Nehemiah 1:2-4

Verses: 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.

Insights: Nehemiah could have got the news from his brother of the pain and suffering the people of Judah were experiencing and thought to himself, “I’m sure glad it’s not me who is hurting…” But he was moved by compassion and began to fast and pray asking God for what his role would be in helping them. His openness to be used by God brought brought about an incredible miracle that you’ll read about later this week.

Prayer: Oh God, I invite you to help me respond to the hurting and helpless in our world with compassion and kindness. Use me I pray. Amen.

Jeffery Portmann