Ren and I are part of an apprenticeship class studying Nehemiah. An assignment we have each week is to identify one thing that stands out to us from the study of the scripture.
What I noticed immediately was Nehemiah asks some men who had just arrived from Judah how things were going in Jerusalem for the Jews who had returned there from captivity. The news wasn't good. The walls of Jerusalem had been torn down and the gates destroyed by fire. The people are in great trouble and disgrace. It's in shambles.
Then verse 4 says
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted,
and prayed to the God of heaven.
That thought caused me to ponder. Why was his grief so strong? what made him cry?