Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Nehemiah Chapter 1
Metaphysically Interpreting Nehemiah 1:1-11
1:1The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, 1:2that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, that were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 1:3And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
1:4And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven, 1:5and said, I beseech thee, O Jehovah, the God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments: 1:6Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee. Yea, I and my father's house have sinned: 1:7we have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. 1:8Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples: 1:9but if ye return unto me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there. 1:10Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. 1:11O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who delight to fear thy name; and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.
Now I was cupbearer to the king.
April 23, 1916: Nehemiah 1:1-11
Nehemiah represents one who has been carried away from spiritual peace (Jerusalem) into the confusion (Babylon) of sense, and is desirous of again restoring the Holy City. Nehemiah has his representative in all those who have once realized the peace and joy of the spiritual life, but have been captured and led away by the power of mortal thought. A cause lies back of every occurrence, and the deportation to Babylon of the Jews was the result of laxity in keeping the Divine Law.
There is a law of life as exact as mathematics. If men fail to acquaint themselves with this law, they suffer the consequences of their ignorance by doing things that destroy peace and make bondage and hardship apparent. When a man comes to himself he receives gladly the messengers from the spiritual center and proceeds to bring about a re-establishment of former relations. Nehemiah took the initial step in this direction, which is to seek God, the one great and only resource for men in dire extremity.
Prayer and fasting are, metaphysically, affirming and denying. The Lord's prayer is not a supplication, but a series of affirmations and denials. The mind has great power in the use of words, and with them marvelous things may be accomplished. A man can build up his wasted frame by affirming the life and power of the Spirit to be active in every part of his organism. This will set going the constructive Spirit, and the “walls” of flesh that are afflicted will be built up and the “gates” that are “burned with fire” will be restored to their normal condition. The “gates” of the body are the mouth, nose, ears, eyes, and all openings. Through disobedience of the law, and sensual indulgence, these are burned with fire and fever from generation to generation.
The first step in restoration of the body is fasting and prayer. Some people think it a great thing to fast from food for days and weeks, and even months; but it is a much greater thing to fast from error thoughts. One does not realize what a slave he is to evil thoughts, until he tries to turn the current of his mind. The help of a higher power is necessary to do this successfully, and prayer calls to our aid the Supreme Helper, through whose Law we conquer all things.
Confession and admission of sin open the soul to God, and Nehemiah followed intuitively the steps that all men have found by experience to be the most effective concomitants of prayer. Having confessed and surrendered yourself to the Divine Good, do not hold yourself in error by continuing to think yourself a sinner. “Ye are now made clean through the word.”
Verse eleven shows the earnest faith and simplicity of this spiritually-minded man. He talked to God as if he were present and would give attentive ear to every request. This confidence in the power of God is what stirs the ethers of Mind and sets into action elements in soul and body that speed the consummation of every request. Divine Mind works through man and requires, to do great things, that man have the faith of the absolute. Nehemiah was but a cupbearer slave to the king in Babylon; but his prayer lifted him into such a courage and confidence in himself and God that he went to Jerusalem, and inspired the poor, downtrodden remnant of Jews remaining there to rebuild the walls of that city.
– UNITY magazine.
August 27, 1922: Nehemiah 1:1-11
What does Nehemiah represent? Nehemiah represents one who has been carried away from spiritual consciousness (Jerusalem) into the confusion of sense (Babylon), and who is very desirous of being restored to the spiritual estate.
Why are one's spiritual ideas sometimes captured by the sense consciousness? Because there is lack of understanding and observance of the divine law or the commandments.
How shall we gain and establish spiritual consciousness? The modern metaphysician prays and fasts and also watches his thoughts; he denies the reality of sin and evil, and affirms the truth and reality of good.
What is represented by the walls and gates of Jerusalem that were burned by fire? The walls and gates of Jerusalem that were burned by fire, represent the afflicted walls of the flesh body.
If the “gates” which are the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mouth, and all openings, have suffered from the sins of disobedience, how can they be restored? First, by realizing that the primal source of all life and substance is Spirit, pure, perfect, undefiled. Then by affirming that they are restored to their original perfection in Christ.
How should we talk to God? We should talk to God with the earnest faith and simplicity of Nehemiah. He talked as if God were present, and were giving an attentive ear to every request. This confidence in the power of God is what stirs the mind, and sets into action elements in soul and body that speed every prayer to its consummation.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-05-2014