Nehemiah is worthy to be called one of the generals in the historic pathway of the children of God. He was a wise and strategic leader, who remained focused on the task at hand, letting nothing or no one take him off of his square, so to speak. However, there was a reason that Nehemiah was successful in his mission, despite opposition. Nehemiah was first and foremost a servant of the most High God and his first response was always prayer to HIs God:
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said,
"O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.
8 "Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored. Nehemiah 1:4-9 (NLT)
While the Bible does not record the sins of Nehemiah, we can see that he did not rank sins, he included himself in the mix, "we have sinned". While crying out to God for deliverance for his people, he included he and his family in the first way we should approach God, in repentance. Yes, Nehemiah wanted to see a solution to the dissolution in Jerusalem, but he knew that the reason that it had occurred was because of the sins of the children of Israel – all kinds of sins from all kinds of people. Nehemiah also knew the promise God gave to Israel over and over again that if they would "return to Him, they would be returned to their land".
Too often we measure our sins against others and speak judgement. We determine because there are sins in the land that God is most certainly going to bring judgement. We don’t even consider that we are also one that is sinning. We don’t consider that we also need to come to God for repentance, if for no other reason than we have committed sins of omission- failing to warn the wicked in their wicked ways.
Cain cried out in Genesis 4:9, "am I my brother’s keeper"? He knew what he had done but didn’t think God knew. When we fail to pray for and with our brother and sisters we are just as guilty as Cain. We who know the way of life and have a called out charge by God Himself to "go into the highways and byways and compel men to come"(Luke 14:23). While we speak judgement on sinners, are we also among that number? We will continue looking at Nehemiah to see if we can find strategies to bring us all into restoration.