Summary: What we do when God has us in a waiting period is very important to our outcome. Nehemiah teaches those steps we need to take through his own actions.
The bible tells us that Nehemiah began praying in the month of Chislev (5th month of the Persian royal calendar.) Chapter 2 begins in the 9th month, which is called Nisan.
Distressed by the report of Jerusalem’s broken and miserable condition, Nehemiah approached God on behalf of the Judean Jews. He fasted, he prayed, he sought God’s mercy and help.
Four months has passed. We would have already given up and said:
· Must not have been God’s will
· I missed that one
· God just didn’t answer this prayer
· God doesn’t care about me
I want you to notice what the scripture teaches us. This was the most important four months of the story. And you could be sitting in a holding pattern yourself.
· Nothing is happening
· Your prayers have not yet been answered
· You don’t know what to do in this situation
Nehemiah shows us the exact steps we must take when faced with this same predicament. And to do this we must hold off on actually getting into this chapter too deep or we will miss a great lesson.
1. He Prayed – We talked about his prayer last week how Nehemiah prayed and fasted for God to make a way for his people and home to be restored.
2. He Waited – What a lesson we need to learn in waiting on God. We see a need and the first thing we want to do is go and meet that need.
(Ex. Mom and Dad taking care of kids – They have to learn to take care of themselves which means as parents, we have to wait)
There was a lot at stake here. What we are about to see take place in Chapter 2 would not have happened if Nehemiah hadn’t waited on God.
· God was not only working on Nehemiah’s prayer request
· God was not only working His will out for the restoration of Jerusalem
· God was also working in other people’s life
- Nehemiah - Ch. 1:11 – this guy is a cupbearer. God had to get Nehemiah ready for a much bigger job.
When God has a job for you, He is not going to give you the responsibility of changing the world around you until He has you ready and able to handle it.
(Ex. Moses – leading the children of Israel. He had to spend 40 years in the desert. Why?
He had to know his way around.
He had to get familiar with the territory.
How are you going to be a leader if you don’t know where you are going?
- King Artaxerxes – During the rest of this study, I want you to keep in mind that this was the king that ordered Jerusalem to be destroyed. He also helped put a halt on the reconstruction process. This is also the man that Nehemiah is working for. He must approach this King and get his permission to leave and to rebuild what He ordered to be demolished.
So He Waited – on God to get him to the place at the right time.
While he was waiting, Nehemiah was doing something that you and I never do.
3. He Prepared – While he waited on God to create the situation, Nehemiah was busy.
What was he doing?
He was working in faith and getting ready to go.
Nehemiah knew he would have to ask the permission from the King. And he understood the chance he was taking. So he wanted to be prepared.
v. 6 – He knew a definite time to tell the king – You can’t just guess
v. 7 – He knew he needed materials –
While he had the king’s attention he had to be ready to get everything he needed –
He had assessed the situation and wasn’t guessing on materials.
Nehemiah got a game plan. He wasn’t moving ahead of God, he was just getting himself ready for when God moved him.
Some of us are waiting on God to make a move for us but we are not getting prepared for it.
Needing a job? –
· Start getting used to getting up early in the morning.
· Get up and start getting yourself dressed as though you were going to work
· Anticipate what a work day would be like and get some things done around the house. Those things you won’t be able to do once you get the job.
· Start talking as thinking and talking what you anticipate
Don’t be caught off guard when God starts to move you.
Nehemiah had not only spent the last four months only in prayer. In anticipation of that moment before the king, He had carefully analyzed what he would need to carry out his plan; he had devised a proposal.