The conditions of Jerusalem grieved Nehemiah. His reactions to the news of that great city, reduced to rubble, was to fast and pray. His sorrow was a “sadness of the heart,” as observed by King Artaxerxes.
Nehemiah left the comforts of living in the palace of the Persian king, and went to Jerusalem to see what could be done to rectify the situation there. There are so many spiritual truths tucked into this precious book: How to go about beginning a project, how to handle opposition, what a healthy church looks like. This book is rich.
Here’s what came to mind this morning as I thought about these three chapters: So often I hear people lament the condition of the world, the corruption in our government, the immorality, the blatant sin, the disrespect for God in our society. I hear people grieved at the condition of the Church, bemoaning the fact the Church is losing its influence. I believe some are as grieved about the state of things today, as Nehemiah was at the state of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah went to Jerusalem, rallied the people to action, and the job got done. And here’s how:
People took care of the conditions in their own back yards.
Yes, the wall was rubble all around Jerusalem, an overwhelming task for any individual. But each person picked up a shovel and cleaned up the part of the wall closest to them.
Yes, the world is in sad repair. Yes, the task of cleaning it up seems too monumental. But I believe God would have us understand if we want our world repaired, it has to start at home.
You aren’t responsible for the world’s condition. But you are responsible for the condition of your home, which occupies a portion in the world.
Parents, do you hold your children to a Biblical standard of behavior? Kids, do you read the Bible and long to be right before God? Are you obedient? Adults, do you participate in drunkenness, pornography, vulgar language? Are you a watered-down version of what God demands?
Let’s not just shake our heads at the depraved condition of our world. We can change this world, one back yard at a time.