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.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4
Israel was fully submerged in captivity, humbled and laid low by the Babylonians. Upon initial inspection of the situation, you’ll notice that a few members of the Jewish remnant were back in the land and not doing well. Trouble, disgrace, and broken down walls were the three main issues facing the Jews left behind. Nehemiah’s response to the situation is telling. He was a man who understood how to respond.
My first take on the situation is that they better repair the walls. But the way that Nehemiah reacts to the news is telling of how a man of God should respond to a broken situation: he prayed. The fist thing he did was praise God (v.5). He then prayed for the broken people, not the broken walls (v 6). Seeing the big picture means understanding that the walls came down because the people were spiritually broken. Rebuilding began when one man went before God in humility, responding in brokenness.
DO THIS TODAY: Spend time praising God and confessing sin.