“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
This is how Nehemiah responds to the news that Jerusalem is in shambles. Even though he is far-removed from where the walls are broken and the gates have been burned, Nehemiah is deeply moved nonetheless.
He really shouldn’t be.
He has a prime job as the king’s cupbearer. He eats and drinks better than most of his fellow countrymen. He has access to the king. Life is pretty good for Nehemiah.
Except for one thing: God’s agenda is in jeopardy. Even though Nehemiah and his fellow Jews have been in exile for many, many years, his heart is still back in Jerusalem. Upon his return, Nehemiah says this: “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17).
Have you seen a part of God’s agenda that’s in shambles and mourned for it lately?
Have you heard news about how the darkness has crept in where the light belongs and have it move you to tears?
If not, I recommend you go back and read the book of Nehemiah.