Great Affliction and Reproach (a)
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
GREAT AFFLICTION AND REPROACH a
When these men came to Nehemiah, he asked them how the people in Jerusalem were doing. Remember that Nehemiah was an affluent young man living in the palace of Susa in Babylon. He had an easy life, and a bright future. Why should he care how things were going in far-off Jerusalem? Babylon was his native home. However, he sincerely asked them how things were. The ones who never came to Babylon as captives, are they still strong in the Lord? The ones who have returned out of captivity, have they been able to shake off all the Babylonian influences? Have they ditched Babylonian music for the music of God? Have they gotten their diets straightened out? How about their dress—have they thrown out all those ‘Babylonish garments’, and began clothing themselves with modesty? And, how about the city itself? How are the homes. I hear the Temple has been built. How about the walls?
Here's when the bad news came. The walls have been broken down, and the gates are burned with fire. They tried to rebuild the walls, but the king made them stop. And then, their enemies came to destroy what they had done.
Nehemiah is taking inventory. That’s something we need to do periodically. How does my life measure up to the Word of God? In which direction am I headed—toward a closer walk with God, or away from Him? How is my Bible reading? How is my prayer life? How is my church attendance. Am I allowing wrong things in my life that I used to keep out? Have I stopped doing godly things that I used to do? Have I cut godly friends out of my life?
How is my marriage? Do we love and worship God together? How about my family. Can I see that my home is the closest thing to Heaven here on earth?
Is this a good time for you to pause in your busy life and take inventory?