The Old Testament history closes with the book of Nehemiah,
wherein is recorded the workings of his heart, in the management
of public affairs; with many devout reflections.
ehemiah's distress for the misery of Jerusalem, His prayer.
- Nehemiah was the Persian king's cup-bearer. When God has work
to do, he will never want instruments to do it with. Nehemiah
lived at ease, and in honour, but does not forget that he is an
Israelite, and that his brethren are in distress. He was ready
to do them all the good offices he could; and that he might know
how best to do them a kindness, he makes inquiries about them.
We should inquire especially concerning the state of the church
and religion. Every Jerusalem on this side the heavenly one will
have some defect, which will require the help and services of
its friends. Nehemiah's first application was to God, that he
might have the fuller confidence in his application to the king.
Our best pleas in prayer are taken from the promise of God, the
word on which he has caused us to hope. Other means must be
used, but the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails
most. Communion with God will best prepare us for our dealings
with men. When we have intrusted our concerns to God, the mind
is set at liberty; it feels satisfaction and composure, and
difficulties vanish. We know that if the affair be hurtful, he
can easily hinder it; and if it be good for us, he can as easily