trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Nehemiah's Request

Ask big, receive big. Nehemiah 2.1-10

Return from Exile: Nehemiah 1-5 (2)

Pray Psalm 148.11-14.
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!

Sing Psalm 148.11-14.
(Hendon: Take My Life and Let It Be)
Kings of earth and peoples all, young men, maidens, on Him call!
Old men, children, princes, kings, bring to God your offerings.
Bring to God your offerings.

For His people He has raised His salvation: God be praised!
All whom Jesus Christ brings near praise their Savior, ever dear,
praise their Savior, ever dear!

Read Nehemiah 2.1-10; meditate on verses 4-6.

1. Why did Artaxerxes question Nehemiah?

2. What did Nehemiah request of the king?

Nehemiah undoubtedly knew that Artaxerxes had acted toward the completion of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 7.11-26). He must have hoped the king would look favorably on his project as well.

As he was cupbearer to the king (1.11), Nehemiah would have been quite familiar to Artaxerxes. So we’re not surprised that the king noticed on this day that his cupbearer’s countenance what not as usual (2.1, 2). Something was wrong, and the king asked a reason for Nehemiah’s “sorrow of heart.”

Nehemiah feared the king (v. 2), but he overcame his fear to explain why his countenance was sad: The city of Jerusalem lay wasting and destroyed (v. 3). When Artaxerxes asked what he wanted, Nehemiah boldly laid it all out, but only after seeking the help of the God of heaven (vv. 4-8). The king granted his request and more, providing armed guards to go with him on his journey (v. 9). Sanballat and Tobiah, hearing about this next project, “were deeply disturbed” (v. 10). They were not happy that Nehemiah had come “to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

God makes ways for us to fulfill what He has called us to do. But there will always be those who oppose us.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
A word here is due to the good leaders God had in place during the rebuilding of the temple and the wall of Jerusalem. And a word of thanks to God for placing them there.

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the season; He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness,
and light dwells with Him” (Dan. 2.20-22).

“But God is the Judge:
He puts down one, and exalts another” (Ps. 75.7).

“Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth…” (Is. 40.21, 22).

One has only to think about the worldwide leadership of today and ask ourselves this question: Which one would even notice that their hired help looked sad? Or happy? Or looked like anything, for that matter?

Or let’s talk about walking into most churches today as a visitor: Who notices you? Does your fellow pew-sitter? Or the pastor? And we’re not even talking about your demeanor, only the fact that you are there. I dare say, not many even notice, much less care about what your face is expressing.

But God. He put this kind king in place to notice that Nehemiah was registering sadness on his face.
Really, how amazing is that? He was the king. And he noticed. God put him there for just such a time as that (Esth. 4.14).

And He has put us into our Personal Mission Field, as His “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Pet. 2.9) to do works of kindness and tenderheartedness, just like Artaxerxes. Who needs to hear your query today, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of the heart” (Neh. 2.2)?

Our world is full of those who experience sorrow of the heart. But we have words of eternal life to bring joy to their hearts. As Jesus said to His disciples, and to us, and we to others: “These things I have spoken to you,

that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16.33).

LORD, help us to see others as Artaxerxes saw Nehemiah.
You have given us the privilege to work Your works (Eph. 2.10).
Like Ezra, help us to “prepare our hearts to seek the Law of the LORD,
and to do it”! (Ezra 7.10) For others and for Your glory.

For reflection
1. What can you do to be more sensitive to the people in your Personal Mission Field?

2. Why is it important that we take the initiative in caring about others?

3. How can you prepare right now to be more sensitive to others today?

Nehemiah prayed to the God of heaven, as infinitely above even this mighty monarch. He lifted up his heart to that God who understands the language of the heart. Nor should we ever engage in any pursuit in which it would be wrong for us thus to seek and expect the Divine direction, assistance, and blessing.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Nehemiah 2.1-8

Pray Psalm 148.1-7.
Give thanks to God Who hears your prayers. Praise Him as you think about His many wonderful works and all He has done for you. Commit this day to Him, to praise Him as often as He calls you to do so.

Sing Psalm 148.1-7.
(Hendon: Take My Life and Let It Be)
Praise the Lord, from heaven praise! To the heights His goodness raise!
Angels, all you heav’nly hosts, let of Him be all your boasts,
let of Him be all your boasts!

Praise Him, sun, moon, shining lights, brilliant stars that light the nights!
Praise Him, heav’ns for all His love, and you waters far above,
and you waters far above!

Praise Him who created all by His Word and mighty call!
All things His decree obey; thus they shall not pass away.
Thus they shall not pass away.

Let all creatures, everything, God’s great praises loudly sing!
His Name only brims with worth, far above both heav’n and earth,
far above both heav’n and earth!

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.