Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 4

But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel. (Nehemiah 2:10, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-4 memo

Not everyone got the memo.

Nehemiah watched as God prepared and provided. Nehemiah witnessed the overwhelming kindness and favor of the king as he supported Nehemiah’s plan 100%.

But not everyone was on board. Not everyone wants to see the plans of God succeed. There will always be those who’s self-seeking and self-serving plans come against God, and us.

WP Neh Dev 2-4 opposition

Awareness of this doesn’t necessarily make it easier. Jesus wanted us to be ready for this kind of thing. He told his followers: 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12, NIV)

WP Neh Dev 2-4 persecuted

Nehemiah Devotions Chapter 2, Day 3

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” (Nehemiah 2:4, NLT)

WP Neh Devo time passing

Six months. One hundred eighty days, give or take a few, Nehemiah opened his eyes and wondered if today would be the day.

He trusted God each to be laying the ground work. And each day he prayed to be ready.

And the time had arrived.

Nehemiah opened his mouth and shared his heart with the king and queen. He laid it out. He said needed. He had prayed for favor and kindness.

And that’s exactly what he got.

I can’t begin to what had been going on in the heart and mind of the king. Was he just having a day of benevolence? In the six months that Nehemiah waited had something happened to endear Nehemiah to the king making the favor expressed as natural as the sun coming up in the morning?

I don’t know. I am just convinced that Nehemiah was seeing God’s greatness unfold before his eyes. If God could do that then there’s nothing he can’t be trusted with.

Nehemiah knew that. Do we?

WP Neh Dev 2-3 Prov 3 5-6

Nehemiah Devotions: Chapter 2, Day 2

Then I was terrified, but I replied. (Nehemiah 2:2b-3a, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 emotions

We learned at the end of the first chapter Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the king. It was an important position. He was a public figure and was expected to present himself accordingly. He took his responsibility seriously and consistently presented himself appropriately. Until now.

The burden he carried had become so great that the weight began to show on his countenance. And the king noticed.

Would this be interpreted as insubordination, or dissatisfaction with his job? Neither would be acceptable to the king.

WP Neh Dev 2-2 fear

At this point Nehemiah stood at a threshold. His response would leave him comfortable in the lifestyle he was accustomed to or throw him into the unknown as he followed God’s plan.

Nehemiah demonstrates great courage, and teaches us that courage doesn’t mean we won’t fear. We read here that Nehemiah was terrified. But in spite of his fear, his faith in the one who called him was enough to enable him to stand up and proceed across the threshold into the unknown.

Has God called you to step forward in faith? Are you afraid? Find your courage and confidence in the one who calls you.

Claim Paul’s words as you keep to the journey: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

WP Neh Dev 2-2 Phil 1-6

Nehemiah Devotions: Chapter 2, Day 1

WP Neh Devo time passing
Text: Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. (Nehemiah 2:1, NLT)

We start our thoughts this week with Nehemiah roughly six months later. Did you catch that? Chapter one begins in late autumn and chapter picks back up in early spring.

What’s up with that? The need was great. Nehemiah’s response had been intense. I would have expected God to move immediately. Wouldn’t you?

But the success Nehemiah prayed for, the favor of the king, needed time to unfold.

God works that way. God doesn’t always answer the way we want or expect. We need to trust that God is working even when we can’t, don’t, or won’t see it. God is never late.

Have you experienced a time when God answered your prayer with an instant “yes”? How about a definite “no”? Can you trust him to be working when there is not instant answer?

SP Neh 2 waiting with clock

Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality that most of us ever encounter. ~Richard Hendrix