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In today’s Christain Religious Studies class, We will be learning about Concern for One’s Nation. We hope you enjoy the class!
CONCERN FOR ONE’S NATION
The nation sometimes faces natural disasters like famine and war. Which leads to insecurity, destruction of life and property and general suffering of the people. Such things are sometimes used by God to correct and redirect his people. He equally uses concerned and patriotic individuals to restore things to the people. Concern for one’s nation is discussed under two major topics:
- The state of the Nation
- Response to the state of the Nation
The state of the Nation (captivity and destruction of Jerusalem)
Jehoiakim was encouraged by Egypt to revolt against Babylon. He did so against the advice of prophet Jeremiah, for the profits of Babylon as an instrument of divine corrective punishment for Judah.
God did not only use the Babylonians invention to punish the people of Judah and their kingdom for their sins but he also made other States like Syria, Moab and Ammon to take advantage of the Invasion to attack Judah. Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, a vassal king over Judah. Zedekiah also revolted against the king of Babylon. Zedekiah revolt made Babylon invade Judah for the second time under Nebuchadnezzar. This time the Babylonian laid siege to the city of Jerusalem which lasted from the 10th month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign to the eleventh year. And there was a severe famine in Judah. When the Babylonians were still attacking King Zedekiah tried to escape but was caught by the army of the Chaldeans in the plains of Jericho and was taken to King Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah. There, his two sons were killed before him and Zedekiah himself had his two eyes gouged out. At this time the temple and the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed and the City of Judah was therefore left in ruins. God permitted all these things to happen to Jerusalem and her people in order to punish them for their sins.
Report on the nation (Nehemiah 1-3)
In the month of Chislev, after the exile, Nehemiah, a Jew serving in Susa, capital of the Persian Empire received news of the pathetic state of Judah from Hanani, one of the Jews that came from Judah to Susa. Hanani reported to Nehemiah that:
- The survivors were in Great trouble and shame
- The walls of Jerusalem were broken down
- Its gates were destroyed by fire
Nehemiah became sad and concerned about the report he got. He prayed to the God of Israel and sought permission from the king to rebuild the wall, the king gave him permission and he set out for the work.
Response to the state of the Nation (Nehemiah’s concern)
Babylon came under the Persian empire and the King of Persia Cyrus as directed by God in fulfilment of the prophecy of Jeremiah. Cyprus issued a decree that each jew should return to their country and rebuild Jerusalem temple. at this time the Jews in Judah were faced with many problems some of which are:
- The lack of a place of worship for the temple has been destroyed by the Babylonians.
- An adulteration of Yahweh’s worship which was one of the negative reports of the exiled on the Jews.
- Insecurity as the wall of Jerusalem and its gates have been destroyed.
However, God used patriotic and concerned Jews like Ezra, Nehemiah Zerubbabel, Joshua, prophet Haggai and Zechariah to solve this problem for the Jews.
- Identify four causes of social unrest today in Nigeria.
- Discuss how you think contemporary leaders can learn from Nehemiah’s genuine concern for his nation.
- a. Describe the return of the exiles from Babylon during the reign of Cyrus.
- give two reasons for the positive response from the people (WASSCE June 2000)
We have come to the end of this class. We do hope you enjoyed the class?
Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.
In our next class, we will be learning about The Construction of the Wall of Jerusalem by Nehemiah. We are very much eager to meet you there.
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