by Frank Pollard

By Frank Pollard
Nehemiah 4, 12

The first time I ever heard of Nehemiah it was in the
context of biblical humor. As a new Christian I didn't know
what to think about the Bible jokes being told. They failed the
first test of humor because they weren't funny but I decided
they did no harm nor good. You've heard those little diddies
like "The first lines of the Bible talk about baseball. It
says, 'In the beginning...' (in the big inning)" and "David was
a tennis player because he served in the courts of Saul" and the
question: "Who is the shortest man in the Bible? The answer:
Nehemiah (Knee-hi-miah)." Well since God does not measure
people in pounds and inches, we don't know how tall Nehemiah
was. We do know he had a position of influence. He had access
to Artaxerxes, King of Persia, from 465 - 424 B.C. as a member
of the King's inner circle, Nehemiah was fully trusted by
Artaxerxes. In Chapter 1 we are told Nehemiah heard from a
friend, the plight of his people in Jerusalem. They were ill
treated, disgraced, exploited by their enemies. The wall around
the city was broken down. There was no safety. We all need our
safe places, our walls to protect us, a place of love and
security. Nehemiah's people didn't have that place and it broke
Nehemiah's heart. For several days he mourned and fasted and
prayed. Then he prayed to God a prayer of praise, confession,
repentance and he prayed that God would deliver his people from
the right without question or pause, to be willing to march into
hell for a heavenly cause, and I know if I will only be true to
this glorious quest, my head will lie peaceful and calm when I'm
laid to my rest and the world will be better for this, that one
man, scorned and covered with scars still strode with his last
ounce of courage, to reach the unreachable star."
Ah, the dream did indeed seem impossible to everyone but
Nehemiah. His own people said, "We can't do it. It will look
like we ...

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