“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

                                                                       -Jeremiah 33:3

Passage to read:  Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:8

Theme:  Resolute Obedience

Troubling news can lead to frustration and anxiety.  What should I do?  How should I respond?

In the wake of a devastating report regarding the condition of Jerusalem, Nehemiah was stunned.  He sat down (possibly overcome with the gravity of the report);  he wept and mourned for days, and sought the mind of God through prayer and fasting.

Nehemiah wasn’t exactly your average leader.  He had a pretty comfortable job in the administration of King Artaxerxes, the leader of the most formidable power on earth.  His inquiry as to the situation existing among the Jews who had survived the captivity was undoubtedly born out of natural concern.  It’s his reaction that is interesting.

To experience the significance of it, you might compare his reaction with that typical of most in our society.  The natural response, in our culture, of narcissism, is to take the attitude “too bad, but it doesn’t affect me, so I’m not going to spend too much time worrying about it.”  Nehemiah could have easily gone on with his comfortable life and never gotten his hands dirty.  But instead, he risked his career and his life to obediently pursue the leading of God.

Godly men and women hear and see as God hears and sees.  No encounter is coincidental, and every opportunity a Divine appointment.  Rather than a shrug of the shoulders, there was a conscious movement to God.  He not only prayed. . . he prayed until God spoke.  He listened carefully, responded accordingly, and left the outcome of his actions in the hands of God.

Question:  Is there something that I hold on to that keeps me from committing my life to fully serving you, God?

Reflection: Take some time to write out your thoughts as you reflect on this passage.