As we concluded the book of Ezra yesterday, we moved on to another leader who showed great love and concern for the wellbeing of his country and its people. Nehemiah was a cupbearer for Artaxerxes in Shushan palace, but when he heard that those who were left of the captivity were in great affliction, and the walls of Jerusalem broken down, he broke down and wept for days, fasting and praying before God.
Nehemiah, in similar fashion like Ezra, made the sin of the people his own sin. He prayed before God for forgiveness and mercy, reminding God of his promise for restoration. He knew their plight was due to their sin, but he also remembered that God promised that if they repented, they would be restored.
As the first chapter closes, Nehemiah prayed for favour before the king, as he would need the king’s permission if he were to leave his role in the palace to attend to the problems in his home country. What happens next? We will soon discover.
Some verses to remember
4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.