Nehemiah 2:17-18—Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we arein, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.
Nehemiah went in to serve the king his wine with a sad face. The king had never seen him like that, so he asked what was wrong. Nehemiah shot a quick prayer to God, and though he was afraid, he made the request the Lord had put on his heart. He could have lost his job and even his head, but the gracious hand of God was upon him. The king gave him orders to return and rebuild the wall, soldiers to protect him on the journey, and orders for timber from the forests. The king just wanted to know when he would be back. That shows you how trusted and liked Nehemiah was. When Nehemiah arrived, he surveyed the damage. Then he gathered all the officials and told them why he had come and the testimony of how God had given him favor before the king. The people responded to the vision and wanted to get started. God puts a burden on individuals’ hearts for what He wants to do through men. He inspires leaders to get support. God is the one that gives favor. We will often fear our situation, but when we commit it to God in prayer, we will see God touch hearts. Finally, we need to share the testimony to encourage others to see God at work. Soon after an inspiring beginning, opposition often shows up. Leaders of surrounding people groups came to claim Nehemiah was rebelling against the king. It was an old trick that had some success in the past, but not this time. Nehemiah focused on what God wanted done, not the taunts of the enemy.