SADNESS OF THE HEART

Today's devotion from Nehemiah 1-2.

Nehemiah's journey launches from ignorant bliss. He was serving in the presence of the king. He was a cupbearer. It would appear, however, that he was more than just another servant in the king's presence when the king takes notice of his countenance. In truth, Nehemiah's life in Susa must have been as comfortable as any of the exiles.

This all changes when he receives a visit from Hanani. What news could he bring that would disrupt Nehemiah's comfortable life so? Jerusalem was a wreck. These men reporting from Judah brought word that the remnant was incredibly vulnerable. Fire had devastated Jerusalem's wall and gates.

This is the moment of crisis in the life of Nehemiah. It is the point of both brokenness and resolution. It simultaneously leads him to go to God in prayerful petition and follow God in obedient action. From this confrontation with knowledge, the previously unencumbered man would be stirred from his comfort into the larger plan of God's design.

Have you been stirred? Have you been confronted with crisis? Or are you, like so many others, living in ignorant bliss of the devastation and need that surrounds you? Ours is not a concern for familial homelands, but for the eternal hope of those in our communities, who live on our streets, who greet us in our workplace, and who namelessly walk past us in the grocery store.

It is so easy to be overwhelmed at the sheer numbers involved, but I would ask you to simply weep for the truth in general, then be ready when God opens the door. For Nehemiah that door was opened when the king noticed that his cupbearer was truly broken by some devastating revelation. Who knows when or how that door will be opened to you?

Brokenness often precedes godly action. Nehemiah is broken by truth, and God stirs him to action. In the New Testament, Jerusalem looked on Christ in triumph while He, broken, wept for the lostness of that city as He resolved to obediently lay His life down. Brokenness and resolution.

Where is your resolution to obey godly action? First, find your brokenness.