Archive for February 13th, 2018

The account of the Exiles’ return to Jerusalem began in the Book of Ezra and continues with Nehemiah’s writing, dated probably about 430 B.C.  In fact, in the Hebrew Bible, the narrative continues straight on from Ezra Chapter 10:44 without a break, to the opening words of Nehemiah.  The purpose of his writing was to remind the exiles of their spiritual heritage, and its main theme focuses on God’s power and a nation’s determination.

 

Nehemiah has been described as wearing three different hats!   Firstly he wears the “Hat of Dignified Royalty” as the King’s Cupbearer, which meant he tasted the food as well as the wine before the King ate or drank anything.  Secondly, he wears the “Hard Hat of a Labourer” in Chapter 2, and finally, in Chapters 6 and 7, he puts on the “Hat of a Politician”!  Nehemiah was born to parents who’d been taken into captivity, so he’d never known what it was like to live as a free man until his adult years.  As a captive youth he may have been deeply scarred, as were many who were born into the generation of the nightmare of World War 2.  However, he emerges unscathed and fulfilled a very important post in King Artaxerxes’ household.

 

Nehemiah is concerned for his own people in Jerusalem and becomes anxious and sad on hearing from his brother Hanani about the condition of the walls of Jerusalem.  Note his reaction: he weeps, mourns, fasts and prays consistently, for four months, for the sake of his people.  We can already see God’s hand at work placing the Right Person in the Right Place at the Right Time!  Nehemiah is a wonderful example and role model to follow.  He loved God, his country and its people passionately, and he spoke his mind with great courage fearlessly standing against opposition.

 

Are you challenged by Nehemiah?  Have you pleaded with God for family, friends, or projects in great need of God’s intervention?  Nehemiah is devoted to God and his people and his focus and perseverance is an example to be followed.  James wrote, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Lord God, thank you for Nehemiah and his example of faithfulness, perseverance and commitment.  Please help me to have more of your perspective for my life and bless me with more of your Holy Spirit, so I can persevere knowing I have your strength and peace in every situation.  For the glory of Jesus, Amen.

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