A Lesson from Nehemiah

Nehemiah poured out his heart to God, calling that he be attentive to his prayers and that his eyes be open to his servant in his brokenness over the destruction of the wall of Jerusalem. He repented of the sins of him and his fathers against God in disobeying his holy commandments as passed down to them through Moses.

Nehemiah, a cupbearer for the King, was discovered in the presence of the King to be quite down cast.  The King inquiring as to the sadden state of his servant, learned that Nehemiah was distraught over the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the condition of those held in captivity.  The King showed compassion on Nehemiah as he proposed he be permitted to set out to rebuild the beloved city and help its people. It is by the faith of Nehemiah, his repentance and his prayers that he found favor in the sight of God, that he was able to venture out and to restore the wall, of Jerusalem.  For we read in Nehemiah 2:8 “…. And the King granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.”

Nehemiah recognized that it was not so much the King that granted his request, but in fact, it was truly from that hand of God himself. For before answering the King when he asked about the downcast of his countenance, he first prayed to God and then he made his supplication known to the King. I believe, Nehemiah knew that he wasn’t “the kings servant” per say, but in fact he was a servant to The King – The Holy King of Israel.

Indeed, it is as we read in James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Another important thing to note is Nehemiah’s humbleness before God when he sought him in prayer. Not only did Nehemiah repent of his own sins, but also the sins of his fathers.  In Nehemiah 1:6-7 we read “Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that though mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before the now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, not the statutes, nor the judgments, which though commandedst thy servant Moses.”

We find in the Epistle of James, not only the humbleness we are called to have, but also that so clearly displayed in Nehemiah: James 4:8-10 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Are we broken today?  Is our countenance saddened and has our step lost its skip?  Do we hunger and thirst, in the dry, weary land of our souls?  Today, let us heed Nehemiah’s example and humble ourselves before the Lord.  Pour out our hearts to him, and repent of our sins, and the sins of our fathers, and thus, let the good hand of God be upon us.

Copyright 2010, Nancy M. Ericsson

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2 thoughts on “A Lesson from Nehemiah

  1. Nancy,
    These are thoughtful and I thank you for sharing. I love the thought that we choose to rejoice, despite our circumstances. Why? Because we have salvation through Jesus blood. This is the day of Salvation! 🙂
    love you and thank you for sharing your precious thoughts!
    Denise

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