Our verse for today comes from Nehemiah 2:4, ” Then the king said to me, ‘What do you request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven. “
I am awestruck at the idea of one man rebuilding a city. Nehemiah’s plan to rebuild the wall of his beloved Jerusalem is other-worldly. Here is a Jewish man, a servant cupbearer to the king of Persia, going to Jerusalem to build a wall that will help to reestablish the city and threaten to weaken the grip that his Persian king has over that city. One man, with no experience in construction or management, devises a plan to rebuild the fortress of protection, and gets some help from, among others, a bunch of priests, nobles and officials. He undoubtedly has the vision of the completed wall in his mind even before he has seen how bad the destruction to the previous wall is. But where does all of this come from? What, for example, moves a mighty king to ask his lowly servant, ” What do you want? ” Does a king wander into the kitchen around meal time and ask the cooks what they want for dinner? How does this king respond to such a herculean request not with scoffing or disdain, but simply by asking when would Nehemiah return?
When Nehemiah heard of the condition of his countrymen and their city, he mourned and fasted and prayed for days and days. And as he did, he recited God’s Word and promises and fulfilled God’s prescription for the return to Him. Nehemiah confessed his sin and that of his brethren and rested in the hope and assurance that God would restore what had been taken away. The plan for rebuilding the wall was not a quest set out on by a man who knew something had to be done, or a man who wanted to make some kind of a difference. No, Nehemiah’s vision was placed on his heart by the good hand of God. Four separate times in this chapter Nehemiah acknowledges that good hand of God, or the passion that God put in his heart that God would cause to prosper. For days and days, Nehemiah sought God, and when the king asked him what he wanted, he sought Him again. That kind of focus can put kings at your behest. That desire can empower one man to build a city wall. That faith can show the world the good hand of God.
As we seek Him today, seek Him before you seek to go do something for Him. Ask of Him what He would have you do, and then go and prosper by His good hand.
Also published on : Medium.com.