Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.
BIG REQUEST, BIG PROVISION
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
“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. And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. Then I came to the governors of the provinces beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen” (Nehemiah 2:6-9, NASB).
Nehemiah’s heartbreak over the reported broken walls and burned gates of the holy city lead to a bold request of the king. This week we hear the king speak.
Artaxerxes, the Persian king had a reputation. Whether a person lived or died was at his pleasure Good thing Nehemiah prayed before he entered the man’s presence. The monarch on this particular day asked a simple question. “How long will your journey be?”
I don’t know how Nehemiah calculated the length of time he needed to be gone, but he gave the king a definite answer. Next, not only did he ask for an extended leave of absence, which, was simply never done. Nehemiah also asked for a blank check to receive all of the materials needed for the building project, and for safe passage as he traveled.
Even more surprising than Nehemiah’s unheard of big request from the man with an even bigger reputation, was the king’s provision. He provided all that Nehemiah had asked for, plus officers and horsemen (soldiers), from the King’s personal army to escort and help him.
Isn’t that like God? He provides exceedingly, abundantly above all we can think to ask. (Ephesians 3:20a Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think)
When I think of Nehemiah’s boldness, and the amazing answers to his big prayers. I am both in awe, and even a little overwhelmed at how big the provision was in response. But aren’t we like that? We think the request is too big so we don’t ask, or we are afraid of the reputation of the person who has the resources . . . so we hold back.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
- He prayed and fasted (chapter one) before he approached the king.
- He had calculated his time and made a plan so he could be ready when the king questioned the cost.
- He approached the throne with bold confidence, but also with reverence.
Wow. There have been many times in my life that I wish I had that kind of boldness. What questions can we ask ourselves so that we can affect change?
- Have we counted the cost before we forge ahead with something?
- Is there anything about our relationship to our King (God) that makes us afraid to approach Him?
- What provisions don’t we have because we haven’t asked for them?
- What enemy territory will I walk through that I need the King’s “letters” (the Holy Spirit) to grant me safe passage?
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