HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
The Israelites had been held in captivity by the Babylonians for over seventy years, exiled from their homes and the land God had given them. After decades of displacement and servitude to foreign kings, something remarkable happened. A rival king, Cyrus of Persia, captured the Babylonian territory, including Jerusalem. Then miraculously, he let the Israelites return home. We learn in the book of Nehemiah that when the Israelites returned home, the city was in great disrepair.
Nehemiah hears about the condition of the city and is grieved by the report. He plans to take his request to the king to help repair the walls of Jerusalem but knows if the king is displeased with his request, he could lose his position as cupbearer and even face execution. Nehemiah is desperate for a favourable response from the king, so he fasts and prays.
Nehemiah 1:4 says, “As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah’s praying and fasting resulted in an unprecedented response from the king. Not only did the king allow him to go help in the repair, but sends security and timber with him to help with the reconstruction!
God delights to do more than we can ask or imagine, especially when we choose to humble ourselves and pray. You can rest assured that not only is God going to answer as you continue to seek him, but he’s going to answer in even bigger and better ways than you could have ever thought possible!
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, 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. 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. 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, 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: 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. 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. 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: 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. 10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. 11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.