February 14, 2003
Nehemiah being sorrowful in the king's presence, the reason of it was asked by the king, which he declared, and then took the opportunity to request of the king that he might be sent to Jerusalem to rebuild it, which was granted him, #Ne 2:1-8, upon which he set out, and came to Jerusalem, to the great grief of the enemies of Israel, #Ne 2:9-11 and after he had been three days in Jerusalem, he privately took a survey of it, to see what condition it was in, unknown to the rulers there, #Ne 2:12-16, whom he afterwards exhorted to rise up and build the wall of the city, which they immediately set about, #Ne 2:17,18 not regarding the scoffs and taunts of their enemies, #Ne 2:19,20. (Gill)
V. 1, Nehemiah's desire toward the sad condition at Jerusalem effected everything he did, even to the danger of his life being sad before the king.
Vv. 4, 5, he prayed in vv. 5, 6. But he also planed. Prayer without planning and work is wasted breath. Nehemiah already knew what he wanted. When the time came to request, he still prayed again. He had made plans already, so he knew how to answer the king.
V. 5, a true concern for God's work will result in going and working.
Be sure brain is engaged before putting mount in gear.
V. 6, it was highly unusual for the queen to be seated with a Persian king, who usually dined alone. The queen here was probably Esther, so Divine Providence provided Nehemiah with boldness to speak.
Nehemiah expected God to answer his prayer. He had all his plans already made. He knew what to say to the king.
V. 7, his plans were well thought out.
V. 8, this command is the start of Daniel's 70 weeks, 9:24, 27
V. 10, enters Sanbalat, will fit as a type world, the opposition the world throws against God's work.
Also we meet Tobiah the servant, a type of the flesh, the servant of the world and the devil (Geshem, v. 19) to hinder God's work.
All three, Sanbalat, Tobiah and Geshem were grieved exceedingly because of the Lord's work being done. We can also expect great grief (hindrances) from the world, flesh and the devil as we try to do the Lord's work.
V. 13, Nehemiah went to the dragon well and to the dung port by night. We were in darkness on our way to the dragon well and to the dung port until the Lord called us unto Himself.
V. 17, distress we are in... let us build... that we be no more a reproach... Nehemiah included himself in the problem as well as in the answer.
Note the wasted condition of the church today brings reproach upon the Lord.
V. 18, I told them..., Let us rise up and build. If God is in it, He will raise up the help to do the work.
For us: The church seems to be in shambles, laid bare by sin. So there is a great work to be done. We must not be discouraged. As we press on, the Lord will rase up help, so we can continue the jobs He has for us.
1) the Examiner.
2) the book on marriages.
3) various books and writings.
Even so, Lord Jesus, help us in the time of our need.