June 17, 2018
NEHEMIAH 2: FAVOR AND FIGHT
Tribe Recap June 17, 2018 | Nehemiah Chapter 2:1-10
In chapter one of this book Nehemiah receives some disturbing news about the condition of Jerusalem and the situation his brothers and countrymen are in, and he enters a season of prayer and fasting. It doesn’t take long to read chapter one and soon you’re on to chapter two, but the amount of time that elapsed for Nehemiah was four months. For four months he prayed with fasting, waiting for the right opportunity and time to take action on what was in his heart.
In first few verses of chapter two, Nehemiah takes his life into his hands and risks a moment with king Artaxerxes. Looking down in the dumps is not a recommend way to serve an ancient king. Many have lost their lives for less. This was a moment with a human king to see what the King of Kings would do.
Nehemiah shoots up one last prayer in 2:4 before describing the problem the Jews are facing. “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you…” Nehemiah begins. In short order, you read that Nehemiah has indeed found favor. Prayer, fasting, seeking the Lord, and taking a risk is one way God’s favor often makes itself known in our lives.
Nehemiah is offered the chance to go. This is what divine favor does – it opens doors. Nehemiah says, ‘send me’ in verse 5 and soon afterward he has his permission and resources from the king. Favor from God opens doors, but we must take up the courage of soul to walk through them - to go on the journey and to accept the adventure God would place before us.
Nehemiah left his comforts behind to embrace being part of the solution to a serious problem. Through the doors prayer and favor may open, our destiny awaits. But our purposes aren’t the only thing waiting for us. In verse 10 we are introduced to Nehemiah’s enemies. Every great God-given destiny will be opposed by dark forces, terrified of being displaced and disempowered.
But the Lord will never leave us or forsake us. Through the doors of our destiny lie our purposes, our enemies, and a God clothed in victory and love for his children. We can expect to struggle, to suffer, and to face the ongoing strain of having to persevere. Nehemiah did. But he also found community, purpose, and a God who wanted nothing more than to dwell with his people through any fight or storm (Neh 1:9).
God grants favor to enter the fight. So we in turn arm ourselves with prayer and God’s loving-kindness (1:5) and boldly face our enemies - ready to run to the battle line. If the God of heaven, the great and awesome God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)?
Let us approach God’s throne with confidence (Heb 4:16), learn his mind, find his favor, walk through his doors, and fight his battles though we face enemies on every side. Prayer often leads to favor, favor often to opens doors, and open doors to destiny, the fight, and the great and wonderful presence of the Living God.