Saturday, April 6, 2019 -
I love the book of Nehemiah. For it demonstrates what one committed man can do to change an entire nation. He was the king’s cupbearer, King Artaxerxes, that is, and the Jews were in captivity in a faraway land. When Nehemiah learned of the walls of Jerusalem being in utter disrepair and broken down, he became so disheartened even the king asked him about it. Nehemiah was a godly man, and after informing the king why he was so sad, the king replied, “What do you request?” Nehemiah first prayed over his answer to the kings. I’m not sure I would have done that! And the king granted him, on behalf of Jerusalem, every request that was asked, even the timber and a military escort to Jerusalem.
When there, Nehemiah was met with much opposition and ridicule, yet it did not stop him from his mission from God to rebuild the wall. It got so bad every worker on the wall had to keep a weapon in his possession at all times. Nehemiah told them, “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord Who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
Not only did Nehemiah see God faithful in seeing the wall built, God gave him discernment (chapter 7), put fear in the heart of all their enemies, and made Nehemiah governor.
Yet Nehemiah’s role was not finished. Along with the prophet Nehemiah, he called the nation to repentance for their sin, read the law, and hence the people repented, began practicing it, and once again began to honor the Sabbath.