“And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore the king said to me, ‘Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.’ So I became dreadfully afraid, and said to the king, ‘May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?’ Then the king said to me, ‘What do you request?’ So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.’” Nehemiah 2:1-5 (NKJV)
I have spent my whole adult life as a touring musician and speaker. During that time, the Lord has given me a unique experience in which I have visited over 1000 churches scattered throughout the United States (and several countries). One thing I have observed is that when God decides to move in a mighty way, He doesn’t just tell one guy His plan. He begins working in the hearts of several people, giving them pieces of a vision, and then He starts bringing those people together. Then, BOOM! A movement develops.
The rebuilding of Jerusalem is the best observable example of what I am talking about. First, God spoke to Isaiah, who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem unless the people repented. Then we have Jeremiah, who was the “on the scene” reporter during Jerusalem’s destruction, who also prophesied the season of Israel’s exile (and the terms of their return). Today’s passage can seem like Nehemiah was a random lucky guy. But when we connect the Bible’s books like pieces to the puzzle, we see God was preparing the hearts of several men scattered abroad. Then, He drew them together to accomplish great things. Notice how Daniel, Nehemiah, and Ezra all had pieces of the same vision:
“Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying ‘Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem.’” Ezra 1:1-3 (NKJV)
“In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.” Daniel 9:1-3 (NKJV)
As you pursue God’s Word every day, and He reveals pieces of His great plan to you, He is actually preparing you to join others to accomplish His perfect will in our days
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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