– Jesus: Our Restorer of All that Is Broken
YOUR BROKENNESS – YOUR PATHWAY TO BLESSING
In Israel’s history, we see how God used wicked foreign powers like the Assyrians and the Babylonians to bring judgment on the Jewish nation. After years of exile, they were a broken nation in desperate need of restoration. Their only hope for resuscitation, restoration, and revival was the “One Who Restores All the Broken Things” – JESUS!
The book of Nehemiah was written about 440 BC during the reign of the Persian king, Artaxerxes. In scripture, we see that God strategically placed Nehemiah, Ezra, and Esther in this critical juncture in Jewish history.
Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes Longimanus, and was held in high esteem by the king. In the ancient Persian court, a cupbearer was an officer of high rank who served the wine at the king’s table. A person holding this position was one who was regarded as thoroughly trustworthy. Often because of the nature of his position, the cup bearer developed a confidential and close relationship with the king which gave him a position of great influence. Nehemiah’s financial ability would indicate that the office was also a lucrative one.
In addition to his duties as cupbearer, Nehemiah also had major governing responsibilities. So, it makes sense to assume that Nehemiah was considered a leader in Jerusalem, even though he lived far away in exile.
We know how this story begins. Beloved Jerusalem, the Holy City, was a rockpile, completely ruined – the temple, the wall, the gates had been destroyed. Even worse, God’s people were exiled across the known world – all because of their refusal to completely obey God. As a nation, they appeared broken beyond repair.
However, in response to years of exile, their hearts were convicted, broken, and softened towards God. Their prayers of repentance reached the Father’s heart … read (Ezra 9:6-7):
“And I said: ‘O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been very guilty, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and to humiliation, as it is this day.”
After repentance was corporately expressed, the Lord moved and motivated both Nehemiah and Ezra to lead the people to respond. They led the people to (1) study God’s Word, (2) to pray, (3) to obey God’s laws, (4) to work hard, (5) to be faithful, and (6) to trust in the Lord, their Faithful Restorer.
Brokenness is often the only pathway to God’s blessing. Restoration begins with brokenness and repentance. It must then be followed by seeking God, obedience, faithfulness, and trust. The One Who Restores All Broken Things steps in and does what no one else can do. He makes a way where there is no way. What is impossible with man, God can and will do.
INTEGRATING TRUTH INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
Today our only hope for resuscitation, restoration, and revival is still the “One Who Restores All the Broken Things” – JESUS!
Yet, often we remain in bondage and exile. We must choose to turn to God in our brokenness with repentance, seeking Him, obeying Him, and trusting in Him to do what He says He will do in our behalf. He waits and longs to be gracious to us, to restore us.
What were the six things Nehemiah and Ezra encouraged the people to do after they repented?
If you are experiencing bondage or feel broken, how do you need to respond?