每日诗歌: 尼希米的祷告 https://youtu.be/dT3Ltv_UVP0
“求你记念所吩咐你仆人 摩西 的话，说：『你们若犯罪，我就把你们分散在万民中； 但你们若归向我，谨守遵行我的诫命，你们被赶散的人虽在天涯，我也必从那里将他们招聚回来，带到我所选择立为我名的居所。』”
读完尼希米记 1-2 以后， 我不知不觉就会把我自己放在故事里。 尼希米坐在那么高的位子， 是作王酒政的。他是最成功的移民孩子。 他又有名声，又有地位， 还可以靠近国王，是那时候最厉害的人。还能要什么呢？然而，尼希米记开始的时候却不是这样。在第一章中，我们发现了一个流亡者之子为父亲的祖国而哭泣。显然，尼希米深深地关心着这片土地，尽管他可能是在与以色列截然不同的文化和土地上长大。当我想到我的父母的故乡，尽管我继续学习他们的语言和文化，但我仍然感觉陌生。尼希米在这方面就不一样了。他知道耶路撒冷的情况以后就为她哀哭。在他心中，耶路撒冷是他的家，耶和华是他的主，是他信奉并祈祷的神。他的祷告让我想起诗篇137:4-6“我们怎能在外邦唱耶和华的歌呢？ 耶路撒冷 啊，我若忘记你， 情愿我的右手忘记 技巧 ！ 我若不记念你， 若不看 耶路撒冷 过于我所最喜乐的， 情愿我的舌头贴于上膛！”
Nehemiah’s Prayer- Matt Maher ( https://youtu.be/dT3Ltv_UVP0)
Nehemiah 1:8-9 ““Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’”
1) Why was Nehemiah so upset when he heard about the situation in Jerusalem?
Reading Nehemiah 1-2, I cannot help but put myself in Nehemiah’s situation. Here he is, in a prestigious position as cupbearer to the king. He is the ultimate successful immigrant child. He has position, prominence, and access to the most powerful man in the country. What more could he want? And yet, the book of Nehemiah starts out nothing like that. In chapter one, we find a picture of a child born in exile, crying for the land of his fathers. It is obvious that Nehemiah cares deeply for this land, even though he was probably raised in a culture and land very different from Israel. When I think about my parent’s homeland, although I am continuing to learn the language and culture, I still feel that separation and distance. But it is not so with Nehemiah. He mourns for the state of Jerusalem on a deep level. In his heart, Jerusalem is his home and Jehovah God is his Lord, the One who he believes and prays to. His prayer reminds me of Psalm 137: 4-6 “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not member you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!”
Why was Jerusalem so important to Nehemiah and the Israelites? From a worldly perspective, Babylon had more to offer the Israelites. But Jerusalem and the temple represents God’s promise. Nehemiah recalls God’s promise first given to Moses and repeated to Solomon during the dedication of the temple, that if Israel repented, he would once again “gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there”. To Nehemiah, that promise was worth more than all the glory and prestige that other countries had to offer. He would rather give up his comfortable life to travel to a run down city that didn’t have a wall or even a house for him to live in just to rebuild it.
It’s interesting that God placed Nehemiah in a unique position to be able to accomplish this task. He able to use his access to the king to gain the necessary permission and resources, and he had the heart to tackle this difficult task head on, even though enemies from all sides sought to stop him. God used Nehemiah, a man with the right knowledge, right access, and most importantly, the right heart to start the work of rebuilding the wall. When we look at our own lives here in San Antonio, far away from our homeland or the homeland of our fathers, I think it is also important to remember that God is working to place us in the right place and the right time to serve Him. May He also work in our hearts to bring us face to face with our own need for repentance, sanctification and sacrifice for Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, as I read through Nehemiah, please prepare my heart to see how you want me to serve you. Convict me of my sin and create in me a desire for prayer and deeper relationship with you. Amen！