The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,  That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.  And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.  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, Nehemiah 1:1-4
Nehemiah is one of my favorite Bible characters. He trusted God with everything. He always put God first. For the next few weeks I will be doing lessons on the Book of Nehemiah. I hope and pray that you will enjoy my notes and thoughts on Nehemiah.
Time: 444 – 425 B.C.
Place: Third and last return to Jerusalem after Babylonian exile
In the Hebrew canon the books of Ezra and Nehemiah were one. It is believed that not until the close of the 4th century did it become known as the Book of Nehemiah. – Albert Barnes
We learn Nehemiah’s father’s name is Hachaliah, though nothing else is known of him. While Nehemiah was in the palace during the 9th month which is Chisleu (end of November, beginning of December) one of his brothers, Hanani, with some men come to speak to him.
Nehemiah was full of questions and concern for the Jews. What happened to them? How are they? What is going on?
The answers were probably fast and furious. The people are in great evil (affliction) and shame (reproach), the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and if that is not bad enough the gates are burned with fire. Nehemiah was overcome with sorrow for God’s people. He could not contain himself. He sat down and cried, mourned for days, fasted and prayed to God.
Imagine if we acted like this when we heard about Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted today. Unfortunately most of us are so “wrapped up” in our own world that we forget about those who are being persecuted for their belief in Jesus. We need to step out and mourn, fast and pray for our brothers and sisters.
I will look at Nehemiah’s prayer on my next post.
Have a blessed day,
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