Monday, April 23, 2018

The Cupbearer to the King

Submitted by Lara Cook
O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man.  Nehemiah 1:11

Nehemiah was a special guy.  He was cupbearer to the King of Persia and a trusted advisor and counselor.  He was not a priest or a prophet but he was in a divinely appointed position.  God placed Nehemiah in that position, serving the most powerful ruler in the world, to accomplish His will and purpose through him. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and taken many Jews captive.  Nehemiah had been born in captivity in Babylon.  His brother came to visit him and told him that his people who have returned from exile to Jerusalem in Judah are in a terrible state and that the city was in ruins.  The wall around the city was a pile of rubble.  When he heard this, Nehemiah’s heart was broken, and he turned to God immediately to pour out His heart before Him.  He wept, fasted, prayed, and mourned for days. He appealed to God’s love, His covenant with His people, and His mercy.  He knew that God is a loving, faithful, and compassionate Lord who does what is right.  He pleaded for God’s attention in humility so that He would hear his prayers and answer, and he reminded God of the promises He made to His people long ago.  
Nehemiah petitioned the King to allow him to return to Jerusalem to lead his people in rebuilding the wall.  A cupbearer to the King was a very prestigious position.  In some instances, the cupbearer was the Kings’ right had man. Nehemiah most likely enjoyed the best foods, great accommodations in the palace, and the esteem and respect of the king. But Nehemiah was burdened and had a vision.  He took a twelve-year leave of absence to carry out the vision God had placed on his heart. 
Servant LeaderNehemiah was a servant leader.  He was a servant in every form of the word.  Literally he was a servant of the king - it was his job.  But Nehemiah was also a servant of the Lord. He had a servant’s heart, with the strength of a leader.  His heart was for God and the things of God.  God had placed him in a position of influence that he didn’t hesitate to use so he could fulfill His calling and purpose for his life.  He gave up his amazing, prestigious, and very comfortable life to obey.  It was not an easy time for them as they rebuilt the wall.  They often were building with one hand and holding a sword with the other, fighting off their enemies.  The people had a great leader and were committed to the work.  They finished the wall in 52 days!  
Nehemiah is the poster child for a good leader.  His heart was in the right place.  He sought God’s direction and vision.  He was broken and burdened for the things of God.  He led the people in God’s vision for them and rolled his sleeves up so he could work and fight off the enemies alongside them.  He had earned respect and influence and used them both for God’s glory. He had the heart of a servant.  
Who can you influence?  How can God use you in the position He has placed you in?  God uses influential people to reach people and accomplish His will.  The Jewish people could see God in Nehemiah’s leadership and life.  What do people see in your life that glorifies God?  

Scripture to Claim:
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven… let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants…Nehemiah 1:4-6

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