NEHEMIAH‬ ‭1:1-11‬ ‭‬‬

“These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’ “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.”

Nehemiah‬ ‭1:1-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Nehemiah was a cup bearer for the king. This meant that he had the auspicious servants task of sipping the king’s drink and waiting for a poison to take hold of him. The position was created to keep kings safe from nefarious attacks. Though it was a dangerous and lowly position with no agency, it did give the cup bearer access to the king. This would often make a cup bearer, who the king liked, a tenuous but useful, unofficial member of the royal court. Jeremiah new this and was incorporated it into his prayers. He knew that Israel was in need of repentance, but also had a responsibility to return gods glory, in the nations, to its previous state. He prayed for repentance humbly, both corporately and personally. And he prayed for realistic opportunity to give that repentance a foothold. Even in sorrow, Nehemiah called on God to remember himself and his own want for benevolence amongst his people. When we pray, we can be as dynamic. We should be able to repent and petition as well. The key is to remember that we are talking to a God who is dynamic enough to want and deserve justice, but still love us and desire that we thrive. This is mature communication with God that we should take note of.

Published by Josh McGary

MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy.

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