Nehemiah 1 to 5 Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah all lived in or around the palace in Susa, yet as Moses taught, they were separated religiously from the pagan idolatry of the land. They were examples of fasting and prayer before executing their duties, and God blessed them to serve.
We live in a land that idolizes celebrities who do not live a life pleasing to God. John wrote: “They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them.” [1Jo 4:5] Yet, Ezra-Esther-Nehemiah chose to live “in the world but not of the world,” which is a paraphrase of Jesus’ words; Joh 17:16 “They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.”
A page out of Nehemiah’s diary might have read; today, I read from the Word, prayed from the Word, and lived by the Word. Nehemiah did nothing until he prayed before he entered the king’s presence, prayed as he faced the enemies, prayed and thanked God for the work he was doing.