Nehemiah’s Burden

March 3, 2023 in Today's Worship by TGV

Nehemiah 1: Worship Guide/ 16-BSG-1A, (Nehemiah 1:1-11)/ Subject: Nehemiah’s Burden/ Hymn: Pass me not, O gentle Savior [Author: Fanny Crosby (1868)].

Exploration: Praying for others’ needs – (Neh 1:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11; Jam 5:16; 1 Tim. 2:1; Job 42:10; Eph. 6:18; Rom 8:26; Philip. 4:6; John 15:7; 14:13; Jam 5:13; 1 Thess. 5:17; Phill 4:6, 7; Heb 4:16)

Introduction: Nehemiah was probably born in Babylon and raised in exile. He was a clever and composed person and was appointed to be the cupbearer of the King (1:11). Note that Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries –(Ezra wrote about the rebuilding of the temple under Zerubbabel, while Nehemiah focused on the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls). Also, Nehemiah’s account begins when the “70 Weeks” prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 begins to come to fruition.

Back to our study (Nehemiah 1). One day, in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes (about 445 B.C.), Hanani, Nehemiah’s brother, came to the Persian capital, Shushan, from the province of Judah. When Nehemiah questioned him concerning the state of Jerusalem and the condition of the returned Jewish remnant in Palestine, Hanani reported that they were living in much trouble and shame and that the wall of Jerusalem had been torn down. Its gates were “destroyed by fire.” When Nehemiah heard this report, he was deeply saddened. He sat down and, for a period of days, wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed. In his prayer, he besought the Lord to hear his prayer. He confessed sin –(his sin and the sin of his people). He pleaded with God to remember His promises to be gracious to His people when they “turn to Him” and “keep His commandments.” He requested that God give him mercy in the sight of the king: To cause the king to grant his request to return to Jerusalem.

Devotional Implication: Nehemiah’s heart was broken (Nehemiah 1:4). This was a prayer of contrition. Do you know what is wrong with us today? We are more interested in the things of the World than the things of God: World sports series, careers, money, vacations, etc. We have forgotten how to weep. Joseph wept for his brothers. Jeremiah wept salty tears for his people. Nehemiah wept for the sins of his people. Jesus, seeing impending judgment over Jerusalem, wept for her. In Luke 19:41–44, Christ took His last trip to Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified and wept. Earlier, He had said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Luke 13:34–35a, NKJV). As Christ approached Jerusalem and thought of all those lost souls, “He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). Here, “wept” is the same word used to describe the weeping at Lazarus’s funeral (cf. John 11:33). Thus, we can conclude that Jesus cried aloud in anguish. His spirit was “troubled” over the future of Jerusalem. In about AD 70, more than 1,000,000 died in that city. Jerusalem and Judea were left “desolate.” And most of its residents were either killed, held captive, or had become refugees fleeing to remote lands.


When was the last time you shed a tear over some soul mortgaged by sin, shackled by the devil? When was the last time that you broke down and wept before God? I suggest that it is time to weep. Our children and grandchildren are worth weeping for. Our homes are worth weeping over. Our city is worth weeping for. Our nation is worth weeping for. The things that break God’s heart [sin/ unbelief] should also break our hearts. Yes, the lost souls of men are worth weeping over. When we see the glory of God being trampled under when the city’s gates have been burned with fire, that ought to move us to tears. Beloved, if you are not grieved to tears, I suggest you entreat God, “Lord, break my cold heart and have mercy upon me.”

The Gospel’s Voice: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you — My son, I was moved by Nehemiah’s prayer and His concern for My people, Israel. Though he had a highly responsible job in a secure environment in a fine Persian court, he was troubled by the welfare of My holy city and His countrymen (the returned exiles). When other people’s burden becomes yours, I am moved and respond accordingly. I desire that you pray and weep, draw near Me by confession and repentance, and believe in My power to intervene. Would you?

My Desire: By God’s grace, I want to emulate Nehemiah’s character by:

  1. Showing compassion and sympathy to the afflicted ones.
  2. Demonstrating a genuine and deep concern for meeting the needs of others.
  3. Calling upon God –(weeping, fasting, praying for others).
  4. Interceding on behalf of other people’s sins and their life situations.
  5. Having faith in the power of the Omnipotent God to intervene.

Today’s Promise: “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)


Worship Through Singing: Pass me not, O gentle Savior [Author: Fanny Crosby (1868)].

  • “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV). “So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16, NLT)

This is one of the first hymns published by famous hymn writer Fanny Crosby, who wrote hymns like “All the Way My Savior Leads Me,” “Blessed Assurance,” etc. The strength of this song lies in its desperation. It’s similar to the boldness shown by many sick who cried out for Christ’s attention and healing. I would recommend this hymn in our prayer session if I were with Nehemiah. Join me as we sing this Hymn together. God Bless You.

Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry;
While on others thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Let me at thy throne of mercy
Find a sweet relief,
Kneeling there in deep contrition;
Help my unbelief.

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