Nehemiah 1:1 “The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,”

Nehemiah 1:2 “That Hanani, one of my brethren, came he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.”

There is no way the story of the Jews will be written without the mention of Nehemiah. He was indeed a man of impact in his generation. Even though in exile, he never allowed the comfort he started enjoying to becloud his love for God and his home land.

His story interests me a lot and I believe we can learn so much from him. His life of deep dependence on God, frequent prayers, deep commitment, unbroken loyalty, focus and resolve are some of the features we will be studying about him.

In the early sixth (6th) century, Judah rebelled against Babylon and was eventually destroyed (586 BC). The royal court and the priests, prophets and scribes were then taken into captivity in Babylon.

There, the exiles blamed their fate on disobedience to God and looked forward to a future when a penitent and purified people would be allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. The same period saw the rapid rise of the Persian Empire.

Born in exile, Nehemiah eventually rose to the position of the cup-bearer to the Persian king, Artaxerxes I. He enjoyed the favor of the king but uppermost in his heart was how to restore the glory of Judah. This man never forgot his root; he knew who he was. He knew they were God’s own people.

His action and concern for his people was second to none. On the day Nehemiah’s brother returned to Persia from a visit to Jerusalem, the first thing he did was to ask after the welfare of the city and the inhabitants.

Nehemiah had become so powerful that his word was law even in a strange land but despite all the fame, Nehemiah never forgot his root.

To be continued…

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