It is comforting to know that God has a plan. During the many trials of life, believers not only can seek God’s wisdom, but they can take action steps to follow God’s will. Nehemiah, for example, provides some wisdom and instruction for others.
Nehemiah chapter two begins with Nehemiah asking the king for a request to return to his homeland to begin the rebuilding process. The king obliged his request, and Nehemiah put forth his plan (2:6-8) to help his people. Make no mistake, God was behind Nehemiah’s plan, for He had called, equipped, and sent him to rebuild the walls. Further, God was guiding him in the process of confronting and dealing with any challenges that arose.
Surveying the Task
One of the issues Nehemiah confronts is the damaged walls. For instance, not long after Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he took the opportunity to survey the walls and the gates. For example, Nehemiah 2:11-16 explains how Nehemiah went to several walls and gates to see which walls were broken down and burned with fire (Neh. 2:13) and to simply preview the task at hand. Undoubtedly, he was making a list of things that required careful planning and work. He spent three days charting a course or plan to best present his concerns. Nehemiah models the needed and sometimes painstaking task of presenting a plan and surveying the task for the purpose of communicating the action steps required to fulfill God’s will.
Next, Nehemiah finally addresses these issues or concerns with the Jews (Neh. 2:17). He states, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies in waste and its gates are burned with fire.” He spent quality time addressing his concerns about the state of the wall and gates. His audience listened well to his intentions as he pursued his desire, and upon sharing his vision, the audience confirmed his convictions. Important to note, that his beliefs and vision did not come without opposition. Sanballat and Tobiah were displeased with the proposition to rebuild walls and seek the welfare of the people of Israel (Neh. 2:10).
Many people face opposition daily. Believers in Christ will undoubtedly face opposition and attacks from the enemy regularly, that is, if Christ-followers are actually living their lives for God’s glory. Nehemiah knew God had called him and was keenly aware of his enemies. Despite the opposition, Nehemiah knew God had prepared him for this specific task. H.G.M. Williamson writes, “He [Nehemiah] was not deflected by opposition, but rather responded with a positive assertion of what he had been called to do, and left the outcome to the God who had initiated the task (19-20).”
When was the last time God called you to a specific purpose? How did you respond to the call He placed on you? Did you face opposition? How did you react to that opposition?
How does Nehemiah encourage you to follow through with God’s specific tasks He has called you to?
Do you need to set aside some time to look over your life and seek God’s help to implement His plan and will for your life?
The Believer’s Study Bible
The MacArthur Bible Commentary
The New American Commentary (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther)
New Bible Commentary