O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands. (Nehemiah 1:5)
In the next several weeks, I’m going to take some time to share my thoughts on the book of Nehemiah with you. Let’s take it chapter by chapter and glean from God’s Word. There is so much to learn from the steadfast spirit that Nehemiah possessed and his strength of character. I would love the opportunity to walk through this book with you and discover what the Lord has waiting for us. This week, please try to find time to read Nehemiah 1. If you know anyone who could benefit from this study, please feel free to share this with them.
I have been studying Nehemiah for a few weeks now. Often when I’m reading God’s Word, there will be times I just camp out in a certain passage. Right now, that passage is Nehemiah. I’m wanting to glean as much as I can from this man who had an unwavering spirit. He was so steadfast. His character was put to the test and he passed. He kept his eyes on the Lord.
We open the chapter to find Nehemiah asking about the wall of his hometown Jerusalem. When he heard the news that it was broken down and the gates burned by fire, he responded with prayer and fasting.
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Nehemiah 1:4)
How often I have heard things broken down in my life and gone to fix them? It often gets me into trouble. I love that Nehemiah’s first response was to hit his knees and give the burden of this to the Lord. He waited on God for direction. Is there something broken in your life right now? How much time have you spent waiting on God for direction with it?
Chapter 1 continues with a beautiful prayer from Nehemiah as he expresses all that’s on his heart. He begins with recognition of who God is. He declares how awesome God is. He came before the Lord with reverence and awe, not demanding a fix. But humbling himself and even offering up a plea for forgivenness. His humilty was a beautiful picture of how we should enter the Lord’s presence when we pray.
He goes on to declare the promises that have been passed down from generation to generation. He knows how faithful God is and He has not let the circumstances of life cloud his judgment. How often do I get off track because I start looking at the circumstances of my trial instead of keeping my eyes fixed on the Lord, the Author and Perfecter of my faith? God is at work, even when we can’t see the work of His hands. We can trust Him. We can know that He has a plan in place that is perfect for us.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, ESV)
Next week, we will take a look at Nehemiah 2.
Lord, I have so appreciated gleaning from the wisdom of Nehemiah. His unwavering heart and steadfast spirit have really challenged me. Lord, I pray that I will be immovable in You. God, may I so trust in and rely on You that nothing can shake me. May my heart be sold out to the things of You and may I seek Your guidance for my days ahead.
Seeking a Heart Like Nehemiah,