Daily Word

Nehemiah’s Heart | Nehemiah 1:1-3 (NLT)

1 These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

Nehemiah 1:1-3 (NLT)

Nehemiah the man

Before we get too far into the book, I want to look at Nehemiah the man, the leader and his heart. Gotquestions.org gives this summary of Nehemiah the man: “Nehemiah stands as a testament to faithfulness and perseverance. He lived far away from his home, yet he never gave up hope that someday he would return to it. He spent most of his life in exile in a pagan land, yet he never wavered in his faith and trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Nehemiah the leader

This book and the character of Nehemiah are often used to encourage leaders – especially those working on church building projects! He did a wonderful job, as we’ll see, of managing the work of rebuilding the walls and motivating the people to do the work. He led the response to opposition and called the people to trust in the Lord. And when his own Jewish brothers and sisters back-slid, he called them out and dealt with it boldly, in the name of the Lord.

Nehemiah’s heart

In all this, Nehemiah had a heart after God. He sought to please Him alone. He was not influenced by opposition or even resistance and rebellion in the ranks of the Jews themselves. “[Nehemiah]was a prayer warrior, putting everything before the Lord in prayer, interceding on behalf of his people, and he was rewarded for his diligence and perseverance.” (gotquestions.org) We’ll get a glimpse into his heart tomorrow as we see his response to the sad situation in Jerusalem.

Men, let us seek to be Nehemiah’s for today!

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