If we are indeed His redeemed ones, let us keep the blessed hope of that day ever before us. Let it cheer us as we are tossed to and fro on the waves of this troublesome world.
’Courage! oh, have courage,
For soon His feet shall stand
Upon the Mount of Olives,
In the glorious Promised Land;
For the Prince of Peace is coming,
With pomp and royal state,
To pass, with all His followers,
Within the Golden Gate.
Courage! oh, have courage!
For the time it is not long,
E’en now across the mountains
Comes a distant sound of song;
The dreary night is closing,
’Tis near the break of day,
And thy King, the King of Glory,
Will soon be on His way.’
Having no Root.
The sky is brilliant and cloudless, the snow-clad mountains stand out clear in the distance, the air is laden with the scent of orange and lemon groves, and the sweet fragrance of thousands of lilies. Nehemiah the Tirshatha is once more in Shushan; his feet are treading again, as in days gone by, the streets of the capital of Persia.
It is thirteen years since he left the City of Lilies with his brother Hanani, in order that he might go to Jerusalem, and do his utmost to improve the ruined and desolate city. He has returned with his work accomplished. The walls are built, the gates are set up, the bare spaces in the city have been built over, the whole place has been strongly fortified, the people have been brought back to their allegiance to God, and, as the topstone of his work, he has seen, just before his departure for Persia, the city and all it contained dedicated to the service of the Great King.
Very glad, very thankful is Nehemiah, as he enters once more the glorious palace on the top of the hill, and stands before his master Artaxerxes, the long-handed, to give in his report of all he has done since the king gave him leave to return to his native land.
Nehemiah finds himself once more surrounded by luxury and refinement and beauty. What is Jerusalem compared with Shushan? Surely, now his work is accomplished, he will settle down to a life of ease in Persia, where he may dwell free from fear or anxiety or care, eating the dainties from the king’s table, and partaking of all the pleasures of an Eastern court. After the rough life he has led during the last thirteen years, after the perils he has undergone, and the difficulties he has surmounted, he may surely retire, now that his work has been so happily accomplished, and spend the remainder of his life in peace and comfort.