Nehemiah 1:4 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said:
“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.
I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
We know that Nehemiah was one of the great leaders that God called to rebuild his house after the destruction of Jerusalem.
In this series, I would like to focus
1. What he felt when he heard the destruction of Jerusalem.
2. What action he took after he heard the destruction.
3. What we learn from Nehemiah in this regard.
Nehemiah felt really bad when he heard the bad news about the destruction of Jerusalem. He wept bitterly as Jesus wept when he saw Jerusalem.
Luke 19:41: When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.…
2 Corinthians 4:4 : In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Jesus wept for Jerusalem for the people of Israel did not recognize their savior as one who came to deliver them from their sins.
The truth was simply hidden from their eyes. They couldn't accept Jesus as their personal savior and Lord and listen to his words. Instead, they consider him like a thief, mad person and a man possessed with the evil. And they couldn’t sleep until they persecute him with false accusations and kill him.
Jesus wept for those and not for him until his tears turned into blood with a lot of intercession to the father, that their sins shall not lead them into eternal destruction since the devil had blinded their eyes and deafened their ears.
Since New Testament is reflection from the Old Testament, we see such kind of similarities in the Bible like what we see with Jesus and Nehemiah.
Nehemiah cried because he heard that the
people of God were treated badly. Brother was against brother. There were a lot of segregation and hate going on.
The wall of Jerusalem was destroyed, and its gates was burned with fire by the enemy and its walls were breached and burned. Because of these facts and many more, Nehemiah cried and fasted for so many days, interceding with God for his people.
A great leader always knows that distractions are
signs of sin and rebellion against the will of God on our lives. He knows only God can turn this around. When all hope seems to be gone and the enemy has won on all of the circumstances, we should raise our voice and pray day and night for the mercy of God.
Nehemiah knew he cannot win the heart of his people unless he got divine knowledge and help from God and unless the Holy Spirit touched their heart to repent and start to build what the enemy had taken from them.
They were in great mess and most of them did not realize what was going on.
That is why we need a great leader like Nehemiah even in this age, to revive and help restore our sleepiness when everything we built has been destroyed by the enemy.
Nehemiah, while interceding, prayed according to the word of God. Let's see the key points in his prayer.
1. God is merciful and faithful for those who love him and obey his commandments
2. Nehemiah confessed that they did not obey the commandments of God, he gave them through Mosses.
3. God strictly told them if they are not obedient, God will scatter them among nations. [A clear indication of what is going with our own people]
4. God fearing nations will prosper and its people will come from around the world to live peacefully
5. God would love to rescue us from our troubles since he has already bought us with a great price, with the blood of Jesus.
In conclusion, in this series, we learn that a nation that despises the Laws of God is week and an easy target for the enemy. Great leaders always intercede for their and our sins and show us the truth and the way to God through our lord Jesus Christ. When great trouble and tribulations come and when grief and sorrow kick in, it's the right time to come closer to God and ask for forgiveness for our sins since Holy Spirit always convict us to repent and come out of our own way. God bless you!