Nehemiah Chapter 1 and 2
This is a message about hope = the absolute expectation of coming good.
In chapter one Nehemiah is there and he gets a report back about the people that were in Jerusalem. And he says, “how are the survivors who left from the captivity in the province? How they doing?” And Hanani, his brother, who just came back from Jerusalem, says, “the people are in great distress. The walls are broken down and the gates are burned with fire.”
Nehemiah gets this bad report. The walls are broken down. The gates are burned with fire. And I love this because immediately Nehemiah starts praying to God. He says, “I pray Lord God of heaven, great and awesome God. You who keep your covenant in your mercy with those who love you and observe your commandments. Please let your ear be attentive and your eyes open that you may hear the prayers of your servant, which I pray before you night and day.” So if you read Nehemiah chapter one, he’s crying out to the Lord. He’s saying, “Oh Lord, great and awesome God.” And then he starts confessing the sins. He says, “we blew it, but you’re awesome and your God.” And then he starts praying about his worries. “You said in your word that if we came back to you, that you would restore us and heal us.” So Nehemiah, chapter one is just this amazing prayer of this broken man who gets a report about God’s people.
Then in Nehemiah, chapter 2 it’s so amazing because after he finishes this prayer, the next thing you know, he’s standing before the king. The most powerful king in the world; Artaxerxes. He
sees that he’s sad and goes, “Why are you sad?” And Nehemiah replies, “My people are in great distress. The walls are broken down and the gates are burned with fire.” Artaxerxes responds, “what do you request?”
I love it because it says the Lord granted him his request. According to the good hand of God that was upon him. You know, when the king asked him, “what do you want?” if you read Nehemiah chapter 2 he gave him a huge list of things that he wanted. He even asked if he could get a house, if he goes back to Jerusalem, to minister, to these people.
Think about this. This is the most amazing thing in Nehemiah, chapter one. He’s crying out to the Lord. He has no idea what’s going to happen. And in Nehemiah, chapter two Artaxerxes gives a command for Nehemiah to go back and restore and rebuild Jerusalem. You know, this is also an amazing thing because in Daniel Chapter 9, there was a prophecy. Gabriel gave Daniel a prophecy. He says, “know this and understand that when the command goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, it’ll be four hundred and eighty three years until the Messiah.” When Artaxerxes gave that command in Nehemiah 2, for Nehemiah to go back, that kicked off one of the most amazing prophecies that predicted the exact day that Jesus came into Jerusalem.
Not only that, but in 52 days from that amazing prayer in Nehemiah chapter one, 52 days later, the walls were built, and it was so amazing that even the enemies of God said it was amazing.
Listen, you have no idea what can happen when you call upon the Lord in your day of trouble, because he says, “I’ll answer you and show you great and awesome things.” Hey, men ought to always pray and not lose heart. Seek the Lord while he may be found. You don’t know what can happen. Listen. In the Bible, the word hope means the absolute expectation that something great is going to happen. So call upon the Lord and expect this great and awesome God to do something in your life. And I pray God blesses you in Jesus name. Amen.