Nehemiah 1:2-4 NLT
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. 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.”” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
”O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honouring You. Please grant me success today by making the king favourable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.
”Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. So the king asked me, ”Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.” Then I was terrified, but I replied, ”Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” The king asked, ”Well, how can I help you?” With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, ”If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.” The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, ”How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.”
So, let’s learn from Nehemiah on HOW TO REBUILD BROKEN WALLS.
MOVED TO TEARS.
Nehemiah sat down and wept when he heard that the walls of Jerusalem were in ruin. He wept, and then he mourned and fasted and prayed for many days. When was the last time you really cried about something broken in your life? When was the last time you cried about something broken in the world around you? Being moved to tears is a healthy response to broken-down walls in our lives. Perhaps it’s a habitual sin, or an addiction, or a strained relationship with your spouse or your child. Sometimes we need to go and lie down on our beds, and put our face in our pillow, and cry and weep before the Lord. We need to express our anguish to God. Tell Him what is happening, cry out for forgiveness, and call out to Him for help and guidance regarding the situation. This is not just for us. Sometimes, like Nehemiah, we need to cry to the Lord because of the broken walls that someone we know and love is facing. The family member who isn’t saved, a child who is backslidden, a friend contemplating divorce. We should also weep for them. This allows the extent of their pain to pierce our hearts. Recently I ministered to a lady in need of healing. During the time of prayer, we ended up crying out to the Lord for her son who is struggling with depression. Nehemiah was moved to tears, and because of this he was moved to prayer. Sometimes, in our own lives we have broken-down walls, but we don’t pray earnestly enough for restoration because we haven’t been moved to tears. Sometimes we hear about a person who is struggling and we pray a brief prayer for them, but not a long, powerful, persistent prayer to the Lord, because we haven’t been moved in our hearts. Maybe we need to get to a point where we are really moved to tears on their behalf, when our hearts are broken for them. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We read about this in Luke 19:41-42. Even the Apostle Paul cried? We don’t read about him crying due to the hardships of ministry, or the beatings and persecution he received. No, Paul was moved to tears for the sake of the lost.
Philippians 3:18-19 ”For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” (Paul wept about people who lived like this.)
Paul also had great compassion for the believers in the churches he planted. The church in Corinth caused him great anguish because the corruption in the culture around them had crept into the church.
2 Corinthians 2:4 ”For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”
Can I invite you to think about a broken wall in your life, or in the life of someone you love. Can I encourage you today to get on your knees, or to lie on your bed, and to weep over the brokenness.
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