And it came to pass,
when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept,
and mourned certain days,
and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
So I sat down and wept and mourned for a few days (Nehemiah 1:4)
Nehemiah is shocked by a message. A message about Jerusalem and those left behind there.
The Jews in Jerusalem are in great distress and the city is destroyed. That report so struck Nehemiah that he sat down, as if he was paralyzed. He wept.
For several days he mourned as if he mourned over a friend who died. Sorrow tore his heart. That can only happen when there was love for Jerusalem and the remaining people in his heart.
Love to the people of God and the city of God.
That is not the fruit of a natural heart, but of a blessed heart.
Love is the fruit of the Spirit of the Christ.
And love knows sorrow when it does not go well with the object of love .
Many messages come to us. Shocking reports abound. But the worst is this:
▪︎ That the church is torn and broken up.
▪︎ That we are in deep misery (often while we don’t even notice it!)
That is very bad.
But the deepest distress of the church is this when there are no Nehemiahs left who weep over the church and mourn over it. For that would indicate that the fruit of the Spirit was no longer found there; or at least, that love does not burn there, but is smoldering like a dying coal under a lot of ash.
Nehemiah was fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:4)
It is not good if we keep our grief and sorrow within ourselves.
▪︎ Dull despair is not the hallmark of the work of the Holy Ghost.
▪︎ It is the worldly sadness that is characterized by a dull despair.
The sorrow that the Holy Spirit works in us, results in a cry from the depths of our hearts.
We find that with Nehemiah. For several days he mourned over the condition of Jerusalem and those left behind.
▪︎ He was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
▪︎ He abstained from food and drink and all that could bring him refreshment and brought Jerusalem’s need before God.
Nehemiah could not be merry and refreshed when Jerusalem is destroyed.
Can you be merry and refreshed while the church is torn and broken up?
Nehemiah breathed in that sorrow, and that was the prayer to God who dwells in heaven.
Do you know that?
That fasting and praying before the Lord?
When there is need in our life, it is also found with us.
Need for our personal life, the need of our soul, the need of children.
Also for the need of the church, the need of His people?
As long as there are still people who are loving God, and those who belong to Him, it’s not the worst of times.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl