Prophets and priests, kings and apostles, parade though the inspired pages of this daily devotional. Arranged roughly in chronological order, each reading focuses on some decisive moment in salvation history, and shows how the lessons of the past illuminate our future. In the exploits and failures of saints and sinners we find counsel, comfort and hope for today a passing of the torch so that the same faith that blazed in God's servants of old might burn anew in us.
They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12.
In the work of reform to be carried forward today, there is a need of men who, like Ezra and Nehemiah, will not palliate or excuse sin, nor shrink from vindicating the honour of God. Those upon whom rests the burden of this work will not hold their peace when wrong is done, neither will they cover evil with a cloak of false charity.
They will remember that God is no respecter of persons, and that severity to a few may prove mercy to many. They will remember also that in the one who rebukes evil the spirit of Christ should ever be revealed.
In their work, Ezra and Nehemiah humbled themselves before God, confessing their sins and the sins of their people, and entreating pardon as if they themselves were the offenders.... Nehemiah was not a priest; he was not a prophet; he made no pretension to high title.
He was a reformer raised up for an important time. It was his aim to set his people right with God. Inspired with a great purpose, he bent every energy of his being to its accomplishment... As he came into contact with evil and opposition to right he took so determined a stand that the people were roused to labour with fresh zeal and courage....
The work of restoration and reform carried on by the returned exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah presents a picture of a work of spiritual restoration that is to be wrought in the closing days of this earth's history.... God's remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of God is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of God. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue.
Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in.31Ibid., 675-768.