The ministry of Nehemiah to rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem could never have occurred without the favor of God.
The real story is found embedded in the timing of an incident recounted in the book of Nehemiah.
For four months Nehemiah had been praying and grieving over the report, brought by his brother, Hanani, of the shameful way the Jewish survivors still living in the Holy Land were being treated, and the neglected condition of the City of Jerusalem.
During his prayer time, recorded in Nehemiah 1:7 ISV, he alludes to the Passover saying
“We have abandoned you by not keeping your commands, your ceremonies, and your judgments that you proscribed to your servant Moses”
In the month of Nissan, with the Jewish feast of Passover looming, Nehemiah is preparing wine for the King.
He is distressed, and allowed it to show in his face before the King. Artaxerxes questions Nehemiah and learns of his concern for Jerusalem, the city of his ancestors. When the king asks what he wanted he requested permission to rebuild the city.
Now here we encounter the sovereign provision of God.
In one short phrase in Nehemiah 2:6 ISV "With his queen seated beside him".
“With his queen seated beside him, the king asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you return?"
The king thought it was a good idea to send me, so I presented him with a prepared plan”.
He turned his head and looked at his wife, the Queen.
Who was his queen?
None other than the beautiful girl of Jewish descent named Esther!The historian Josephus clearly identifies her
The historian Josephus clearly identifies her as such. (Antiquities, XI, vi, 1. ff).
Here is the setting, with king Artaxerxes on his throne, Esther sitting beside him, and the Jewish Cup-bearer presents his case.
The ISV calls it a prepared plan! Can you visualize the King, listening to Nehemiah, grasping the fact that Nehemiah is talking about rebuilding Jerusalem, then he turns his head and looks over at his wife. She smiles back at him and gives an imperceptible nod, yes!
Immediately King Artaxerxes opens his check book, and gives Nehemiah what amounts to a blank check.
Nehemiah now has Visas to pass through the provinces of Trans-Euphrates unhindered. He has authority to draw on the Royal Commissioner of Forests for all the timber and stone he needs. He has Army Officers and Cavalry to accompany, and protect him.
All this came about, by an imperceptible nod of Esther’s head!
Her uncle Mordecai once told her:
“Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for a time like this?" Esther 4:14 ISV
Your dreams to touch and transform lives around you, can be brought to the throne of God in prayer. God has a way of accomplishing things you never dreamed of. Pray, and let God work out the details.
God uses small things to perform great purposes!
© 2015 Jim Cole-Rous