LORD God Of Heaven
So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and 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 prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. “We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. “Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; ‘but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ Nehemiah 1:4-10
Nehemiah who was the king’s cupbearer didn’t just pray for a few minutes Jerusalem after it was told to him that “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire” (Nehemiah1:3). He fasted and prayed before the God of heaven for many days and implored that God would hear his prayer and act on His word that He would gather those who would return to Him even if they were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens to the place which He had chosen as a dwelling for His name, Jerusalem. And then he became part of the solution, to see his prayers answered by asking of King Artaxerxes favor to be sent to Judah, to the city of his fathers’ tombs, that he may rebuilt it, even though he was only a cup bearer. And they king granted all his request according to the good hand of Nehemiah’s God upon him including wood to build the temple and the wall, along with some of his soldiers.
Once he was in Jerusalem, Nehemiah saw his job would not be easy. A secret night tour around the city showed him that not only was the wall and its gates in awful shape – – huge piles of rubbish would have to be removed before everything could be repaired. And Nehemiah also had real enemies to contend with who didn’t want the wall to be built. He made half the people do the work while the other half stood guard with swords, spears and bows. Those who carried materials had weapons in one hand and supplies in the other, and each of the builders wore a sword at his side. He also ordered the men to stay inside Jerusalem at night to guard the wall. Each one slept with his clothes on, taking them off only to be washed. Finally, after just working fifty-two days, the wall was finished and Nehemiah accomplished what he had set out to do.
Nehemiah had every reason to be discouraged, intimidated and to back out of his goal of seeing the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt but he didn’t. He told his enemies, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right or memorial in Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 2:20). We need to say things to our enemies who are in opposition to what we want to rebuild, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build.” We need to have an understanding that the Lord God of heaven is on our side and is for us and not against us and He will cause us to prosper. His word is unchanging:
Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:27-31
each one of us must walk humbly before God as all we receive is from Him and we must give Him all the glory. We must not be impatient about anything but trust God in and for all things. When we have poured out complaints and requests before God, we can trust God to provide us an answer in due season. He will not disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait upon Him to see what He will do. Though the promised blessings might be deferred for a season, they will come at last, and abundantly recompense the humble, broken-hearted, saint who waited upon God. Those who are just and live by faith and persevere to the end shall tread the high places of their enemies. While those who distrust or despise God’s all-sufficiency will find themselves in place they never expected to be. Yes, What God has done before He can and will do again. And doom always comes to proud and oppressive ones especially those who touch or hurt His servants.
The sins of men do destroy them as they sink themselves down into destruction and perdition. What is gotten by violence from others, others shall take away by violence. Covetousness will bring disquiet and uneasiness into a family; he that is greedy of gain troubles his own house and it brings the curse of God upon all the affairs of it. Yes, there is a lawful gain, which, by the blessing of God, may be a comfort to a house; but what is got by fraud and injustice, will bring poverty and ruin upon a family. God’s word is unchanging:
“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness! You are filled with shame instead of glory. You also-drink! And be exposed as uncircumcised! The cup of the LORD’S right hand will be turned against you, And utter shame will be on your glory. For the violence done to Lebanon will cover you, And the plunder of beasts which made them afraid, Because of men’s blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it. “What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, The molded image, a teacher of lies, That the maker of its mold should trust in it, To make mute idols? Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ To silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, Yet in it there is no breath at all. But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:15-20
The good news is that the Lord revives His work among the people in the midst of the years of adversity and trials. Our God is a God of Mercy and in His wrath He remembers to give mercy to His trusting one who flee to Him for refuge and rely only upon Him. Everything that we go through is seasonal and subject to change by God who still makes His trusting ones more than conquerors even when the vines and the fig trees are destroyed. When all is gone, God is not gone and His miracle working power never ceases. His word is unchanging:
“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him “and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Acts 7:9-10
Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. James 5:11
Yes, we might have seasons when we meet with losses and crosses in the world, but the joy of the Lord is still our strength. And He will make our feet like deer’s feet, and He will make us walk on our high hills. The great redemptive work of our Lord covers the complete person—body, soul and spirit. It reaches even into the realm of physical necessities. Jesus said to his disciples, “Take no anxious thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, How shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31–34).
We don’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and God is our source of our total supply, our provision, our exceeding great reward and all that we need. Through God’s grace and Spirit we can be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and stand until the victory and our breakthrough is manifested proving the faithfulness of our God. In the midst of all our troubles Jesus is still a balm for every wound, a cordial for every care. He is still a friend who sticks closer than a brother!