Nehemiah 1:1

I. PIETY and POSITION. "As I was in Shushan the palace." Piety tends to prosperity; it inculcates habits favourable to advancement; it imparts graces calculated to attract. Goodness is often rewarded; it will dwell in a better palace in the life to come.

II. PIETY and PURITY. Nehemiah was humble amidst the pride of the palace; he was pure amidst the luxury of the palace; he was faithful to his Jewish faith and to his God amidst the heathenism of the palace; he was sympathetic amidst the conventionality of the palace; he was prayerful amidst the levity of the palace; he was pious amidst the anxieties of the palace life.

III. PIETY and PATRIOTISM.

1. Inquiring. Nehemiah asked concerning the welfare of his brethren; his own comfort did not render him indifferent to the suffering of others.

2. Sorrowful. He wept because the wall of Jerusalem was broken down; his patriotism was manifested in holy grief.

3. Prayerful. See here the prayer of the patriot.

IV. PIETY and PROVIDENCE. Nehemiah in the palace was able to render effective aid to Israel; God places his instruments where they can best serve his purpose. Christ in heaven pleads the cause and helps the service of the good. - E.







Which camp in the hedges in the cold day.
Paxton and others have remarked that there is much difficulty in this passage; but to anyone who has attentively watched the habits of the locusts it is not only plain, but very striking. In the evenings, as soon as the air became cool, at Aheih, they literally camped in the hedges and loose stone walls, covering them over like a swarm of bees settled on a bush. There they remained until the next day's sun waxed warm, when they again commenced to march. One of the days on which they were passing was quite cool, and the locusts scarcely moved at all from their camps, and multitudes remained actually stationary until the next morning. Those that did march crept along very heavily, as if cramped and stiff; but in a hot day they hurried forward in a very earnest, lively manner. It is an aggravation of the calamity if the weather continues cool; for then they prolong their stay, and do far more damage.

(Thomson's "Land and Book.")

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