Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Nehemiah-God Surprised Me With Blessings

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 2

From Nehemiah's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Nehemiah. I have been a servant in Babylon for a long time. I was cupbearer to the king. In the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes' reign I stood in my usual working position. 

A servant brought wine to the king. I took the glass, sipped, then gave it to the king. 

In all the years I've done this job, I'd never been sad when in the king's presence. Today, though, the king's sudden change from business to sad eyes showed he noticed. He set down his wine. "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart."

On the inside, I was shaking. I had never told him what was on my mind. I'd served him as I was commanded to do and never let any personal thoughts interfere. This time was different. I couldn't help it. 

I took a breath and forced myself to answer. "May the king live forever. Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"

The king looked surprised. After all, he had sent Ezra to repair the temple fourteen years ago. "What is it you want?"

I quickly prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king what God urged me to say. "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it."

The queen had been sitting by the king. He glanced at her then back at me. "How long will your journey take and when will yo be back?"

I said how long I thought the trip would take. I was so happy when he gave me permission to go. I then asked, "If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, asking for safe-travel until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest to receive timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple, the city wall, and the home I will live in?

The king answered, "Yes."

I would have jumped up and down right then and there if it had be allowed in the king's presence.

Can you believe it? I am going to the land given to the Israelites by the Almighty to repair the city. And, the king has given me the supplies I need to do the job. This day started out so sad, but God had a plan and has surprised me with His blessings.

Come back next time to see what happens.
sources: New International Version, New King James Version 
1. What was Nehemiah's job?
2. What did the king notice?
3. Why was Nehemiah sad?
4. What did the king give permission for?
5. What supplies did Nehemiah ask the king to provide?
6. Did the king give Nehemiah the supplies?
7. What blessing did God give Nehemiah?

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