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Mar 9, 2007

What's your burden?

   Background:Nehemiah now ready with prayer, is off to face the king. His face is sad, though he must not appear sad before the king. He could get killed for that. Yet in Nehemiah 2 we read an account of how Nehemiah spoke with the king regarding what was troubling his heart. It presents a dialogue between the king and Nehemiah, along with Nehemiah's thoughts as he spoke to the king. During this dialogue, it is amazing to see Nehemiah's readiness for the situation. He knew how much time it would take and the legal documents he would need for the plan to which God had called him.

Lessons
  1. Ready to take risk for God's work-v1-3Nehemiah could have lost his job for carrying his sorry countenance before the king of Persia, yet he did. When God calls us for His work, there will always be a challenge a risk involved, probably the risk of losing your reputation as a sane man or woman, probably the risk of losing your job because you decided not to cheat another company and make profit for your company, probably being thrown out of home, probably being killed for going to a hardened mission ground. We might look like a failure before the world, but before God we would have done rightly.
  2. Prayer with hope of answer- v6 Nehemiah didn't doubt the request he had made to God. Remember in Neh 1:10-11 Nehemiah prayed for favour before the king and in Neh 2:6 he knew it had pleased the king to send Nehemiah to rebuild the wall. Nehemiah, though afraid to speak with the king, yet took courage in this that God had heard his prayer and it would be answered. I think prayer is a voice of faith, it speaks for its faith in God to be manifest in the situation.
  3. Prayer with preparation:v6-7 I love these verses, it talks about a man who had not only prayed but was also ready with his plan, as if his request to the king had been granted. He was ready with the set time, had speculated what he might face when the request had been granted. Nehemiah was fearful of his request to the king, yet he backed up his prayer with preparation, preparation for the positive answer of his request.
  4. God always backs up His plan for our lives-v7 says "And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests. " Nehemiah knew, God was in the plan, and so his requests had been granted. Nehemiah had understood the calling for him to rebuild the temple, it was in his heart to do so. He took it seriously and with much planning and the gracious hand of the Lord worked on his behalf. Whether we've paid attention to it or not, there will be something that moves us mightily for God, we could either ignore that and continue with our work, or pay attention to it and fulfil our calling. Even though it may seem reckless, as in Nehemiah's case he could lose his job, yet he went with God's plan and God backed it up, later Nehemiah goes on to become a governor in God's Jerusalem even under the rule of a foreign king.
Conclusion: What is it that burdens our heart? God's calling of burden will never be something to do with us. It wasn't Nehemiah's life that was a burden , he was in a good position as a cupbearer to the king-he was moved to brokenness to see God's house destroyed and the disgrace of his people. Would it matter to him if he had just let go of that burden for someone else? I don't think so, he would have probably continued being a cupbearer and earning his income. When was the last time we had a burden for someone else's betterment? Know this through the example of Nehemiah's life. When Nehemiah took up the burden for the disgrace of the remnant Israelites- God took up Nehemiah's burden of his livelihood, even when it was at stake before the king and gave him favour before his boss, the king of Persia.


Let us not be afraid to take the cross which God has given us because our God has given us a command and His promise.
Command:Luke 9:23 "Then to everyone he said, "If anyone wants to come after me, let him say `No' to himself, take up his execution-stake daily and keep following me. "(Complete Jewish Bible)
Promise:Matthew 11:28-30 "28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

3 comments :

Eddie said...

Hi.

Indeed, Nehemiah was moved greatly, over the destruction of Jerusalem-as was every captive Jew.

However, among the captive community,God raised up specific men to perform specific tasks for Him. These were tasks not only for God's Glory, but also for the Glory of Israel, His chosen people.

Nehemiah was burdened by the ruins of God's city, that without defensive walls, was open to any and all attack.

God moves in logical ways, and by logical means. We may not always see the end from the beginning, but we must believe that He does.

In rebuilding our spiritual lives, we too must do so in a logical sequence. A sequence given by God. For if we try to skip over over one aspect, because we like the look of another far better-then we will go in a circle, until God brings us back to that He wants us to deal with.

Thus Ezra re-established Temple worship, the rebuilding of the altar and began Temple reconstruction. Nehemiah was to follow Ezra by restoring the protection to the city and the Temple.

I have only just found your blog through Janice and her blog 'My Everyday Life With God.' I have it in favourites and shall be returning.

Just Passing Through.

God Bless.

Yolanda said...

VERY GOOD INDEED! Thank you for that awesome encouraging and challenging word!!! How Great is our God...His Yoke definitely is LIGHT! God Bless You!!!

Sista Cala said...

Classic example of the saying; whom God calls, He equips.

Excellent post as usual.