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CHAPTER 2 (ESV)
4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me…
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
- After Nehemiah prayed, he asked the king for permission for him to return to Judah. The king approved and Nehemiah continued to ask the king to provide more support. When you need help, do you often become afraid to contact the right person and hesitate if you should raise a request? Nehemiah directly approached the person who could help him most. Do not hesitate, contact the person who can help you most! They may be more approachable than you think. Maybe God listens to your prayer through the help of that person.
- Sanballat and Tobiah accused the rebuilding of the wall was an act of rebellion against the king (v.19). They also despised Nehemiah saying that the damage to the wall was so severe that it could not be rebuilt. Nehemiah did not tell them he already got the king’s permission to rebuild the wall. He only said that this is God’s will and in fact this was sufficient. Today when you serve God passionately, or will you remain stagnant for fear of others’ rumors, mocking and attack?
Come before God with a quiet and firm heart. Ask God for the courage to face rumors and mocking. Ask God to be with you and strengthen your will so that you will be strong and courageous. Pray that God will establish the good work of your hands.
Living Hope - www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f2FXxDVO6w