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June 3, 2017

Nehemiah petitioned God for favor with the king in the month of Chisleu (December), and it is now Nisan three months later that while he is doing his job, the king finally responds to Nehemiah’s demeanor. After being questioned by the king concerning his countenance, Nehemiah explains his sadness is caused by the ruinous conditions of his homeland, and he asks the king if he would permit him to go there and work on its restoration.

With King Artaxerxes permission and blessing, Nehemiah is given leave to go to Jerusalem. Also, the king sends captains of the army and a cavalry to accompany him, gives him a letter to give to the governors beyond the river which would provide him with protection while he is traveling, and a letter for Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest to provide him with lumber for his home and the gates and walls of the city.

Upon arrival, Nehemiah did not inform the people of his commission but took three days to quietly assess the city before doing a secret survey at night of the disrepair, and then he addressed his countrymen with his testimony, findings, and plan which needed their assistance to be accomplished. Their response, as recorded in Nehemiah 2:18b was, “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”

Nevertheless, some district magistrates Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite, and Geshem who were opposers of the Jews confronted Nehemiah with derision, accusations, and mockery but Nehemiah response to them was, “The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 2:20).

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. Some answers to prayer are not quickly attained.
  2. Don’t allow your emotional state to stop your assignment.
  3. Though you may be sad, you still must work.
  4. Speak to your employer, tactfully, and respectfully.
  5. Request help as needed from those who have power.
  6. Be strategic in your movement and planning.
  7. Leaders are awake while others sleep.
  8. Before talking, have a plan.
  9. Share your testimony; it builds faith.
  10. Seek the cooperation of your fellow laborers.
  11. Don’t become sidetracked or discouraged by your adversary.
  12. With the good hand of God upon you, you will be successful.


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