Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Progress Surrounding Nehemiah's Preparations: Playing the Waiting Game

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:1-6
And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, "Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart." Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?" Then the king said to me, "What would you request?" So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, "If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may rebuild it." Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, "How long will your journey be, and when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time.

Insights: Notice verse one picked the history up in the month of Nisan, which is the equivalence to our April.  Back in chapter one, however, the month was Chislev, this is the equivalence to our December.  So, for four months Nehemiah has been praying for God to grant him favor with the king.  Notice that he had not been downcast this entire time, but for some reason Nehemiah had a blue Monday and the king asked him about it.  In his honesty and vulnerability, Nehemiah told us he was very much afraid.  He was afraid, because he could have lost his life for raining on the king’s parade, but God had answered his request.  Please notice the key phrase right after the king’s question regarding Nehemiah’s desires.  Nehemiah said, “So I prayed to the God of heaven.”  He has already received God’s blessing, but he knew he needed boldness and that God was the only One who could grant that to him.  Nehemiah made his request and the king then asked him how long he would be gone and Nehemiah gave him a definite time.  This point is crucial to the waiting game.  We don’t just wait and do nothing.  We pray and because we have faith that God is going to answer, we work and prepare for the assignment we know He has called us to.  The only reason Nehemiah could have given a definite time was because he had already prepared.

  1. Are you actually expecting your prayers to come to pass?
  2. In the waiting, are you preparing and planning for what God is going to ask you to do?
Prayer: Lord, let me not become discouraged in the waiting.  Rather, give me the heart to continue praying and planning for Your will to be done.  Amen.

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