September 24th, 2018 || Scripture of the Day
The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
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…
I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted 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…
LORD, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant…Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
As cupbearer to the king, Nehemiah was a very important official in the palace. He was responsible for tasting every drink offered to the king to ensure that it contained no poison. He had to be a trustworthy individual to occupy that position. One could well argue that given his position of prominence, Nehemiah did not necessarily have to be overly concerned about the plight of those who were left behind in his homeland of Jerusalem. After all, he was a highly placed official with not much to worry about. He was not a needy person.
But that was not the case with Nehemiah, his heart was moved with compassion when he heard of the trouble and disgrace back home. He wept at the fact that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and its gates had been torn with fire. Nehemiah cried out to God to have mercy on His people. He acknowledged that Israel had acted wickedly by rejecting the laws and commandments of God. He reminded God of His promise to forgive and restore them if they turned back to him in repentance. Nehemiah fasted and prayed for God to give him favor before the king so that he could go back and help God’s people in Jerusalem.
Question: Are you burdened by the unfortunate plight of others? Are you burdened enough to cry to God on their behalf? Are you burdened enough to petition God and ask for the favor of being used by Him to make a tangible difference in those lives? Think about that.
Prayer: Lord, I acknowledge that there are many around me whose life situations are quite critical. Please use me to help make a difference in their situations. Let me be burdened by the many practical ways in which you can use me to touch their lives and circumstances. Amen.
Courtesy of RENEWAL CHRISTIAN CENTER
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