“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” (Nehemiah 1:1).
Text: Nehemiah 1:1-3
A character in one of the tragedies of the English playwright, William Shakespeare, wonders if there is anything beyond a name. She soliloquizes: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” She does not appear to believe that the names of people and things reflect their being and essence. Give the sweet-smelling rose another name; it would not change its nature to be pleasant.
Not so with Nehemiah, whose name meant ‘consolation’. He lived by that appellation. He was a Hebrew who worked in exile in the royal court in Shushan. He lived in sufficiency as the king’s cupbearer. But when a delegation of Jews came to him with distressing news of the desolate state of Jerusalem and of the sore challenges the captive escapees were passing through, he lived up to his name. He renounced his comfort zone, mourned, and wept for his people and their beleaguered land. He sought the permission of the king to go and restore the dignity of God’s children.
What do followers of Christ do as we daily receive reports of increasing sinful activities bringing sorrow and despair upon humanity? We must live up to our name as Christians. We must be the Nehemiah’s of our time. We must reveal the qualities of the name of Christ in us by giving the world the comfort of the gospel as our Master gave hope, life, and light to the people. We must not be bogged down by the pursuit of worldly pleasure.
Your identity as a Christian does far more than what it suggests. It announces your loyalty to the Lord, who is waiting for you to execute His program. Therefore, if God has called you and stamped the name “Christian” on you, you must strive not to fail Him. Stay busy and active in righteous living, showing a lost world the love of God.
Thought for the day
What you are is your real name.