Yesterday, I posted about the Book of Nehemiah, and how the reconstruction of the wall around Jerusalem was a practical and symbolic form of national renewal and spiritual revival for the Israelites. I drew the obvious comparison between Nehemiah’s effort, which his enemies scorned, mocked, and undermined, and that of President Trump’s to build a border wall and to enforce immigration laws.
A good friend and fellow blogger, with whom I share some Nehemiah-Trumpian parallels—for example, we’re both former secretaries for the Florence County GOP—Ms. Bette Cox, of the blog Esther’s Petition, e-mailed me the following comment. It is reproduced here, in full, with her permission:
Good job with Nehemiah, Tyler. The most critical points, however, are found in 1:4 ff. The wall was, and is, not the most important thing in God’s eyes. Mourning. Grief. Repentance. Intercession. Far more important and essential, then and now. “Ask God what he wants prayed; pray that. Ask God what he wants to do; do that.”
Nehemiah 1:4 (KJV) reads as follows: “And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven.”
That’s a key point that I overlooked in my original post, and I wanted to write this brief follow-up to draw attention to this verse, and to thank Ms. Cox for highlighting it. Indeed, verse 4 is the key to the entire Book of Nehemiah: upon hearing the condition of his nation and his people, Nehemiah falls to his knees in tears, crying out to God for direction.
Another important detail: Nehemiah asks, just two verses later, for forgiveness, not just for his people, but for himself. He confesses his own sins to God, knowing that without full confession and repentance, he cannot follow God’s Will—indeed, he would be unable even to know what God’s Will is!
I don’t know the state of President Trump’s spiritual life, but I do believe he wants what is best for his nation. Just as Nehemiah wept upon hearing the reduced condition of his people and their holy city, so did candidate Trump mourn (metaphorically) the degraded state of America.
For Christians, we should pray ceaselessly for God to spare the United States and to bring about national, spiritual revival and renewal. I believe He granted us a reprieve with the unlikely election of Donald Trump, a man that, in his personal life, does not fit the mold of the “ideal” Christian. What comes next is unclear, but we have to walk in faith, and trust in God—especially in the face of progressive lunacy and violence.