Saturday, October 1, 2016

Nehemiah-What the King of Babylon Didn't Know

By Mary Vee
Nehemiah 5

From Nehemiah's Journal

My name is Nehemiah. I have been a servant in Babylon for a long time. I was cupbearer to the king. 

The king of Babylon liked the idea of Jerusalem returning to a strong city. Once her walls were built she'd stand as a city between Egypt and Babylon. 

I knew the king planned for Jerusalem to be a buffer against the Egyptian army. I also knew the Babylon army could probably take the Egyptian army, but not without many losses in men, chariots, and weapons. The king was smart as far as Babylon's safety was concerned.

What he didn't know was God directed him to have this great plan to restore His people to their land. King Artaxerxes sent me to Jerusalem to lead the rebuilding of the walls twelve years ago. My, time has really flown by. 

I was given the title, governor. Along with that title came many benefits I refused to accept. Previous governors taxed the people terribly on top of what the king of Babylon gave them. They accepted a huge allotment of food awarded to the man in the position. I did not. 

I saw my brothers and their families. How poor they were. They'd given so very much to work on the walls while searching for ways to keep their families alive. Taxing them more than what the king already did was a crime in my mind. 

Instead, I invited one hundred and fifty Jews, officials, and any who came from surrounding nations to eat at my table. Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared for me, which I shared with all who came to my table. Every ten days an abundant supply of wine of all kinds was also prepared. In spite of all of this, I never demanded the huge amount of food allotted to the man who was governor, because the demands on my Jewish brothers were heavy already.

So for this, I ask, O my God, to remember me with favor, for all I have done to rebuild the city, to comfort and encourage my brothers, to relieve them from the nobles' taxes, and to better the lives of these, your people. I did all of this for you.

Come back next time to see what happens.
sources: New International Version, New King James Version 

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