July 20 – His story : Man’s rescue – It might as well be you!

Read Nehemiah 1:1-2:20

“Somebody’s got to do something! It might as well be you!”

Hold that thought!

Those 70 years of Jewish exile in Babylon were long. Some people likely knew nothing other than Babylon. They were born there…and there they died. But the seventy years eventually passed, and God, true to His promise, allowed waves of His people to return to their homeland. At His bidding, and in spite of many challenges, the people eventually reconstructed the temple (see Ezra and Haggai).

Meanwhile, more years passed. Some Jews like Nehemiah had not only not returned but they were continuing on with life far removed from Jerusalem. Nehemiah himself had a responsible position as cupbearer in the Persian king’s palace. But, even though years passed and miles separated him from the land of his fathers and of the Father’s promise, he had a heart for the things that were close to the heart of God. He asked about the God’s people and about His city.

The situation in the Promised Land was not particularly good! The people were in “great trouble and shame.” The protective wall around Jerusalem was still “broken down” (1:3). Apparently, Nehemiah’s question of concern was much more than a polite, appropriate one to ask when others from Judah were in town. The years and the miles had in no one dulled Nehemiah’s sensitivity to God’s priorities for His people and His city. Such a negative response caused him to sit down to weep, kneel down to pray, and rise up to work. You see, Nehemiah would play a critical part in God’s story of man’s rescue. Under His leadership, the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt.

Even though Nehemiah was miles away from the tragedy in Jerusalem, he couldn’t bear the thought. His response was essentially the line with which we started today’s blog entry…”Somebody’s got to do something! It might as well be me!”

What are those injustices or who are those people in life about which you ask yourself, “Why isn’t someone doing something about that?” Is it possible that God wants to use you to address the need? It might as well be you! But make sure you do what Nehemiah did…pray and fast before you act.

Steve Kern

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