Nehemiah 1:1–4; Psalm 84; Matthew 2:1–5

Nehemiah Illustration

Nehemiah

Report from Jerusalem

The words of aNehemiah the son of Hacaliah.

Now it happened in the month of bChislev, cin the twentieth year, as I was in dSusa the citadel, that eHanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and fshame. gThe wall of Jerusalem is broken down, hand its gates are destroyed by fire.

Nehemiah's Prayer

As soon as I heard these words I isat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the jGod of heaven.


My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord

To the choirmaster: according to pThe Gittith.1 A Psalm of qthe Sons of Korah.

84  How rlovely is your sdwelling place,

O Lord of hosts!

My soul tlongs, yes, ufaints

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and flesh sing for joy

to vthe living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young,

at your altars, O Lord of hosts,

wmy King and my God.

xBlessed are those who dwell in your house,

ever ysinging your praise! Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

zin whose heart are the highways to Zion.2

As they go through the Valley of Baca

they make it a place of springs;

athe early rain also covers it with bpools.

They go cfrom strength to strength;

each one dappears before God in Zion.

O eLord God of hosts, hear my prayer;

give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

fBehold our gshield, O God;

look on the face of your anointed!

10  For a day hin your courts is better

than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be ia doorkeeper in the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11  For the Lord God is ja sun and gshield;

the Lord bestows favor and honor.

kNo good thing does he withhold

from those who lwalk uprightly.

12  O Lord of hosts,

mblessed is the one who trusts in you!


The Visit of the Wise Men

Now hafter Jesus was born in iBethlehem of Judea jin the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men1 from kthe east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born lking of the Jews? For we saw mhis star when it rose2 and have come to nworship him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where othe Christ was to be born. They told him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: