Nehemiah(God Comforts), cup bearer, Jew. The Book of Nehemiah begins 15 years after Book of Ezra ends; almost 100 years after the first captives came back to Promised Land; and some 150 years after city of Jerusalem was destroyed. 1,000 years after Moses and 400 years before birth of Jesus.
Nehemiah aimed to rebuild the walls and edify the people with spiritual qualities. He helped Jews “to take control of their lives, land, and destiny”. Nehemiah was humble, self-motivated, confident in the will of God, willing to take the lead, full of faith, fearless, an organizer, obedient, and just .
“the twentieth year(1:1)” refers to reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, who ruled from 465 B.C. to 424 B.C. Neh. Chs.1-6,7, 8-10,11-12,13. Nehemiah lived in Shushan, the capital city of the Persians, and he lived in the citadel.
vv. 1-3 PATRIOTISM
Nehemiah inquired about his country and his people. When he heard about the realities of his nation that the walls were broken, remnants were sick, great trouble and shame, economically affected worst made him to think, cry, lament for nation(1:4).
The land of milk and honey belongs to God(Lev.25:23) became a land of dead(Is.9:2). Land is full of idols(Is.2:8), Darkness and distress and no lights (Is.5:30), full of evils(Hos.4:1-2). The problems in the land are listed by Prophet Micah in 7:1-6, no faithful, evil doers, bribery, dictations, pervert justice. God looks for a person who will stand for nation, cry for nation, build nation. Nehemiah took the lead to pray for the nation. This event made him to be known as a devoted man.
vv. 4-11a. Devoted Man
Those who live in foreign countries naturally they become devoted and have strong fellowship. I have heard about this from many foreign returned as well as those who still live there.
Nehemiah ran to God for immediate help. When he saw the miserable situation of his nation and people, he didn’t use his influence, not his ability and strength or skills.
People in the high realm of the society either do the good or bad. If born again Christians placed in that position they do more good. he looked unto God in faith. Gap filler(Ezek.22:30). God is Jealous (Joel 2:18), God will bless(Joel 2:21). The Land of Joseph be blessed(Dt.33:13). God looks for devoted men(Mal. 2:15). Cornelius was devoted man(Ac.10:2).
The secret of religion (I Tim 3:16). Devotion is more profitable for this and other world(I Tim.4:8). Control your tongue otherwise your devotion, prayer, offertory and all good things are vain(Jas.1:26).
Use your tongue to bind the kings with chains(Ps149:4-9), Make a chain(Eze.7:23) let it be a Great Chain(Rev.20:1-2). Your Praises and Prayers are the Chain. Pray for them that are in position(I Tim.2:1-3)
vv.11.b Faithful to the King
Along with Devotion Nehemiah was faithful to King(II Pet.1:7). Mordecai was faithful. David was faithful. Daniel was faithful. They are the best examples of the Faithful servants.
John the Baptist said to the tax collectors and the soldiers “be satisfied with your wages”(Lk.3;12-14). Jesus always emphasized that they must pay the dues to the Govt. and as well as to God. He believed that he was doing great work(6:3). He was faithful in His calling while he faced the Problems. Obey the rulers(Rm13:1-7).