Friday, March 1, 2013

Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah 2

   Just like Esther, we are shown that Nehemiah was right where God wanted him "for such a time as this."(Esther 4:14)  He was the cupbearer to the King of Judah.  He was a trusted protector, confidant and advisor to the king. This position most definitely came in handy when Nehemiah asks for the king's blessing and help on his quest in Jerusalem.  More than likely the king would not have granted this request if just any man had asked it.  It was Nehemiah's position, and The Lord's will of course,  that made the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall successful. 

Verses 2-4: Servants were supposed to be happy when they were in the king's presence, so as not to upset them or make them angry.  Kings were also not supposed to be bothered with the concerns of their subjects.  So knowing these things, it is understandable that Nehemiah was so nervous and took four months to present his requests to the king, even though he was in good standing with him.  Its crazy how similar this part of the story is to the story of Esther.  Both of them fasting and praying before approaching the king, and then their wisely chosen words when presenting their requests to the king.  A Nehemiah commentary I came across said this:
     "Nehemiah chose his words carefully. It seems that he did not actually name Jerusalem. In the past, the king had been worried about Jerusalem (Ezra 4:19). At that time, the king did not want the *Jews to rebuild the city. So Nehemiah simply spoke about the city where his *ancestors’ graves were. He mentioned the graves for another reason too. Often, people believe that they should take great care of graves, because of their religion. Nehemiah hoped that the king would feel sympathy for him." (

Verses 4b-5: Before Nehemiah answered the king, he "prayed to the God of Heaven." He didn't rely on the past four months of praying and fasting during this moment. He prayed again.  Showing his faith and reliance on The Lord.

Verses 5-9: I would have peed my pants if I had to ask the king for all of those requests!  I'm not sure why the little note about the Queen sitting next to the king is in there, but at the very least it would make me even more nervous.  I have high respect for Nehemiah and the courage this would take!
     -I love that the whole situation seems so impossible.  Where any normal response would be, "You're going to ask WHAT of the king?!", "yea right, good luck with that Nehemiah", "hahahahaha", "Ill be sure and attend your funeral", etc.  And then God steps in.  And it is without a doubt The Lords hand that makes it all possible.  
        >"And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my request."
        > and because the Lord loves to shower His children with blessings, He softens the king's heart to not only grant all of Nehemiah's requests, but go above and beyond them and send army officers and cavalry with him.  WOW.

Verses 11-16: It seems these verses are telling of what a big task Nehemiah had ahead of him.  Talking of all the devastation and how everything was destroyed.  These verses also give us a little insight on the danger the Jews were in.  They had a lot of enemies, and Nehemiah chose to tell noone and to do his detective work at night.

Verses 17-18: Nehemiah gave the credit to the Lord, telling of how "the gracious hand of my God was upon me and what the king had said." In doing so, the people believed him and agreed to start this humungous task of rebuilding the wall.

Verse 20: I love this verse.  I love seeing Nehemiah's faith displayed over and over again.  Believing in the Lord and standing up to his ridiculers with courage.  2 Timothy 1:7 comes to mind when I read this verse.  "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline."

If you have anything to add or any questions about Nehemiah 2 then please feel free to leave a comment.  I'll get back with any questions as soon as I ask someone wiser than me;) Have a wonderful day! Love, Devon

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