“And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my request”.
This verse is so deep with theological truth that we could spend the next week looking at this simple sentence and still not mine all the truth from it. But I would like to hit 3 important truths in a small way that makes this verse so deep and one of my favorite verses.
Nehemiah has just prayed to God. Nehemiah’s heart hurts for his fellow people living back in the land of promise but without the protection of the walls. So Nehemiah prayers to God, fasts, and then makes a decision to go ask the king for a favor. The favor is to leave the service of the king and return back to Jerusalem to lead in rebuilding the walls. Nehemiah understands that his prayer, fast, and decision is connected to God’s response to it. Nehemiah knows that he must do something and leave the rest up to God to work out. So the because is the connector of the actions of Nehemiah and the response of God. The same is true for us today. We must act by prayer and decision making and then have a “because” in leaving the rest up to God to work out. Fretting, worrying, and even many times waiting is not what God wants and does not lead to a “because”. We have the responsibility, like Nehemiah, to prayer and then in faith do something and leave the rest, in faith and trust, up to God.
Nehemiah knows that life, specifically this outcome, does not have to go his way. Nehemiah knows the king can choose something different or worse the king could get angry and throw him in the jail or even kill him. Nehemiah knows that things do not have to go in his favor. So when things do go the way of Nehemiah, he knows it was because of the grace of God, his God. This is a truth we need to remind ourselves of everyday. We each are going to take our next breath because of the grace of God. We each will eat something today because of the grace of God. Many of us will get to go to work because of the grace of God. Some of us are healthy because of the grace of God. We all could be in a much worse state than we are right now, and that is because of the grace of God. Every single good that happens in our lives is because of the grace of God. When was the last time you thanked God for His grace in your life.
Finally, Nehemiah knows that everything is controlled and every outcome is because of God. The Biblical word, ordained, comes into play here with this verse. When God ordains things to happen it means that God has allowed and been a part of every single thing that happens in this world, down even to the next falling leaf or rain drop. God’s hand or will is a part of and controlling factor in all that takes place in this world and more importantly in your life. God’s sovereignty comes into play here also. This means that God has complete perfect total control over everything. The next rain storm comes into play because God allowed and designed the weather to do that. The next sin you commit happens because God allowed you to stumble and become prideful in yourself. This beautiful Biblical truth should give us great comfort. Because remember what we talked about this past Sunday, “God is good”. And as Romans says, “God works all things for the good of those who love Him”. So whether it is the new baby or the pending cancer, God has complete control over it all and has it designed and controlled by His hand for His glory and our good. This is beautiful and encouraging and should give us the courage to face anything in the next moment.