Rachel Freeman había estado esperando con ansias el miércoles, Febrero 5, durante semanas, no hay meses. Ella había trabajado duro durante sus cuatro años de escuela secundaria y su trabajo duro había dado sus frutos. El miércoles de la semana pasada, Rachel iba a firmar su Carta Nacional de Intención con la Universidad Bautista de Ouachita. Nadie estaba más emocionado que el entrenador Guymon, El futuro entrenador de Rachel en Ouachita Baptist. Había reclutado a Rachel duro durante su último año. Sabía que ella sería un gran activo para el equipo. Dos días antes del Día Nacional de Firmas Rachel estaba en una carrera con sus compañeros de equipo cuando un camión llegó a acelerar en la acera y golpeó a seis de los corredores. Rachel died at the scene.

La familia de Rachel había estado planeando su ceremonia de firma frente a todos sus compañeros de clase en el gimnasio de Moore High School, pero el martes estaban planeando su funeral en su lugar. Cómo? ¿Por qué? A qué te dedicas? ¿Cómo se hace a través de lo inimaginable, lo insoportable?

La semana pasada innumerables millones de personas en todo el mundo recibieron noticias devastadoras de una forma u otra. Las noticias devastadoras vienen en todas las formas y tamaños, se trata de aquellos que sospechan de ella y los que están ciegos por ella. Las noticias devastadoras son aplastantes, desgarrador de tripa, y desconcertante. Las noticias devastadoras pueden llegar en un instante y cambiar radicalmente la vida de las personas por el resto de sus vidas. Las noticias devastadoras pueden venir y persistir, colgando lentamente como una oscuridad, ominosa sobrecarga de la nube, y cada vez más oscuro a medida que pasan los días. My heart broke for a friend of mine I was talking to this past week about a loved one who is slowly fading because of dementia.

Las reacciones que la gente tiene a noticias devastadoras no han cambiado a través de los miles de años de historia humana. Algunos se callan, como si estuvieran en shock, mientras que otros responden en un, even physical way. I can remember watching the evening news and seeing a woman overcome with grief and sorrow, caer al suelo, y llorar y lamentar la noticia de la trágica muerte de su nieto. Cuando Nehemías oyó la noticia de lo que estaba pasando en Jerusalén, he sat down and wept as well.

La diferencia entre Nehemías y muchos de nosotros es esta: Cuando Nehemías oyó la devastadora noticia se volvió a Dios en oración. I want us to focus on Nehemiah’s prayer this morning. Let’s begin reading in Nehemiah 1:5.

5 Entonces dije:: «Oh Jehová, Dios del cielo, el gran e impresionante Dios, que guarda su pacto de amor con aquellos que lo aman y obedecen sus órdenes, 6 deja que tu oído esté atento y tus ojos abiertos para escuchar la oración que tu siervo está orando ante ti día y noche por tus siervos, el pueblo de Israel. Confieso los pecados que los israelitas, incluyendo a mí mismo y a la casa de mi padre’, se han comprometido en su contra. 7 Hemos actuado muy malhacia hacia ti. No hemos obedecido las órdenes, decretos y leyes que le dio a su siervo Moisés. 8 «Recuerda la instrucción que le diste a tu siervo Moisés, diciendo, ‘Si eres infiel, Te dispersaré entre las naciones, 9 pero si vuelves a mí y obedeces mis órdenes, entonces incluso si su pueblo exiliado está en el horizonte más lejano, Los recogeré de allí y los llevaré al lugar que he elegido como vivienda para mi Nombre.’ 10 «Son tus sirvientes y tu gente, a quien redimiste por tu gran fuerza y tu poderosa mano. 11 Oh Señor, que vuestro oído esté atento a la oración de este vuestro siervo y a la oración de vuestros siervos que se deleitan en venerar vuestro nombre. Dale éxito a tu siervo hoy concediéndole favor en presencia de este hombre.» Yo era portador de copas para el rey. (Nehemías 1:5-11 NIVO)

Esta oración fue una respuesta a la noticia que acababa de recibir su hermano Hanani y algunos otros hombres que habían venido de Jerusalén. Nehemías preguntó cómo iban las cosas en Jerusalén y le dijeron que la gente estaba "en grandes problemas y verguenza" y los muros alrededor de la ciudad habían sido derribados y las puertas en el muro habían sido quemadas. En los tiempos bíblicos, las murallas de la ciudad eran de suma importancia. Algunos dirían que el muro alrededor de la ciudad era aún más importante que el ejército de la ciudad. Sin paredes paquetes de bandidos, Matones, y los ladrones vendrían a la ciudad en cualquier momento del día o de la noche y saquear la ciudad. Nada de ningún valor podría mantenerse en la ciudad porque sería robado por aquellos que se aprovecharían de la falta de seguridad, normalmente proporcionado por la muralla de la ciudad. Proverbios 25:28 dice,

Como una ciudad cuyos muros están derribados es un hombre que carece de autocontrol. (Proverbios 25:28 NIVO)

Años y años habían pasado. Casi 100 años habían pasado desde que la primera ola de judíos había regresado de Babilonia y no se estaba haciendo ningún progreso, the people were shamed and ridiculed by their enemies, being taken advantage of by others, and greatly afflicted by their circumstance. Most people would look for someone to blame, but Nehemiah looked to God. Nehemiah fasted, lloró, and prayed for many days while he was looking to God. I want us to remember, Nehemiah was not in Jerusalem. He was not suffering any of the disgrace, financial hardship, or persecution that those in Jerusalem were suffering. Aun así, Nehemiah wept over the plight of others, he felt their suffering, and he took his sorrow and their pain to God in prayer.

We talked last week about God’s call for each of us as followers of Jesus to “carry one another’s burden.” This is exactly what Nehemiah was doing. Esto es lo que el pueblo de Dios ha estado haciendo durante generación tras generación, pero me temo que en nuestros días, aquí en América, hay muchos seguidores de Jesús que sólo lloran por su propio sufrimiento y el sufrimiento de sus seres queridos. We are called to weep for the suffering people of God spread throughout the world and in our own backyard. We are called to weep over those who are lost, those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior of their own lives. When was the last time you wept, literally shed tears over someone’s situation, other than your family? As I was studying Nehemiah this past week I thought about something the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. Listen to what Paul wrote about his own people, los Judios.

1 Digo la verdad en Cristo– No estoy mintiendo, mi conciencia lo confirma en el Espíritu Santo– 2 Tengo gran tristeza y continuo dolor en mi corazón. 3 Porque deseara yo mismo ser anatema, separado de Cristo, por el bien de mis hermanos, los de mi propia raza, 4 el pueblo de Israel… (Romanos 9:1-4 NIVO)

Paul said he had “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” in his own heart. What was it that was causing Paul such suffering? It was the state of his own people. His own people, los Judios, were rejecting Jesus in every place he went. It was so crushing to Paul that he said he would be “cursed and cut off from Christ” if only the Jews would have their eyes opened to their great need for Jesus. Paul would give up his salvation if only his people would turn to Jesus. Now that’s love. Just as Nehemiah and Paul were crushed over what they heard and saw in their own day, God is looking for men, mujeres, niños, and girls who will be so moved by the predicaments, el dolor, and lostness of our own people today.

Nehemiah took his sorrow to God, en la oración. I mentioned last week that you and I will learn over and over again that Nehemiah was a man of prayer. We will find him praying about all kinds of situations and on most every page of his journal. Nehemiah praises God, confesses his sins before God, cries out to God for strength, misericordia, compasión, y orientación. Nehemiah prays by himself and he prays alongside others. Prayer keeps Nehemiah oriented in a topsy turvy, upside down world. Let’s take a look at the opening sentence of Nehemiah’s prayer.

5 Entonces dije:: «Oh Jehová, Dios del cielo, el gran e impresionante Dios, que guarda su pacto de amor con aquellos que lo aman y obedecen sus órdenes, (Nehemías 1:5 NIVO)

Just look at what Nehemiah believes about God. God is YHWH God. He is the God of heaven. God is the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant love with those who love him and obey his commands. And when Nehemiah closes his prayer in Nehemiah 1:11, he prays that God’s ear would be attentive to the prayers of those who “delight to fear your name.” For Nehemiah, with everything falling apart in Jerusalem, there is a comfort in knowing that God is still God, He never changes, He is Nehemiah’s Rock and Strong Tower, and He is ours as well. This is why it is so important for you and me to begin with God and not our problems. We must begin with God and not the problems of the world. The priority of placing God first and foremost before us will keep problems in their proper perspective. David knew this truth and that is why he wrote, en el Salmo 16:8.

8 He puesto el Señor siempre delante de mí. Porque está a mi diestra, Yo no seré conmovido. (Salmos 16:8 NIVO)

I want you to notice something about Nehemiah’s prayer that is vitally important to our own prayer life. Nehemiah’s prayer is saturated with Scripture. There are not exact quotations in these verses, but there are clear references to Scripture from Leviticus and Deuteronomy throughout Nehemiah’s prayer. Let me just share a couple of examples with you. We’ve already read one of the examples I’d like to use. It’s found in Nehemiah 1:5 where Nehemiah refers to God as the One who “keeps his covenant of love.” Some other translations say, “who keeps covenant and steadfast love…” (Nehemías 1:5 ESV). The King James Version translates the same Hebrew phrase, “that keepeth covenant and mercy…” (Nehemías 1:5 KJV) Nehemiah was drawing upon the covenant God “cut” with Abram in Genesis 12. God chose Abram and made promises to Him. The Jewish people are God’s covenant people, they are the seed of Abraham, and Nehemiah, even though he had never been to Jerusalem, he knew the covenant God had made with His people. Nehemiah told God, “You are the covenant keeping God.” This sounds like Deuteronomy 7:9. Léanlo conmigo.

9 Conoce, pues, que Jehová tu Dios es Dios; él es el Dios fiel, manteniendo el pacto y la misericordia a millares, a los que le aman y guardan sus mandamientos. (Deuteronomio 7:9 NIVO)

Nehemiah’s God, nuestro Dios, the One and Only True God is the covenant keeper. He does not break His promises, nunca. Ahora, we are quick to quote the wonderful promises of God that suit us best, but Nehemiah knew the reason the people were in the fix they were in was also because of the promise of God. Nehemiah was reminded of the sins of God’s people and so he confessed his own sin to God. Echa un vistazo al verso 6-7 dice.

6 deja que tu oído esté atento y tus ojos abiertos para escuchar la oración que tu siervo está orando ante ti día y noche por tus siervos, el pueblo de Israel. Confieso los pecados que los israelitas, incluyendo a mí mismo y a la casa de mi padre’, se han comprometido en su contra. 7 Hemos actuado muy malhacia hacia ti. No hemos obedecido las órdenes, decretos y leyes que le dio a su siervo Moisés. (Nehemías 1:6-7 NIVO)

Like Ezra, Nehemías, even though he wasn’t even alive when the nation turned away from God, he numbered himself among the transgressors. He confessed the sins of the nation, his own family, and his own life before God. This has been very humbling for me this past week. It is so easy for me to look at all that is wrong with our nation, the visible evidence that we as a nation have turned away from God, and lose sight that I am guilty. When I am praying for God to change hearts and turn certain folks around, I need to put myself at the top of that list.

En Nehemías 1:6-10 we get a glimpse of the second Scripture from Deuteronomy that Nehemiah had in mind while he was praying. Primero, let’s take a look at Nehemiah’s prayer. Léanlo conmigo.

8 «Recuerda la instrucción que le diste a tu siervo Moisés, diciendo, ‘Si eres infiel, Te dispersaré entre las naciones, 9 pero si vuelves a mí y obedeces mis órdenes, entonces incluso si su pueblo exiliado está en el horizonte más lejano, Los recogeré de allí y los llevaré al lugar que he elegido como vivienda para mi Nombre.’ (Nehemías 1:6-9 NIVO)

Nehemías dijo, "Señor, remember what You told Moses.” What did God tell Moses? Bien, Nehemiah summed it up pretty well in his prayer, but let’s turn to Deuteronomy 4:25-31.

25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long timeif you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 Mas si desde allí buscares a Jehová tu Dios, lo hallarás si lo buscas con todo tu corazón y con toda tu alma. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath. (Deuteronomio 4:25-31 NIVO)

God had promised His people that if they worshiped other gods that He would remove them from the land flowing with milk and honey and He would scatter them. Everything had happened just as God said it would, but now Nehemiah was calling upon God to rememberremember your people oh LORD! Nehemiah prayed,

10 «Son tus sirvientes y tu gente, a quien redimiste por tu gran fuerza y tu poderosa mano. (Nehemías 1:10 NIVO)

This sounds almost identical to Moses in Deuteronomy 9:29. Moses was reminding the people that they had been rebellious since the day they left Egypt. He told them story after story to remind them of the hardness of their hearts and their rebellious ways. Moses also told them how he interceded for them before the Lord. Entonces, en Deuteronomio 9:29, Moses spoke to God, 29 “But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.» (Deuteronomio 9:29 NIVO) Señor, these people are a mess, but they are Your mess! Moses said it first, but Nehemiah reminded the Lord of the same truth. Hoy, it remains true. We are a mess, but we are God’s mess. Él nos ha salvado, nos redimió, claimed us as His very own. God will not abandon us in the mess of our lives. Nosotros, all of those who have trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, are His. He will never abandon you, Él nunca dejará o desamparará. You might be a mess, but you are God’s mess!

As Nehemiah wraps up his prayer, en el versículo 11, he prays for the Lord to give him success. More specifically he prays, “grant me favor in the presence of his man.” Which man does Nehemiah have in mind? It’s the king, Rey Artajerjes. If the wall was going to be rebuilt, if the gates were going to be replaced, and if the city was ever going to be restored to its former beauty and vibrancy then the king would have to experience a change of heart. Te preguntarás cómo sé? Bien, if you will remember our study of Ezra then you will remember that in Ezra 4:17, King Artaxerxes sent a cease and desist letter to the Jews living in Jerusalem forcing them to stop building. Vuelve conmigo a Ezra 4 leamos juntos.

17 The king sent this reply: To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates: Saludos. 18 The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. 19 I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20 Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates, and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. 21 Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. 22 Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests? 23 As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates, they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop. (Esdras 4:17-23 NIVO)

Así, Nehemiah prayed that God might give him favor with the king. Nehemiah is a servant of the king, he can’t just barge into the king’s presence and make his demands, but Nehemiah knew God’s Word. Dice la palabra de Dios,

1 “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbios 21:1 NIVO)

Nehemiah might not be able to change the king’s heart or mind, but he knew who could. Nehemiah knew who had the ability to change the king’s mind. Nehemiah knew the power of King Artaxerxes, but the king’s power wasn’t threatening to Nehemiah, Nehemiah wasn’t awed by the king. Nehemiah knew the King of all kings and he was appealing to Him to act on his behalf before Artaxerxes.

The difference between the prayer of Nehemiah and many of our prayers, my prayers, is that Nehemiah’s prayer is rooted in God’s Word while our prayers are rooted simply in what we want. What Nehemiah believes about God is rooted in what the Bible says about God and not what Nehemiah thinks about God. Nehemiah prays for the people of God based upon who God is and not what Nehemiah wants. This makes a huge difference.

Before we leave here this morning I want to ask you, “Have you ever prayed God’s Word?” Have you ever read a portion of God’s Word and prayed that Scripture back to God? This is really what Nehemiah did. He allowed God’s Word to shape his prayers. I want to encourage you to try it. I can even give you a couple of suggestions to get you started. Pray Psalm 23 o Salmo 27 o Salmo 103 back to God. You’ll be amazed at the depth of your prayer, the comfort God will give you when you pray His Word back to Him.

También, before we go I want to ask you to allow the Lord to search your heart concerning the content of your prayers. If the Spirit of God were to go back through all of your prayers during the past year what topic or person appeared most in your prayers? I don’t know the answer for your life, but I bet I could guess what my top 10 would be. I’ve been convicted that my prayer circle is too small. I’ve been convicted that I spend far too much time talking to God about needs and wants and not nearly enough time praising Him for who He is and what He has done. Let’s focus on the greatness of our God, the awesomeness of our God, the mercy of our God, the holiness of our God during the next week. I know from experience that the more prominent God is, the less threatening everything else becomes to me. Let’s worship the Lord and proclaim His glory in our city this week. And if you’ve never surrendered your heart to Jesus then I want to invite you to do that this morning before you leave this sanctuary.

Mike Hays

Britton Christian Church

922 NW 91a

OKC, OK. 73114

Febrero 9, 2020

Troubled and Bowed in Prayer
Nehemías 1:5-11
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