Nehemiah is a book whose major theme is revival, and it describes the schematics of a person who God instrumentally used to bring that about. Any person seriously seeking to bring revival in their context needs to read the truths of this book.
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
The book begins with Nehemiah being given a report of the destruction of Jerusalem, and subsequently, the temple. The people of God are in exile right now and Israel is at the lowest point of his history.
At these words, the book records that Nehemiah sat down and wept for days, fasting and praying.
In other words, Nehemiah had a proper response to the condition of his people. During that time, he was not busying himself with the grind of life, he was not enjoying himself in pleasure, nor partaking in festivals, or even eating. Something great and deep had consumed his heart for days.
What consumed him is exactly what doesn’t currently consume many of God’s people in America right now–the barrenness of God’s people’s spirituality which led to their demise.
Nehemiah saw not just with his eyes, but began seeing with his spiritual eyes the condition of the people that were called to be chosen and could not help but break down. It is like the same sadness as seeing the Titanic going down. It is the gloom of seeing the demise of what should have been glorious.
However, the Titanic was build by steel; Israel was made by God. The glory of the Titanic would only be that it would be largest ship; the glory of Israel was that it would bring everlasting life to all the nations. Which tragedy would you be more sad about? The answer is obvious to me.
Yet we have not a brokenness that matches the crisis in the hour in our churches in America. We are still dripping with that god-awful American can-do pride and arrogance which refuses to look in the mirror of scripture at our nakedness.
To the question of “Why are we not seeing revival in America?”, the answer is simple: we lack what Nehemiah had as the foundation of the rest of the book which eventually brought revival in God’s people. We lack a brokenness that matches the barren condition of the church’s spirituality.