Faith through Trials
The prophet Nehemiah shows up at the time of Israel’s third invasion, and exile to Babylonia 444BC. Where he served as cup-bearer to Artaxerexes king of Persia.
One day, he receives a message from his brother Hanani regarding the state of Jerusalem-How the walls were in ruin, and the remnant had no protection from attacks and there was nowhere to pray because the synagogue have also been destroyed. (Nehemiah 1:3) They said to me, The remnant in the province, who survived the exile are in great trouble and disgrace.
In his grief, he turns to God with a repentant heart and pleads for forgiveness, and he asked for favor for his people 1:6 let Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear Your servant’s prayer that I now pray to You day and night for Your servants the Israelites. He is also conflicted and filled with anxiety because of what his assignment entails-To find favor with the king and convince him to allow him go rebuild the wall they were responsible for bringing down. And yet, 6 months had lapsed before was made aware of his plight. Chislev was observed during the Winter”(Nov/Dec), While the month of Nisan was celebrated in April/May.
The king sensed something was wrong, But Nehemiah did not know how to respond.
2:1 During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence,2 so the king said to me, “Why are you sad when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but depression”
What was Nehemiah to do? *He Invited God to accompany him on his journey:
1:11 Please Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and that of Your servants who delight to revere Your name. Give Your servant success today and have compassion on him in the presence of this man *When God gives us an assignment, He has pre-ordained the outcome-He wouldn’t use you if He didn’t think you were capable.
2:4 So I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried so that I may rebuild it.
The “Cup-bearer”-Trustworthy, and faithful. Not only did they serve wine to the king, but they were required to first sip it to ensure the king would not be poisoned.
To his account, The king, and his queen found much favor in Nehemiah, Not only did they allow him to leave, but they made provisions for him to complete his task (2:6-8)
6The king, and the queen seated beside him me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So I gave him a definite time, and it pleased the king to send me. By the time Nehemiah finally departed, he had more than enough to complete his assignment-He had all the building materials he would ever need, he was guaranteed safe passage, And he was given a military escort.
We serve a Big God who only knows how to do things in a Big way. Nehemiah’s determination and faith was rewarded in abundance:
2:8 And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest. so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple fortress, the city wall, and home where I will live. the king granted my request, for I was graciously strengthened by the Lord.
This was not the end, but the beginning of a series of events that will cause Nehemiah to rely heavily on God’s sovereignty and become a champion of his faith. God’s blessings