July 1, 2018: Day 78 – Nehemiah1July 6, 2018
And so just like that we begin our last book that we are going to be seeing in this 90 Day Challenge part IV. Nehemiah speaks of the prophet who was responsible for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. The temple has already been rebuilt and now it is time to build a wall to protect it. That falls on Nehemiah and his people who are now fairly well ensconced in the new Jerusalem that has been rebuilt after the Babylonian captivity. Nehemiah hasn’t made his way over there at the beginning of the book, but he will be soon.
We find at the end of this first chapter that Nehemiah was the cup bearer of the king. That is quite a position of power for a Hebrew. He asks about those who actually never were captured and wanted to know what the message was about the homeland. The message that he gets is sad. The walls have been torn down, the gates have been broken, so Jerusalem is standing naked without being able to protect itself. This leads us to believe that Nehemiah is going to do something about this.
His first action is to pray to God and ask for forgiveness because he feels that this is a result of the sin of the people of Israel that they have not followed what God asked them to do so He allowed this to happen, if He did not cause it to happen Himself. So Nehemiah asks for mercy as he meets with the king. I am sure that he will be approaching the king with a request to go back to Jerusalem and help rebuild the walls. The story will continue next chapter.
It is interesting that the first thing that he does is not cast the blame elsewhere and look for someone who might be liable other than those who are directly involved. That is so different from today. When something goes wrong or when we hear bad news we automatically look for someone to blame. Not Nehemiah, he doesn’t turn the blame on God, like Adam did, but rather directly on the people who were unfaithful, the Jewish people themselves. It is refreshing to see people take responsibility.