Thoughts and Reflections
Today we read about Jerusalem’s restoration. Zechariah writes 500 years before Jesus comes, he tells us of mourning for “him whom they have pierced.” Jesus was pierced on the cross for us. In Nehemiah, we see a third wave of the people’s return to the Holy Land. The walls of Jerusalem have not been rebuilt so the city remains vulnerable to attack. When Nehemiah’s heart is broken, he turns to the Lord. He is later accused of rebelling against the king. The King himself gave him letters and permission to rebuild the walls. He waits and hears God’s word and acts on it.
Nehemiah shows us model leadership to follow.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. It happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with some men from Judah. I asked them about the Jews — those who had escaped and those who survived from the captivity — and about Jerusalem.
3 They replied, ‘The survivors remaining there in the province since the captivity are in a very bad and demoralised condition: the walls of Jerusalem are in ruins and its gates have been burnt down.’
6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to listen to your servant’s prayer, which I now offer to you day and night on behalf of your servants the Israelites. I admit the sins of the Israelites, which we have committed against you. Both I and my father’s House have sinned;
9 but if you come back to me and keep my commandments and practise them, even though those who have been banished are at the very sky’s end, I shall gather them from there and bring them back to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling-place for my name.”
11 O Lord, let your ear now be attentive to your servant’s prayer and to the prayer of your servants who want to revere your name. I beg you let your servant be successful today and win this man’s compassion.’ At the time I was cupbearer to the king.
1 In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, since I was in charge of the wine, I took the wine and offered it to the king. Now, he had never seen me looking depressed before.
4 The king then said to me, ‘What would you like me to do?’ Praying to the God of heaven,
8 Also an order for Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, to supply me with timber for the beams of the gates of the citadel of the Temple, for the city walls and for the house which I am to occupy?’ These the king granted me because the kindly hand of my God was over me.
10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the official of Ammon heard about this, they were exceedingly displeased that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.
13 Under cover of dark I went out through the Valley Gate towards the Dragon’s Fountain as far as the Dung Gate, and examined the wall of Jerusalem where it was broken down and its gates burnt out.
16 without the officials knowing where I had gone or what I had been doing. So far I had said nothing to the Jews: neither to the priests, the nobles, the officials nor any other persons involved in the undertaking.
17 I then said to them, ‘You see what a sorry state we are in: Jerusalem is in ruins and its gates have been burnt down. Come on, we must rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and put an end to our humiliating position!’
18 And I told them how the kindly hand of my God had been over me, and the words which the king had said to me. At this they said, ‘Let us start building at once!’ and they set their hands to the good work.
19 When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the official of Ammon, and Geshem the Arab heard about this, they laughed at us and jeered. They said, ‘What is this you are doing? Are you going to revolt against the king?’
3 ‘When that day comes, I shall make Jerusalem a stone too heavy for all the peoples to lift; all those who try to lift it will hurt themselves severely, although all the nations of the world will be massed against her.
4 When that day comes — declares Yahweh — I shall strike all the horses with panic and their riders with madness. And I shall strike all the peoples with blindness. (But I shall keep watch over Judah.)
6 When that day comes, I shall make the rulers of Judah like a brazier burning in a pile of wood, like a torch flaming in a sheaf; and they will devour all the peoples round them to right and left. And Jerusalem will be full of people as before, where she stands (in Jerusalem).
8 When that day comes, Yahweh will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and the frailest of them will be like David when that day comes, and the House of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh, at their head.
10 But over the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem I shall pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look to me. They will mourn for the one whom they have pierced as though for an only child, and weep for him as people weep for a first-born child.
2 ‘When that day comes — Yahweh declares — I shall cut off the names of the idols from the country, and they will never be remembered again; I shall also rid the country of the prophets, and of the spirit of impurity.
3 Then, if anyone still goes on prophesying, his parents, his own father and mother will say to him, “You shall not live, since you utter lies in Yahweh’s name.” And even while he is prophesying, his parents, his own father and mother will pierce him through.
6 And if anyone asks him, “What are those gashes on your chest?” he will reply, “I got them when I was with my friends.” ‘
9 I shall pass this third through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, test them as gold is tested. He will call on my name and I shall answer him; I shall say, ‘He is my people,’ and he will say, ‘Yahweh is my God!’
20 Whoever curses father or mother will have his lamp put out in the deepest darkness.
21 Property quickly come by at first will not be blessed in the end.