Thursday, June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024

King Artaxerxes called Nehemiah to bring him wine, and being the king's cupbearer, he came before him. Nehemiah's sadness for the disrepair of his city was written all over his face, and it caught the king's attention because his usual manner wasn't melancholy. Queen Esther was sitting by the king when Nehemiah brought the wine. You have to wonder if she had something to do with Nehemiah being called before the king since no one was allowed to approach him without being called. My guess is she did because she was very aware of the condition of Jerusalem, and she stayed in touch with the goings-on of her people. The king was sympathetic to his countenance and asked him why he was sad. He explained that he was concerned for his city and its deplorable condition. The king gave him leave to go home and supervise the repairs but wanted him to come back to continue his work for him. He considered a timeframe but also asked for the king's help with letters showing he was allowed to pass through the region and work on the wall of Jerusalem. 

When he got to Jerusalem, he covertly assessed the damage and made a plan. He did it under the cover of darkness to avoid unnecessary questions and interactions. Sanballat had already approached him when he came into the city. He showed him the letters from the king. He questioned him again, and Nehemiah told him it was none of his business and that God was in charge of what he was doing. 

Nehemiah was fearful but honest when speaking to the king. Courage, followed by action when inspired by the Holy Spirit, sets us apart from the average person who lives day by day without a purpose. Jesus gave us a purpose, gifts, and talents to help us pursue His plan. If you don't know what that is, pray, begin reading your Bible daily with a set plan, and you will find your purpose recorded in scripture. I'll give you a hint: your purpose will have something to do with the great commission, but it may look different from others because of our various giftings. 

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. Nehemiah 2:18

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