My Bible study today created a sense of déjà vu. While reading in the book of Nehemiah this morning, it gave me pause, it was like reading or watching the news of today—only difference was the way in which the nation’s problems were handled then and how they’re handled today.
A quick overview of what Nehemiah, cup-bearer to king Artaxerxes, was faced with when he inquired of his brethren about the fate of the Jews of the captivity (the remnant that was left) and the city of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah learned that the Jews were in great affliction and that the wall around the city had been broken down and the doors in the wall were burned out. The city and the people were a laughing-stock to those passing by. (Hmm, USA today?)
You know what Nehemiah did when he got that news? Nehemiah 1: verse 4 says he sat down and wept. He mourned and fasted, and the scripture says he prayed before the God of heaven. ( Nehemiah knew how to tackle a problem )
Do you wonder what he prayed for? Verses 5 through 11 tells us the very words Nehemiah spoke to God in his prayer. Nehemiah poured out his heart to God whom he loved and looked to for help on behalf of the people, and the city of Jerusalem. ( I could hardly stop reading, but I had to—cause stuff had to be done—life always gets in the way of the good times! )
The wisdom found in the book of Nehemiah (old testament ) is astounding. In Chapter 1: verses 7, 8 and 9, Nehemiah confesses the people’s sins before God and is reminded that God promised the people if they turned away from following him, ( the cause of all the problems ) that he would allow them to be scattered and afflicted. But, the good news was if they would turn and come back, God would gather them to him again. ( the promise still stands )
The thing is, Nehemiah lived in the king’s palace, he had no need to put himself out for the people who had turned away from God. He had little to gain but stood to lose much. He did what he did for love of the people, and he wanted God’s best for them.
God heard Nehemiah’s prayer and was with him and the people who followed his lead in turning back to God. They rebuilt the wall in fifty-two days, with a weapon in one hand and a tool in the other hand ( the enemies tried to stop the progress—not knowing they fought against God ).
Read the book of Nehemiah and see how he rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in the midst of great ridicule, rumors, and intimidation attempts. Reading the first six chapters made me determined to be stronger and spend more time in prayer. I’m looking forward to studying the rest of the book of Nehemiah.
Chapter 6: 16 is especially rewarding.
The photo above is of an old sweatshirt that one of my nephews gave me. I think it’s one Nehemiah might have worn. I can hear him quoting my sweatshirt, “Either lead, follow or get out of the way.”
Until next time, signing off with 🙂 🙂 🙂 Keep God in your plans—things go better! MaryJ
As a reminder, one of my short stories, The Summer Boarder is FREE March 23-27. It’s a cute story—enjoy!