In chapter one, Nehemiah heard of the terrible plight of God’s people and of Jerusalem. In the beginning of chapter two, after months of prayer, he went to the king and got permission (and timber) to go and rebuild the city.
Now, we follow Nehemiah to Jerusalem and we see a few important things.
- Obedience often results in opposition (v 10).
It displeased people (two men in particular) that someone had come to check on the people of Israel.
- Obedience should not be based on man’s approval (v 12, 16).
Nehemiah told no one what God had put in his heart to do. Paul says something similar after receiving the call to preach to the Gentiles – he said “I did not immediately consult anyone.” Sometimes – when we say “I don’t know what to do” – what we mean is “I’m afraid someone won’t like it.”
- Nehemiah checked things out for himself (v 12, 13, 15). No hearsay. No someone told someone. He wanted to see for himself.
- Though he lived in the palace, Nehemiah did not forget that he was a servant of God (v 18). He identified with and felt the pain of God’s people.
- Obedience requires a backbone(v 19). A third name joined the naysayers and they were getting more vocal: jeering and despising.
- Nehemiah had faith (that God would make them prosper) and he had firmness with the enemy (“this is between us and our God”) (v 20).
Go, Nehemiah, go.
Happy Thursday, friends.