In The Word
Read: Nehemiah 2
2 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I picked up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, though you are not ill? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 And I said to the king, “May the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the site of my fathers’ tombs, is desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, I requestthat you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” 6 Then the king said to me, with the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, so that they will allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which is by the temple, for the wall of the city, and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.
9 Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the EuphratesRiver and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 And when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about it, it was very displeasing to them that someone had come to seek the welfare of the sons of Israel.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. 12 And I got up in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem, and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Spring and on to the Dung Gate, and I was inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which had been consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass. 15 So I was going up at night by the ravine and inspecting the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 However, the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, or the rest who were doing the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates have been burned by fire. Come, let’s rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”18 And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let’s arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked us and despised us, and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will make us successful; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no part, right, or memorial in Jerusalem.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Nehemiah spent four months praying to God for favor with the king. When God opened the door to speak to the king, Nehemiah quickly prayed and then shared his plans to rebuild Jerusalem. Nehemiah had already worked out the strategy; he knew exactly the amount of labor, materials, and time that would be needed. After a three-month journey to Jerusalem, Nehemiah waited three days before making a thorough inspection. Leaders and even enemies were watching so Nehemiah knew that he had to be careful and wise. At night while the others slept, he examined the ruins to determine the best way to accomplish the repairs. Then he shared his plans with the city’s leaders and assured them of God’s blessing. His enemies noticed the work immediately, but Nehemiah knew that God was with him.
Nehemiah had faith and patience. Faith and patience go together. Nehemiah had faith in God, proven by his significant amount of time in prayer. For example, when he quickly prayed before speaking to the king, Nehemiah demonstrated his faith in God. Nehemiah patiently waited on God’s timing even though the burden was heavy on his heart. When he did have the opportunity to act, he was patient to make sure he properly evaluated the task and knew the people who were working around him.
God may have asked you to do something for His Kingdom. Have faith that He will give you the needed wisdom and resources. Pray throughout the task to depend on God and not on yourself and have patience because the work may take a while.