About a generation has passed since Cyrus gave permission for the exiles to return to Jerusalem.  But, although the temple has been rebuilt, much of the city and its walls lies in ruins.  Nehemiah was man of Israelite descent who had an important position in the court of the King of Persia.  When news was brought to him about the state the holy city of Jerusalem was in, he first prayed, and then took action.

‘Seventy years earlier, Zerubbabel had managed to rebuild God’s temple. Thirteen years had passed since Ezra had returned to Jerusalem and helped the people with their spiritual needs. Now Nehemiah was needed. Jerusalem’s wall was still in ruins, and the news broke his heart. As he talked to God, a plan began to take form in Nehemiah’s mind about his own role in the rebuilding of the city walls. He willingly left the security of his home and job in Persia to follow God on an “impossible” mission. And the rest is history.’ (Life Application)