Nehemiah 1:3-4 New Living Translation
They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere,
they stand up and badger me.
They pay me back misery for mercy,
leaving my soul empty.
When they were sick, I dressed in black;
instead of eating, I prayed.
My prayers were like lead in my gut,
like I’d lost my best friend, my brother.
I paced, distraught as a motherless child,
hunched and heavyhearted.
Nehemiah saw the devastation of his people and decided to do something about it. As a cupbearer to the king, he heard of great affliction and reproach among his people and the condition of the wall of Jerusalem. He was so sad and moved with compassion that it compelled him to fasting and prayer. Here was a nation of people that God had made a Covenant with, who were Set Apart to be Above All other nations. They had been abundantly blessed and now they were in a state of reproach of shame. They did not follow God’s commandments and were defeated in battle. Nehemiah sought God for a solution and God showed him what to do.
The body of Christ today has been given this Same Covenant of Blessings and Victory. I want to be like Nehemiah, moved with compassion and mercy. Those in captivity, reproach, or shame need to receive God’s covenant. We have been Set Apart for This Time, for This Community, for our Area of Influence. We have The Answer and the ability and power of the Holy Spirit in us. God will give us solutions to meet every NEED. Let’s be driven to seek God like Nehemiah, to be moved by compassion and bring reconciliation, restoration and healing to broken lives.
Matthew 14:14-21, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
Father, in Jesus’ name, I thank You that You have given me the ability to minister to those You are sending me. I thank You for Your compassion and mercy as I minister to those You have placed in my area of influence. Amen.
Sam Smucker, Senior Pastor
The Worship Center
Lancaster County, PA