The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

– Nehemiah 1:1-4 (NIV)

Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

Nehemiah was a cupbearer to the king. While this was a risky job (he could have been poisoned), Nehemiah was in a position of prestige and comfort. It would have been easy for him to sympathize with the exiles and go about his business. Instead, he was deeply moved and took action. What about us? When we hear of other people’s dilemmas, do we simply say, “I’m glad that’s not me!” and move on, or are we willing to seek heaven for ways that God could use us to be the answer?

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