good, there’s a clear layout, and it’s obvious what the book is about, and what the author’s aims and intentions are. Bible quotations are from the English Standard Translation (ESV), a more literal translation of the Bible which I’m pleased to see used in this book, but this may also mean that if you are using another translation of the Bible, these will need to be looked up individually.

The book is written in a way which means it can be easily presented to a small group or study group by someone without an in-depth knowledge of the Book of Nehemiah. The leader’s notes are clear, easy-to-read and discuss with others, whilst also going into more detail about the verses. This book is slightly smaller than the Nehemiah For You book, so is travel- friendly to take with you on the move.

I feel that both of these books by Eric Mason are a great duo to have and to use when reading and studying the Bible. Both offer an in-depth closer look at the Book of Nehemiah. Whilst Nehemiah For You offers mainly reading, Nehemiah: God’s Building Project helps you to delve deeper, to reflect and write down thoughts, ideas, notes, to answer important questions asked by the author, to help with further understanding of the Book of Nehemiah and to help you learn and grow in your journey of faith.

What are some of your favourite books to use during your Bible study time? Are there any that you recommend checking out?

Take a look at my review for He Will Be Enough by Katie Farris.

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