When it comes time for the accolades to be handed out, no one likes to be overlooked or forgotten. I, for one, don’t like it when my hard work isn’t recognized. As I jokingly complained to a former college professor about being passed over for an honor (one I believed I had every right to expect to win), he kindly responded to me, “God sees you.” Those words sucked the hot air right out of my bloated ego balloon.
In Nehemiah’s case, it wasn’t a matter of a puffed up ego that was driving his repeated petition to God in this chapter. Nehemiah feared that the exiles’ constant lack of faithfulness to the Word of God would somehow end up on his record. As he brought this account of his leadership to a close, Nehemiah wanted to be clear that he was a leader who was faithful to the Word of God, even when the people he’d led couldn’t go five minutes without forgetting that very Word.
Nehemiah wanted it made known that he was zealous for the holiness of God above all. And so he said to the Lord, “Remember me…my God, and look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love” (Nehemiah 13:22). But God did see Nehemiah and his heart. The fact that we have an account of Nehemiah’s work recorded in Scripture proves that God recognized Nehemiah’s faithful leadership.
There may be times when we wonder what the point is in holding fast to God’s Word. In those moments, we need to be reminded that God sees us. When we feel there’s no use in being faithful to God when earthly culture (and even many within the Church) has abdicated the truth, this chapter in Nehemiah motivates us to be people of holiness because God knows us and He sees us. We are reminded to “fight the good fight”—even when everyone else seems to have abandoned the battle—because our Father pours out His favor on His children.
We should look to Jesus, who came to a culture of faithlessness, hypocrisy, and immorality, and remember that it was zeal for His Father’s house that consumed Him (John 2:17). Although He cried out as one abandoned by God on the cross, Jesus’ victorious resurrection validated the words His Father had spoken over Him: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).
Brothers, look to Jesus and do not grow weary in doing good. If no one else around you will keep the faith, press on. Even if everyone else abandons the gospel, let it be the passion of your own life. God sees you, and the reward He offers through Christ Jesus is great. He will remember His children, with favor!
Written by Jeremy Writebol