3 They said to me, “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its [fortified] gates have been burned (destroyed) by fire.” 4 Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying [constantly] before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah simply inquired about the Jews who had escaped from captivity and Jerusalem. The report he was given left a heavy burden in his heart. He was in captivity himself, a cup bearer of the king and yet it seems like he is more burdened by the situation back home more than those who have escaped and survived the captivity. It seems like those who had escaped were content with the situation the way it was, living in a city without walls because none had risen to do anything about it so far.
Broken walls mean that you are exposed to attack. The enemy can walk in and walk out at any time and there is nothing you can do about it. The walls are your line of defence. Remember when Joshua led the children of Israel to take over Jericho, the walls were the first things to come down.
What walls are broken down in your life? Is it the wall of prayer, or the wall of fellowship? In what area of your life do you feel exposed and what are you willing to do about it? Maybe you lack self-control and discipline.
Proverbs 25:28 (AMP)
28 Like a city that is broken down and without walls [leaving it unprotected] Is a man who has no self-control over his spirit [and sets himself up for trouble].
You must have a burden for change if anything is going to be different. Nehemiah made it a personal issue and he was greatly burdened about the collapsed walls of Jerusalem. His burden took him on his knees which is the second step we will talk about tomorrow, the place of prayer.