Welcome to the Nehemiah series!
The book of Nehemiah begins where true revival starts; it teaches us about the realisation of our spiritual condition.
In this first chapter, we read of how God chose Israel – this nation was chosen to be His people, to shine light to the world, to display His glory and give understanding to the heathen. The only hope the world had was this small nation, Israel, who alone had the knowledge of the true God. This nation was now completely burnt and destroyed!
The spiritual significance of this sad event – the burning and destruction of Israel – was that there was no more wall of salvation, there were no more gates to enter God’s presence, there was no longer a sign of a living God present; the people were now broken just as their city was burnt and broken.
This significance applies to Christians whose act of disobedience has exposed them to the enemies’ attacks and left them as destitutes and spiritually dead! We must continually, as Christians, ask ourselves – how are my walls today? Is there a clear separation between how I operate and how the world operates? Are my goals, attitudes and morals any different from those in the world?
How Israel’s Restoration Process began:
In verse 4 of this chapter, Nehemiah came to God for forgiveness and restoration of life. He did not offer his good works, hoping that would impress God; rather he came to God in repentance and with faith in the character of God; he sought and beseeched God that this condition would not remain. We should always approach God with a repentant heart.
Verses 5-10 explains Nehemiah’s prayer, he reminded God of His character and covenant promises to Israel. He confessed the sin of the nation, not trying to hide from the action that brought them into the present predicament. He reminded God of His promise to restore Israel if they returned to Him. He stated that Israel is a nation God had faithfully redeemed in the past. His prayer was entirely a prayer of repentance based mostly on the promise and faithfulness of God.
Finally, in verse 11, we learn of who Nehemiah was – the king’s cup bearer. This was an important position, as he would taste the king’s wine to make sure it was not poisoned. He was a trusted and chosen ally of the king, he lived in the fortified palace of the king, he was comfortable; but all these didn’t bring him happiness. All he could think of was the condition of his people and the city of Jerusalem. Like Jesus (II Cor. 8:9), his comfortable position meant nothing to him because his people were suffering. His body was in Persia, but his heart and interest was in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was special to Him because it was special to God; Nehemiah was after the well-being of his people. Nehemiah thought of God’s people and the restoration of God’s glory than he did for himself!
Do the things of God matter to you? Does what interest God interest you? What plan do you have for the restoration of God’s glory to His people? Are you ready to pay the price? Look back into your life, from where you have fallen, do you desire restoration? Take a step towards repentance today; and trust God to restore you!