HEROES OF THE BIBLE

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God’s call to advocacy — to plead another’s cause — is spread across the pages of the Bible, and we see powerful stories of Biblical characters who put that call into action. In both the Old and New Testaments, God calls on advocates to speak boldly, whether or not they believe they’re qualified. Each of the six advocates below combines their faith in God with a unique advocacy strategy, and God uses them all powerfully to bring about justice.

Nehemiah

Nehemiah had audacious advocacy ask: He wanted to leave his job as cupbearer to the king and rebuild the city of his people, who were living in exile. At the start of his story, Nehemiah hears news that those still living in the land of Judah are in great distress: The wall of Jerusalem is broken, and the city lies in ruins.

His heart is broken, and he asks God for an opportunity to help. He first advocates directly to God when he confesses that his people have indeed sinned, but then he reminds God of everything God has already done for them. Finally, he asks God to give him favour with the king.

When Nehemiah’s opportunity comes, he tells the king what’s happened in Jerusalem, why it matters to him, and what the king can do to help. (Clear, direct, and actionable!) The king grants Nehemiah’s request to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall and gives him the supplies and permissions he needs to get the job done.

Because of Nehemiah’s advocacy, the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt, exiles return to a secured city, and the people recommit to God’s law.

All this started with Nehemiah’s heart is broken. His strategy was to ask God for an opportunity to help put things right, and God granted his request. Nehemiah’s prayer and request were bold. God blessed that boldness and used Nehemiah as a witness to the surrounding nations.

Author: Godfrey Gregg

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