Great Affliction and Reproach (d)
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 d
When Nehemiah spoke with the men from Jerusalem, they informed him that the walls around Jerusalem were broken down. They had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar when he took the Jews into captivity. The captivity lasted 70 years. First, Zerubbabel led a group of Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Next, Ezra led a group of Jews back to Jerusalem to teach the Bible. Now, Nehemiah is being burdened about Jerusalem, the walls in particular. At this time, it has been 144 years since the walls were destroyed. It will take another year before they are rebuilt. One hundred forty-five years is a long time!
Generations have been born, lived and died seeing those broken-down walls. Most people had probably just gotten used to it. Practically everyone thought that the situation was hopeless. It had been too long. No one even remembered how it had been when the walls were up. There was no hope.
Sometimes today, people see the walls broken down. The situation for their lives seems hopeless. This thing they toyed with has become an addiction from which they think they can never escape. In their unprotected lifestyle, they have made bad decisions that have entangled them, and they see no way to be free. They have lost their way. They don’t know where to turn. Their once-happy life is gone forever—it cannot be restored.
For them, I have good news. They may have lost their way, but God knows where they are. He also knows how they got there. He knows where they should be. He knows how to get them from where they are to where they should be. And, the trip is not that long. Jesus is just a prayer away. Come to the Father—Jesus is the way. Your way to happiness is clearly marked by the blood of the cross. Follow it. You’ll not regret it.