Nehemiah was one of four cupbearers for the king with each serving on a quarterly basis. During this quarter of serving for Nehemiah, he had just received word of the condition of the wall around Jerusalem; which caused him to appear very despondent; to the degree Artaxerxes noticed it.
It’s interesting that Artaxerxes knew Nehemiah so well, he immediately knew it was “sorrow of heart”. In response Nehemiah shared it was the city of Jerusalem’s condition, specifically the wall. The king asked what he could do to restore Nehemiah’s joy.
Note, it could have been a long prayer; rather it was one short and to the point. Nehemiah requested permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. Further, Nehemiah asked for protection, provisions for the wall, the temple and his personal house. The king gave him what he requested because of the favor of the Lord on his life.
God’s favor on Nehemiah impacted not only him, but moved the heart of the king to grant his request for rebuilding all he requested. The same is true for you and me today. God gives beyond what we need; good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.
It is here we are introduced to the arch enemies of Israel and Nehemiah; Horonite a Moabite, Tobiah an Ammonite and Geshem an Arab. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he reported to govenor; even though he didn’t tell what anyone what his mission was or about.
Nehemiah didn’t prematurely share the plan he had been given by the Lord. Often times, leaders will be premature in sharing what the Lord has given; which can often be counter- productive for Kingdom purposes. This requires a divine balance to share enough of the vision to motivate, yet not too much to overwhelm or even discourage those we lead.
After surveying the land over three days, he went to see the project during the night time hours. It was likely because Nehemiah wanted to give an accurate account and status of the wall, which fueled his passion of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah made an appeal to those who had returned from Babylon. They were motivated and inspired to “rise up and build.”
We read in the closing verses of this chapter of a strategy employed against Nehemiah and his company, ridicule. It was and remains to this day the enemy’s plan to ridicule us to discourage and cause us to see circumstances more than being encouraged by the Word and see through the eye of faith.
Nehemiah’s response was based on the Word of God and his declaration of faith. When we’re confronted with a similar strategy, let us respond as Nehemiah did; stand on the Word and declare our faith or good confession.