Text: Nehemiah 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
Key Verse: “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province or in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down and the gates thereof are burned with fire” (Nehemiah 1:3).
The atomic blasts in two Japanese cities during the closing stages of World War II had a long reach into the future. At the time of the explosions, there was unprecedented damage, both in terms of loss of lives and with respect to the habitat and property. But there have also been long-term effects. Scientists claim that decades after the bombings, the children exposed to radiation in their mother’s womb were more likely to have intellectual disabilities and increased risk of developing cancer.
The lesson here is that the consequences of man’s errors and misdeeds are not limited to the time they were committed. Nehemiah experienced these unpleasant effects of mistakes of earlier generations on the future. Scores of years after the sinful Judah had been razed by Babylonian invaders and the wall of Jerusalem broken, with the inhabitants taken into a long captivity, some Jews visited Nehemiah in Shushan to inform him of the desolation of the Jewish capital. The news of the misery of his people touched him.
Now, this was not a case of ‘generational curse’. The effects of punishment for communal sin of the past were taking a toll on the future. The takeaway here is that sin does have destructive ripples that sometimes find their way far into another era. We can save tomorrow from heartaches if we are watchful against sin in our time.
The text also teaches that leaders and believers should be sensitive to the plight of the church and society. Not consumed with the palatial luxury of Shushan, Nehemiah sought to know the state of his people. He could have chosen to be indifferent. True leaders and disciples of Christ make sacrifices for the flock and service of God. Genuinely concerned brethren who notice shortcomings in God’s vineyard must also promptly report them to the church leadership as Hanani did.
Thought For The Day: Shun sin today to save tomorrow from heartaches.
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.