If you read my last post you’ll know I have not spent a lot of time in the Bible as compared to many other Christians. However it seems that God is making it clear in my life that I need to do just that, so, when a friend invited me to take part in a study of the book of Nehemiah I jumped at it. I’ve always had issues with knowing exactly where to start in the Bible, because it’s a big book covering thousands of years of happenings, so I took this as a bit of divine guidance and as a result we’ll be going over Nehemiah here on the blog. I’ll be sharing my own insights as we go along and those of others, and I’ll tell you which is which. Let’s go!
The thing that stood out to me when I read Nehemiah Chapter One this morning was Nehemiah’s sadness. He is clearly in distress because of how his people have acted regarding the commands of God. They’ve been sinning; not keeping God’s commandments. But Nehemiah knows that God is faithful and forever draws us back to Him if only we will repent and turn from our sinful ways.
God is faithful and keeps his promises to us. Verses 8 & 9 are as follows:
Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you [e]are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.
God keeps all of His promises, including the ones that don’t turn out so well for us. He told them if they were unfaithful that they would be scattered, but He also said if they returned and kept His commandments that he would gather them back up and bring them home.
He will always bring us home. That is one of the most beautiful things about God – He is always faithful. We are all prodigal sons and daughters of the King, and He is ready to embrace us once more if only we will turn around and accept Him.
My friend pointed out some other interesting points of this chapter of Nehemiah. Firstly, Nehemiah’s first response to unsettling news was to fast and pray before the God of heaven. Even during his mourning he made sure he wasn’t letting that sadness overtake him. Instead, he emptied himself of tears and food and prayed to the God of all creation. He humbled himself before God. He didn’t cry and pity himself or his people, he did what he needed to do to come as a humble servant before God so that God would hear his outpouring of grief and grant his people mercy.
My friend also pointed out that the final line of the chapter reads, “For I was the king’s cupbearer.” The cupbearer is one of the king’s most trusted people. If the cupbearer didn’t do his job properly then the king could be poisoned and die. The king had to trust the cupbearer completely, and the cupbearer had to trust that the king was a moral enough man that none would poison him. After all, who would consign themselves to a sure death for an unworthy king?
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. Let me know your thoughts below!