Do you find yourself in a strange place with a strange group of people at a strange time? Are you spending your time begging God to change your circumstances rather than asking Him to show you why you are there? Have you considered the probability that you’ve been anointed and appointed for a specific assignment at this particular time in your specific place with your specific gifts and talents? Nehemiah, a character in the Old Testament, found himself in that exact situation. Who was Nehemiah? He was God’s chosen man in a specific place for a specific purpose.
Let’s take a closer look at this person. Like you and me, he was a real person with real emotions. No doubt, he had some “good days” and some “bad days.” Bad days? Yes, you know those times when you can’t make any sense out of what’s happening around you. Everything within you wants to sulk, to find a corner, sit down and stick your thumb in your mouth.
The truth of the matter is it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. I know. I’ve had many pity parties since I’ve been saved. Oh, I’m sorry if I forgot to invite you. Then again, you’ve probably had a few of your own. Nehemiah was a stranger in a foreign land and his hometown had been destroyed by a fierce enemy. Ever felt like you’ve been hijacked or “jacked up”? Then I invite you to go on a journey to discover how to stay focused when you know you have an assignment and all hell is breaking loose around you.
WHAT DO WE KNOW FROM THE INTRODUCTION AND NEHEMIAH 1:1-3?
#1. He was the son of Hacaliah, whose name “means “the Lord afflicts; wait confidently.”
#2. He was in Shushan, the citadel, in the month of Chislev. Hmm…certainly wasn’t in his hometown, Jerusalem, but in the Persian capital. We call that country Iran today. Now that brother was in a strange land( and not by choice) in December, according to our calendar today. Brrr!
#3. He was the “cupbearer to the king.” Imagine that! He held the king’s cup. Poor thing? No, he held a high position. Then again, I can imagine him praying every day: “Lord, please don’t let there be any poison in this cup today.” If Nehemiah tasted the contents and died, at least the king would not be stupid enough to take a swallow.
# 4. He was a Jew. Guess I should have said this earlier, but he was one of God’s chosen people.
What about you and me? Sometimes we feel like we’re in a strange land, like God has forgotten us. But He hasn’t. Remember, He knows who we are, what He’s put in us and our assignment(s).
DID YOU MAKE ANY OTHER DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE MAN NEHEMIAH? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.
Proverbs 3:5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
WEEK TWO ASSIGNMENT: READ NEHEMIAH 1: 1 -11 and write 3 – 5 sentences in your journal or notebook which explain the problem Nehemiah discovered and his immediate actions.