Happy Earth day to all of my fellow Earth inhabitants! What a beautiful planet we have inherited! May we each be good stewards so that our children may enjoy the vast realms of nature, animals, plants, and peace.
Today, Nehemiah 1:1-11 (NIV) has been put upon my heart.
1. The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2. Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.
4. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5. Then I said: “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6. let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. 7. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8. “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9. but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my name.”
10. “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your might hand. 11. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”
I was cupbearer to the king.
This passage brings me great comfort, joy, and resolution. Comfort, because this reminds me of God’s unending love for me and all of his children.
Joy, because I can be free to love God, enjoy his creations, and live with the reassurance that even though I am human and make mistakes daily, God will always be by my side loving me.
Resolution, because I still have work to do. God’s greatest commandments given to us through Jesus Christ in Matthew 22: 37-40 says: 37. Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40. All the Lay and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
May you have peace and comfort throughout your day,