Nehemiah – A Man With God’s Favor

Daily God Walk for Saturday, September 19, 2009

 Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people.   – Nehemiah 5:19

 The book of Nehemiah has long been one of my favorite books of the Bible. It tells the story of Nehemiah, who held a high position in the palace of Artexerxes king of Persia, and his devotion to Jerusalem, his home land.

Visitors from Jerusalem had arrived and Nehemiah inquired about the state of affairs there. He was greatly disturbed by the news that the city was in bad shape. The walls were destroyed and the gates to the city had been burned.

The king noticed that Nehemiah seemed discouraged and asked what was wrong. When he shared the news God gave him favor with the king and the king took up the cause with him. He was sent to Jerusalem with enough money and supplies to rebuild the walls.

When he arrived there he was as moved by the condition of the people as he was the condition of the walls. The elders and leaders were taking advantage of the poor farmers and the workers.  They were extracting heavy taxes from their own people, causing them to have to sell their children into slavery so that the elders could live in luxury.

The true character of Nehemiah was shown when he refused to live lavishly and demanded that the elders return the monies they had unfairly extracted from the people. All of this is recorded in Nehemiah chapter five. Nehemiah’s prayer for God’s favor is at the end of this chapter that tells of the reform he brought to the political structure of Jerusalem.

The true character of a person is shown when he is given authority over others. Nehemiah had been appointed governor over Jerusalem, but he did not use his office to demand payment from the people. He had God’s favor because he was gracious to those over whom he had authority.

We should learn from Nehemiah’s example. Our character is tested and demonstrated by how we treat people of less standing than ourselves.

 Principle: How we treat those who are in need reveals our own character.

 Affirmation: I purpose not to take advantage of those of less position.

 Prayer: Lord, I know that it is less than noble to gain at the expense of others and I need your grace to consider the needs of others first. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm119:89-96– Jeremiah 27-28– 1 Timothy 3 – Proverbs 19

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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