Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday - Nehemiah 1 – Praying for Fear

od had used Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple. Through the ministry of Ezra He had improved the condition of the temple (as well as the condition of the hearts of His people). Evidently step 3 in the rejuvenation of Jerusalem was the rebuilding of its walls. So, Jehovah began to move in that direction by burdening the heart of Artaxerxes' personal cupbearer, Nehemiah. News came to Nehemiah from the holy land about how dangerously unprotected Jerusalem was. That news broke his heart.

Nehemiah was a praying man. He fasted and prayed.  He wept and prayed.  He quoted God's words back to Him... and prayed. He confessed his own sins and the sins of others while he prayed. He was a royal servant living far from his homeland. Nevertheless, he knew how to pray. Maybe I should say, he knew TO pray, AND he knew HOW to pray too.

In this introductory chapter of Nehemiah, my favorite phrase is found in verse 11. Nehemiah described himself as one among many who desired to fear the name of God (Nehemiah 1:11). He didn't think enough of himself to claim that he did actually have a full and properly developed fear for Jehovah, but he did desire to attain unto it.

The author of the old Hymn "Come Thou Fount" realized very well how that the hearts of God's devout children are deeply lacking and need God's intervening adjustments for us to do the right things. "Tune my heart,” he wrote. We who are His children already, still need this. We need God to tune our heart to the right frequency.

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