“And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy? And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the kin granted my requests. I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. The replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding.’ So they began this good work.” (Nehemiah 2:2, 18)
Nehemiah was a cupbearer for king Artaxerxes, and the king asked him if something was troubling him. Nehemiah’s response was that Jerusalem had been laid waste and was in need of rebuilding. Clearly, God opened the king’s heart to respond to whatever was necessary to rebuild the city and Temple, would be provided and he wrote a paper to the king’s keeper of his forest, telling him to provide the timber necessary to rebuild the city of Jerusalem.
Faith recognizes that all of the good things in life are expressions of the grace of God to us. When other people graciously supply our needs, their actions can ultimately be traced to God’s gracious leadership in our lives. Here, the rebuilder of the walls explained the king’s favorable reception of Nehemiah as God’s blessing and presence on the plan. The unhindered occurrence of an even is often explained in the Old Testament as God’s approval and support of the event. Seeing God working in their lives inspires His people to work for Him.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it is clear that You were involved in all aspects of the rebuilding of the Temple, the city walls, and involving Your people to perform the work. It is further clear that You were able to influence the king to participate by donating the materials necessary to complete the task. We can learn from this story, that before trying to tackle any problem, that we come before Your throne of grace and seek Your help. Your response is obvious in support of the rebuilding, even with non-believers. It is in this that we praise Jesus’ precious name and that we pray Your will is done. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“I would rather attempt something great for God and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
“You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the put his enemies under his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.” (1st Kings 5:3-4)
Events in history and faithfulness to past revelation can reveal God’s present will. Solomon saw the time of peace as God’s approval for Him to carry out the plans to build the Temple which God had given David. One generation gets to reap the peaceful benefits of a preceding generation. Solomon’s was a reign of peace because of David’s relationship and obedience to God. It is also true that David’s sin prevented him from building the Temple he sought to build for God. So, Solomon was given the honor of building the Temple to honor God.
“There by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions. I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, ‘The gracious hand of our God in on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.’ So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. ” (Ezra 8:21-23)
God’s grace calls forth our faith. He wants to provide for the needs of His people. Too often we are too confident of our own ability to supply our needs. At times we need to be ashamed of our lack of reliance of God’s grace, and let our confidence in God’s ability to do what He wants to do, to provide for our needs.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he go into the boat and left.” (Luke 8:36-37)
Jesus Christ used His healing powers to declare God’s good news of freedom from all kinds of oppression, including the demonic forces at work in people’s bodies. He was careful not to us healing as a main way of attracting believers, for He knew that belief based on supernatural acts hold little faith for the trials and tests of human life. His power revealed brought both awe and fear to the people. They did not know how to respond to His revelations, particularly when it threatened their economic lives.