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NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER.pdf

NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. R. MILLER


Read Nehemiah L, 1-11; IV., 7-20

Nehemiah was a captive. There is a tradition
that he belonged to the royal family. Probably
he had been educated in the land of captivity. At
least he occupied a position of great importance
in the king's court. He speaks of himself as the
king's cup-bearer, but this title does not mean that
he was merely a servant. The position was one
of importance and of much influence.
BY J. R. MILLER


Read Nehemiah L, 1-11; IV., 7-20

Nehemiah was a captive. There is a tradition
that he belonged to the royal family. Probably
he had been educated in the land of captivity. At
least he occupied a position of great importance
in the king's court. He speaks of himself as the
king's cup-bearer, but this title does not mean that
he was merely a servant. The position was one
of importance and of much influence.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 27, 2013
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NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER BY J. R. MILLER Read Nehemiah L, 1-11; IV., 7-20Nehemiah was a captive. There is a traditionthat he belonged to the royal family. Probablyhe had been educated in the land of captivity. Atleast he occupied a position of great importancein the king's court. He speaks of himself as theking's cup-bearer, but this title does not mean thathe was merely a servant. The position was oneof importance and of much influence.Evidently Nehemiah was a man of strong char-acter, who could not be swayed by the enervatinginfluences about him. Mr. Robert C. Ogden tellsof once discovering a wonderful little flower onthe Rocky Mountains. In a deep fissure, one dayin midsummer, he found the snow lying yet un-melted, and on the surface of it he saw this flower.Looking to learn where its roots grew, he per-ceived that a long, delicate stem came up throughthe snow. The root was in the crevice of the rock underneath. Like that flower in the cold snoware the lives that are found growing up in themidst of the world's temptations, and yet are214NEHEMIAH I., 1-11 ; IV., 7-2Q 215beautiful and true in spite of all that would nat-urally tend to destroy them. The secret is thatthey are rooted in the cleft of the Rock of Ages.
 
Nehemiah was in Shushan the palace; that isto say, at the very center of a great heathen capi-tal. Yet it was while occupying a position therethat there came into his heart the desire to honorGod and help in restoring His land. Let no youngman say, after reading the story of Nehemiah,that it is not possible to be a true and earnestChristian wherever God may place him. If he iscompelled to live amongst the ungodly, exposed toall manner of evil influences, he can still be trueto God. All he needs is to be sure that his heartis fixed upon Christ, and that the roots of hisfaith are kept alive through prayer, communionwith God, and the study of God's Word. It is pos-sible for a young man to rise in the world as Ne-hemiah did, to prosper in business, to win honorand influence among his fellow-men, and yet keephis heart pure, his life clean, himself unspottedfrom the world.One day, while Nehemiah was engaged in hisaccustomed occupations, he was visited by hisbrother Hanani. Hanani had been visiting theJews who had returned to their own land, andNehemiah asked him concerning the condition of things at Jerusalem. Many people who are hap-pily fixed themselves do not give much thoughtto their friends who are less fortunate. Nehe-miah, however, though himself living in luxury,216 NEHEMIAH'S PRAYER did not forget his brethren, who were enduringhardship and suffering, nor did he cease to re-member his country in its time of distress. Thisquality in Nehemiah should not be overlooked inour study of his character. In our days of pros-perity we should not forget those who are in cir-
 
cumstances of suffering and need. That mancannot call himself a Christian who never thinksbeyond the circle of his own little life. When oneChristian suffers, all his fellow-Christians shouldfeel the pain. The strong should help the weak.The fortunate should not forget the unfortunate.The well should sympathize with the sick. In thehomes of gladness, with the circle unbroken, thereshould be deep sympathy with the household nextdoor where there is grief. Nehemiah showed abrotherly spirit.Nehemiah was greatly affected by what he hadheard concerning the condition of things at Jeru-salem, but his feelings led him to action. *'Itcame to pass, when I heard these words, that Isat down and wept . . . and prayed beforethe God of heaven.'' Some men weep easily— their tears lie near the surface ; but these are notusually men of deep and strong nature. They areemotional, and often their emotions never becomeacts. Nehemiah was not a man of that kind— hewas stalwart and strong. His tears, therefore,did not show weakness. It is not unmanly toweep when there is such cause for weeping asthere was that day. Nehemiah wept over the sor-NEHEMIAH L, 1-11; IV., 7-20 217rows of his people, over the calamities which hadbefallen them. Jesus Himself wept when He stoodon the brow of the Mount of Olives and lookeddown upon that same Jerusalem over the reportof whose desolation Nehemiah now wept. Coun-try, cause, home, and religion are dearer to a trueman than place, power, honor, and riches. A manwho does not weep when his country is in dangeris not a true patriot. "We should be moved with

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