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Daily Devotional | Come, Let Us Rebuild: A Study of Nehemiah | An ancient stone wall with pillars Daily Devotional | Come, Let Us Rebuild: A Study of Nehemiah | An ancient stone wall with pillars

Daily Devotional | The Lord Comforts


Do you know what your name means? There are websites and books dedicated to explaining the meaning behind names. Maybe you were given a family name—I’m named after my paternal grandfather—or maybe your name evokes a favorite song, or your parents just liked the way it sounds.

In the Old Testament, names held special significance and could reveal something about the person, their story, or their God. For example, Abraham was called “the father of many nations” (Gen.17:5), Abel’s name meant “breath” or “vapor,” and the mighty prophet Elijah’s name meant “Yahweh is my God”—certainly a reminder he needed during the darkest days of his ministry.

This month we are reading about Nehemiah whose name means “The Lord Comforts.” Now, most of us are familiar with the idea that God comforts His people, but put yourself in Nehemiah’s shoes and the shoes of his original readers. God’s people had been living in exile for decades—first under the rule of the Babylonians and then the Persians. Their country had been invaded, their best and brightest leaders forced into service, and untold numbers slaughtered before the rest were carted off into exile. What’s more, God did all of this as punishment for His people’s sin.

It is hard to imagine the pain, difficulty, and disillusionment the Hebrew people must have experienced in exile, but I’m certain we can all relate to feeling loss or abandonment. Like Nehemiah’s audience, we have walked through times where we desperately needed the Lord’s comfort. As this story unfolds, we’ll see that comfort is exactly what the Lord provided as He led His people back to the Promised Land and restored their relationship with Him.

>> Do you need comfort from the Lord today? Ask God to use this study to remind you of His love for you. He has a plan and a purpose for Your life. And if our relationship with God is broken, He is ready to restore it.

Pray with Us

Father, with sore hearts we seek Your comfort. When our faith is strong, we trust that You are with us, but in weakness we need reassurance. Please make Your loving presence apparent to us. Be strong for us.

BY Dr. Russell L. Meek

Russell Meek teaches Old Testament and Hebrew at Moody Theological Seminary. He writes a regular column on understanding and applying the Old Testament at Fathom Magazine, and his books include Ecclesiastes and the Search for Meaning in an Upside-Down World and the co-authored Book-by-Book Guide to Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary. Russ, his wife, and their three sons live in northern Idaho.

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