God Prepares Some Man

God Prepares a Man

Nehemiah 1:2-10; 2:2-8

So far, we have seen that Zerubbabel had been sent by King Cyrus back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the House of God.

We know that once the foundation of the Temple was laid, the work of the Temple stopped for about 18 years and God sent the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (the government) and the High Priest (the religious leader) who had been beautifying their own homes and left off the work on the Temple.

After Haggai told them “Thus sayeth the Lord”, the work began again.

We know Ezra had come to rebuild the city and help with the Temple.

By this time there was over 100,000 people who had returned to Jerusalem and Judah.

All these people were at the mercy of their enemy and things were hard to accomplish.

It seems like Israel is always being attacked one way or another.

God sees all these things and God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, for the King of Persia to build the walls of Jerusalem.

Those who think God does not see what is going on in this world are foolish, God sees everything, and prayer is still the best way to get things done that we cannot do. God still expects us to do what we can do. He may not help us with those things!

Let’s begin at Nehemiah Chapter 1 and verse 1:

*****Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,
Neh 1:2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

King Artaxerxes had been on the throne for 20 years and history tells us he reigned for 20 more years.

The ninth month Chisleu would correspond to our November and sometimes part of December. The Winter months so this King was in Shushan which was the location of his winter palace. The Summer palace was located at Ecbatana. Nehemiah would have traveled with the king no matter where he traveled.

Today this location once a magnificent city is now only a place of ruins. This is also the city where the events of the Book of Esther took place.

The event that we will learn is things that happen after a conversation and then a serious prayer to the Lord and not just one prayer but a continuous prayer.

Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem, but we know that he had been taught the Word of God by his parents.

Nehemiah had a deep concern about his fellow Jews which in that day, may have been called the Hebrew people by the world.

Nehemiah had compassion for his people, and this is a great lesson for us here today.

In fact the entire first chapter will show us the compassion he had for his people.

As we go through this lesson, we will see the Nehemiah is in typology another type of Christ.

Mar_6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

Fourteen times in the books of the Gospel the word compassion is used about our Lord and Master.

If we are to be like Christ, we are to have compassion, especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ!

What was the message Nehemiah had learned?

*****Neh 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.

As we know from last week, these Jews were suffering because God had brought a drought.

They were suffering economically.
They were suffering spiritually.
They were suffering because of the greed of those who had control, the government
They were suffering because they feared the neighboring nations.
They were suffering because they had no fear of God!

Yes antisemitism existed even in that day!

When Nehemiah heard all these things he wept for his homeland and those who were trying to live without God!

Nehemiah knew that two groups of his people had been back in Jerusalem for many years now and he was not expecting such bad news.

Psa 44:13 Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
Psa 44:14 Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.

These things caused Nehemiah to weep for his homeland.

Nehemiah had such a great job in captivity he had given no thought of returning to Israel and Jerusalem, but that would now change.

*****Neh 1:4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
Neh 1:5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

These things broke the heart off Nehemiah, and we can watch as God immediately had plans for Nehemiah all along.

Nehemiah could feel the suffering of others in his own heart!

Nehemiah knew that Jerusalem was the most holy city in all the world, until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and the Temple.

He was hoping with all those who had returned, that things would have been much better.

God expects us to feel in our heart the needs of others! It is called compassion.

God expects us, when we are able, to help those with needs and we can do this through the Church if all the other needs of the Church are met.

Not many of us partake of fasting but sometimes fasting can clear our minds so we can see the needs of others, and the clear will of God

The greatest need of all is still salvation!

Salvation will open our eyes to the needs of others because to be saved is to trust the Lord and then try to be like Him!

Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

What we have seen is God had first placed the government back in Jerusalem along with the High Priest.

Next God sent Ezra to establish the Church.

Now God will send Nehemiah, a cupbearer, who had no great skills, to restore security to the city of Jerusalem.

God loves to use ordinary people with not many skills, because they know that they must trust in the Lord God to meet their needs!

And, Every step we take must be bathed with prayer!

*****Neh 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Nehemiah had not returned to Jerusalem because of his position in the court of the Persian King. So God would test him to see if he was sincere.

If our prayers are not sincere and bathed in faith, God will hear, but He may not answer until Nehemiah had enough faith to see these things take place.

God always knows what He is going to do, and God knew that Nehemiah was the man He would use.

While Nehemiah was only a cupbearer, he could learn the workings of government being so close to the King of Persia.

We should understand that God places us in places not only to witness to the lost, but to learn a skill that can benefit the Church, even if it is just a high paying job so our tithes and offerings, will be a great benefit

Some people are prayer warriors, some people keep the church going with those tithes and offerings, and some people give of themselves to keep the church going.

There is a place for every member to the church!

Al these things are to work with the commands of Jesus Christ!

The main thing is that when God calls us for His use, then we need to say yes. Self-sacrifice is the great test of faith!

By being obedient to the Lord, we step into the wonders of the plan of God!

We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His supreme power over all His creation.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His majesty, and His goodness, along with His greatness.
We are of no use to God until we acknowledge His faithfulness to those who love Him.

Nehemiah was an intercessor for his people, and he did not know it as of yet.

Nehemiah realized that it was actually a sin that was holding up the progress in Jerusalem.

We will find out that it is a great sin not to pray for the peace in Jerusalem and be commited to Israel as much as we are commited to our own nation also realizing that we are ambassadors for Christ to all nations.

It is always sin that interferes with progress made in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.

*****Neh 1:7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

By not keeping the commandments of the Lord we show the Lord that we do not love Him!

Deu 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

This not just for the Jews.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When we are not keeping the commandments of the Lord, rightly divided, we are also very corrupt against the Lord!

*****Neh 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
Neh 1:9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Nehemiah realized why he was in captivity, it was because as a nation, Israel and Judah had forsaken the Lord.

Nehemiah also realized that God had allowed room for repentance and a great promise that God had made.

If they would repent, then God would gather these Jews no matter where they had been scattered.

Deu 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
Deu 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
Deu 30:3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
Deu 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:
Deu 30:5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

We know from all these things written for us to see, that God did not break a promise then and God will not break a promise today.

How do we make America great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

How will Israel be made great again?

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

It is the same for every nation where Christians are located!

Who was God talking to this day?

*****Neh 1:10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

We know that God has made certain promises to the Children of Israel and God will keep all His promises.

We also know that God’s timing is in His control.

When God’s makes a promise we cannot dictate when that promises will be fulfilled, but we can be sure that God will fulfill our needs until that time comes.

God did not need to be reminded that this was the same people He had redeemed from Egypt, but He tells us to study the Scriptures, so we know these things and it was OK for Nehemiah to mention this fact to show his own trust in the Word of God.

Isa 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

We also know God has made many promises to the Church and God will fulfill these promises also, again in His own time.

God has not forgotten any of these things, for it is impossible for God to forget about His children.

The good fathers always remember their children! Jehovah God is the “Greatest” Father

Nehemiah needed to see the king and God made a way for him to do so.

*****Neh 2:2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
Neh 2:3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer. It was Nehemiah’s job to taste the wine to make sure it was safe to drink. If Nehemiah looked sick, then it could have been caused by the wine.

Certainly this king would have his eyes on Nehemiah to make sure he was healthy.

We should be able to see how God arranges things for our best interest.

Nehemiah was just some Jew who just happened to become the cupbearer for the King.

I’m sure the he was not to thrilled to be the one to make sure the King’s wine was not poisoned or spoiled.

In the end, Nehemiah had a great job but in reality, he was placed in that job just for the time that was coming now.

God always has a man in position for His plan to move forward, and I am sure He has some women in places also, just so His plan moves along as it should.

Nehemiah was not sick, he was brokenhearted, and it showed.

We will see how the plan of God is worked out with the utmost precision.

It took a lot of nerve for Nehemiah to address this king, but God had touched the heart of this king, so Nehemiah was treated more like a son than a stranger.

We can see all sorts of types in these passages!

The beginning of these things was the fact the Nehemiah had first prayed, in fact he had fasted and prayed because he had a true concern for his people.

Do we have that much concern for our children or our grandchildren that we would not fast and pray for our people just as Nehemiah?

We should pray first at the sign of trouble, we should pray often, and pray much, and sometimes we need to fast and pray and then we need to listen for God to answer. Remembering if it is according to the plan of God, He will never say no.

Salvation of our children and our families are in the will of God and part of His plan!

1Ti_2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Nehemiah stood in the gap and interceded for his people. We know of another, the Lord Jesus did so on a much grander scale.

As a father for his dear son, he asked, just what is it that you need?

And what did God say about our prayers?

Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

While this king was listening, Nehemiah wanted to be sure he asked for the right things and no one knew that better than God so Nehemiah made a real quick silent prayer.

*****Neh 2:4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

Before we go too far, we must understand, there was no benefit for this king to allow the wall to be restored around the city of Jerusalem.

If Jerusalem rebelled again it would be costly to lay siege and wait on them to starve to death again.

Two groups had already been financed by Persia to rebuild the Temple so that to should not be asked again, but to keep the city secure, not from Persia, but from the locals such as Samaria, was a thing the king may consider, especially since God, Himself would put these things in the heart of this king.

Know this, that at any time this king could have refuse any or all the request of the Jews, but he did so willingly and gladly!

So Nehemiah requested and secured a royal commission to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls.

We should remember it was dangerous for Nehemiah to show a sad countenance in front of the king.

The kings in this day were always aware of plots to over throw the king or assassination.

When God touches a ruler’s heart, it is never about over throwing that ruler.

Nehemiah had prayed and he would speak the words God had given to him, and remember God’s Word never comes back void.

God’s Word will do what He sent it to do!

We must also remember prayers that are prayed out of an emergency, out of an immediate need, many times God will answer that prayer as soon as He receives it.

It was important that the things Nehemiah asked, to be pleasing to this king!

Here again we see another “type” to help us in our prayer life. We should never pray to the Father for things that are not pleasing our King, King Jesus!

Here again we see that Jehovah God was considered to be the Creator even by this pagan king and valued for this reason.

As far as Nehemiah was concerned, this matter needed to be settled this very day.

God answered and to Him be the Glory, and because God answered, this king gave Nehemiah much more than he asked for!

*****Neh 2:5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
Neh 2:6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

The truth is we seldom consider and study on what we need in our prayers. I’m not talking about those needs we all have that God supplies without asking.

I’m talking about that special need! Nehemiah had been making plans on what it would take to do these things, he would now ask the king for, but only after he had made his request to the Lord.

A true lesson is that God loves details! God loves for us to consider those things we pray for and then give Him the reasons those things are important to us, and most important we must have the faith that says to God, “I know you have the power to do this thing I’m asking”.

As Preacher Sam said, “God is Able”!

Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

God, in answer to prayer, is ever ready to bestow what is best for us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

This was a silent prayer that Nehemiah prayed between the time he made his request to this king, and the answer he would give.

Another lesson we learn God is always listening. Nehemiah did not have to wait on God to finish what He was doing with someone else!

This shows us the “omnipresence” of the Lord God Jehovah!

Pro 3:4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path

We see that this king had grown affectionate for Nehemiah, not in any kind of sexual way, but as a friend and he wanted to know how long he would be gone.

*****Neh 2:7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
Neh 2:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Nehemiah knew that if he did not have proof of the things this king had promised, others in the government would deny him of any request because, Nehemiah was still just Jew, but the world forgets the Jews are still the apple in God’s eyes.

Zec_2:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

What is the secret of our success as Christians? We must have God with us!

We do not need the machines of this world.

We do not need the methods of this world.

We just need to be obedient to God, so we know our prayers reach into Heaven.

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Psa 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

We just need more God!!!!!!!!

We cannot believe we have the power to do the things such as Nehemiah requested, without God!

What did Jesus say?

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Amen

Let’s Pray

Published by

Bobby Mayfield

I just want to be an obedient servant of God.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.