"So they said, 'Let us rise up and build.' Then they set their hands to this good work"
Nehemiah chapter 2 was interesting. Very relatable to many of our circumstances. Four months have passed between the beginning of Chapter 1 and 2, but now God answers. Nehemiah's countenance was worn, sad, even depressed.. and the King notices (which could have gotten him killed!). The king inquires about his sadness and even questions what he needs. It was then Nehemiah offers an "emergency prayer to God" (I am sure he had been in the habit of crying out to the Lord during these months) vs 4 reads so naturally " Then the king said to me,' What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven."
We shared for awhile about Hebrews 4:16. Do we come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and help in time of need? As the study pointed out "he was ready to act the moment God opened the door". Psalm 55:22 says we are to "cast our burdens upon the Lord and he shall sustain us", not fret hour by hour figuring out all the details on how we can fix our stress. But here is what amazes me: After such a short prayer he knew exactly what to ask for! He asked for letters to pass through regions (like a passport) and a letter for Asaph for provision of timber. The King grants these requests and even sends horsemen and captains with him. Talk about God providing!
Nehemiah went out by night with a few men (probably for protection) to survey the wall. He did not tell the nobles, officials, priest, Jews, or others that would be doing the work. As he wrote "I told no one what my God had put on my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor any animal with me, except the one on which I rode."(vs 12) He was able to hear from the Lord. By verse 18 he was encouraging and leading the people to rise up and build. Declaring the goodness of God which had been upon Him!
Shortly after, his not-so-good friends (leaders/governors in the area) laughed, despised and questioned his work. His response: "The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build.."
Some applications we came to in our study:
- are we praying, planning and preparing daily for the work God has called us to?
- what are the facts of the situation at hand.. are we confidently looking to Him for the next step and lifting it up in prayer?
- are we responding to criticism with the right attitude? Personally, as a mother come across many critical people. For instance, many question the decision we made to have more children. Do I respond has Nehemiah did? I hope so. Not always. (Note: God showed me a great response for those exclaim 'I have my hands full!' May I reply: 'The good hand of God has been upon me!' Amen?!!) Whatever God is calling us to do, point made, we will encounter opposition along the way.
- as mothers we are leaders for our children. are we leading by example?
- are we rising up and building our home? even if this means staying up late or getting up early? it is "a good work!!"
"The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. " Proverbs 14:1
(Let us rise up and build Mommas!)
Next time we are covering Chapter 3 and 4... and thought chapter 3 was just a list of names... look again :)! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!