The petition to the King
Nehemiah 2:1-3 …I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence. So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.” Then I was terrified, but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
The permission from the King
Nehemiah 2:4-6 The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?” With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.” The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.
Nehemiah 2:7-10 I also said to the king, “If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River… And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest…And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me…But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.
Nehemiah 2:11-16 So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later, I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding. After dark I went out… to inspect the broken walls and burned gates…but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. So, though it was still dark… The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans.
Nehemiah 2:17-18 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king. They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
Nehemiah 2:19-20 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. “What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” they asked. I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
God does it: Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 14:33
God commands it: 1 Corinthians 14:40; Proverbs 4:26; Proverbs 16:9
It’s good stewardship: Ephesians 5:15-17
HOW TO PLAN:
Pray – Think it Through – Prepare for Opportunities
Establish a Goal – Set a Deadline – Anticipate Problems
Calculate the Cost – Pray
We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” William Carey
My Decision Today