This story happened during the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. Nehemiah, like Daniel and Esther, was a slave in a foreign land. His master, King Artaxerxes trusted him with his very life. He was his personal steward, pouring the wine at the table and tasted it first, to prove there is no poison. He was a humble and loyal servant. But he was a slave nevertheless.
Then one day he hears that the city of his fathers, Jerusalem was completely abandoned, its walls in ruins and its gates burnt with fire. He was told that the enemies of the Jews live there as parasites. The name of Jehovah was mocked!
Nehemiah’s heart was broken. Jerusalem in ruins was a picture of his own heart, rejected, lonely and ashamed. For the next four months, Nehemiah goes to his ‘office’ trying to hide the pain. Looking sad in the presence of the king meant death penalty.
Then God moved!!! ‘God’s hand rested upon Nehemiah’. The word ‘hand’ in Hebrew means favor, sense of direction, resources and power. The king observed that his trusted slave was not as happy as he was in the past. He asked for an explanation. Nehemiah prays ‘an emergency’ prayer and tells him the truth. God’s burden is revealed upon his servant. He volunteers to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. Humanly speaking that was an impossible request. Nehemiah is a slave. He is asking his master for the permission to be free for some time to do God’s work. What slave can ask for such a thing? Not only that, he is asks the king to sponsor his ‘project oversees’. He wants the king to give him ‘a Babylonian diplomatic passport’; letters of authorization for the free passage to Jerusalem. He also wants the king to pay his ‘traveling expenses’ and to supply all the building materials. Don’t forget, God’s hand is upon him and that hand can never fail. The king is impressed with his slave’s boldness and wisdom. He agrees with all his requests and generously, he even adds something as a bonus: a regiment of armed soldiers on horses to protect Nehemiah and his project.
Arriving in Jerusalem Nehemiah meets great opposition from the wicked opportunists who live there. But against all odds, he rebuilds the wall and finishes his assignment (Neh 6:15). He then returns to the king in Babylon, to be his servant once more.
What are the lessons here? God wants to bless any of His children who are willing to take the risk and go and to do ministry in His name. The first thing you must do is to accept the burden of the Lord! It comes as a strange sadness. You look around and see the damage sin has done to humanity. God does not despise a broken hearted man, especially when he is willing to be used by Him to repair or rebuild a situation. Pray and ask God for clarity of vision. Then God’s strength, wisdom and supply shall surely come. God is very rich. God is also very generous with His resources. But He is looking for people like Nehemiah who are willing to be bold and responsible with His name, with His power, riches and glory. For as long as you excuse yourself saying: ‘God, I see the need but sent someone else’ God will not entrust you with millions. This is the truth! You have to steal money to be a millionaire…
But if you accept the burden and the vision of the Lord, the supply shall come at your very door, no doubt about it!
In the natural Nehemiah was a slave in captivity. He had no rights at all. But in the spiritual, he was a man of God, a champion and a true leader with a genuine vision. There are so many fake ‘leaders’ these days that people get discouraged. But please remember, God is the same; He never changes! He is the faithful God! His dealings with men are the same forever!
You duty is to surrender your life to God! Then see what God will do! ‘Throw the ball back’ to God!
Nehemiah is an inspiration to us, thousands of years since his death. A man may be in a prison cell, homeless and sleeping under a bridge, sick with an incurable disease in a poor village hospital, bankrupt financially, rejected by men and lonely…but if that man prays and finds God’s purpose for his life, God’s hand on him will make him successful and great. No opposition can succeed against such a man! This is the Word of God!
Lastly, be encouraged! The wicked children of darkness, the doubters, the mockers, the religious fake who hate all good things and who try to discourage the true believer, they shall fall for your sake!
This is what Nehemiah, a slave set free by God, said to his enemies:
“The God of heaven will give us success! We His servants will start rebuilding! But as for you (my enemies) you will have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right in it!” (Neh 2:20)
This is my prayer for you:
May God give you the vision of your destiny!
May you accept the burden and the responsibility for its manifestation!
May you have faith 100%!
May doubt be 0%!
May your enemies who slander you and your good work be disgraced and disappointed in the name of Jesus!
May you be fruitful, faithful, humble, diligent, focused, wise, disciplined and strong!
May God be glorified in your life!
In Jesus name, amen!