Nehemiah 2: 1-10

Why God Has Us Wait !!!


Intro: God loves you & has a wonderful plan for your life – Old clichι – it is common place –

A)But there is a verse in the Bible that Validates that Statement: Eph 2:10


10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.


B) Consider: We are His workmanship – Word Poemia – grk – Poem

1) Means – Work of Art – Masterpiece


C) God is the master Creator – Master painter – He has employed the HS as his Brush – the earth is His Canvas

1) And right now – well He is painting your life –


D) As He does - Your life is taking on greater color / greater dimension greater purpose with each stroke of His Brush


E) So you are according to God his Masterpiece – His Work of art


He has something Prepared for you and He is preparing you for that Work –

A) Before you were born – he had a specific plan – Specific DNA to determine weather you would be right handed or left handed


B) Brown eyes or Blue / Blond hair or Black hair / Weather you would like fishing or Football

1) Musically gifted or Mechanically minded –


C) So much of who you are has been determined by God as Part of his Master plan for your life –

1) Prepared Good works for you to walk in – A walk for you to will towards


D) The question is are you walking according to that Plan

See Sometimes we hear that God has a plan for us & our first response is great – awesome – wonderful – next response is Fear

A) Wait if I surrender entirely to God He is going to do something to my life I don’t want – Send me someplace I don’t want to go


B) I used to think that way: if I give my life entirely to God I know what He is going to do – SEND ME TO AFRICA

1) I didn’t want to go to Africa – Giant bugs – carry babies away


C) Learned later – God is going to send you to Africa – love for bugs


D) Delight yourself in me desires of your heart- Take your desires and make him his


Guess what I am doing a week from today: Going to Africa & I am excited about it – 1st Pastors Conf. – 80 pastors Kenya

A) I still don’t like Bugs – but I love God’s people – Africa needs the Lord to raise up Godly men – 10 days pour into them


B) See it is a Marvelous day in the life of a Christian when they understand God has a plan for me – I want to walk in that Plan


C) That is where we find Nehemiah here at the Beginning of Ch.2


He is living in Babylon – Born in Exile – under Babylonian Captivity

A) After 70yrs of Captivity – The B/C is replaced by Persian Prosperity


B) Nehemiah is given a great Job – Kings cupbearer – Important / Prestigious – position{ Continually at the kings side

1) Also a little Dangerous – taste food make sure not Poisoned


C) Nehemiah is living Comfortably in Babylon – Enjoying Persian Prosperity – all changes one day –

1) Receives a visit from some  friends who had come from his native homeland Bad report – Walls are still down – gates burned with fire –

D) We learned this about Nehemiah last week – he was a man of Compassion - - He got a Burden

1) Burden led Him to Fast & Pray;


E)How long did Nehemiah fast & Pray – How long before God answered ? -   V.1 of Ch.2 gives us insight

And it came to pass in the month of [Datsun newer model ]  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.


Now According to the astronomers, in the year 445 BC, the month of Nisan began at the equivalent of our14th day of March on our calendar.

A) Last week we looked at events that took place during the month of Chislev


B) that is when Nehemiah first heard about the state of affairs in Jerusalem – Chislev was December

1) So from December to March tells us that 4 months have gone by !!


C) Nehemiah has been fasting & praying for 4 months – but God has not answered -  Why? Why does God have Nehemiah Wait ?– us wait ?


D) God often works in lives this way today. We are hasty, impatient creatures. We want our prayers answered tomorrow, or even yesterday!

1) We pray, and we expect God's answer right away. But God often delays his answers.   Why ? Is it because he is impotent or unwilling? – No


There is much teaching in Scripture that a delayed answer does not indicate an unwilling God.

A) We are taught again and again in Scripture to persevere in prayer -- to keep praying till the answer comes – WHY?


B) God is working in that time of waiting – Waiting is Prep time

1) note 4 things that God was preparing during this time of Waiting

                             1st Preparing Nehemiah

C) It is during this time that Nehemiah was learning to Pray – learning to trust – learning to give things to the Lord

1) His Burden is going to turn into a Vision


D) Too often we can be very impetuous – there is a need –we get a Burden & the next thing we know –taking matters into own hands

1) Nehemiah doesn’t do that – He waits on the Lord


E) In that time of waiting – God is working on Nehemiah


God used Jon Courson to confirm our calling to Oregon in 1989 – But God didn’t send us for 2 more yrs - until 1991

A) Those 2 yrs were Prep time – I was given more responsibility here at the Fellowship – { Went on 1st overseas mission trip – Essential


B) Those two yrs were tremendous time of Preparation God working on my heart – strengthening our Faith 


C) Coming back to Vista from Oregon – Asked by Brian 2 yrs before – He thought He was leaving then – I wasn’t ready – RESTLESS

1) For two yrs God worked on my heart – taught me to Rest – not Strive

 not despise the day of small things – taught me to delegate { Limitations


D) Asked the 2nd time pray about coming back – I wasn’t interested at first

 I was so Content in Oregon


E) 14 months 1st land proposal – Prep time – Walk in Faith step out in Faith



A) Note : He has been doing it undetected – I had never been sad in the kings Presence before – Federal Crime


B) it was forbidden to be sad in the presence of the king. The idea was that the king was such a wonderful person that merely being in his presence was supposed to make you forget all your problems.

C) When Nehemiah looked sad, it could have been taken as a terrible insult to the king. PUNISHABLE BY DEATH

1) So for 4 months Nehemiah is Praying / fasting / burdened and the only one who knows it is God


Nehemiah is practicing something that Jesus taught – Praying & Fasting don’t make a public spectacle of it – do it Privately

A) Prayer closet – cry out to the Lord – make your burden known


B) Then go work – Trust it is in the Lord’s hands


C) Some people do the opposite – they are all glum – sad countenance

What is wrong ? Don’t tell – but I am Fasting –

1) Why ? Single – Fasting for a Wife

2) My husband is a real jerk -  Fasting God changes him


D) NO don’t do that { PRIVATE THING


Nehemiah is to be commended here – truly waiting on the Lord – and trusting in the Lord

A) He is in the Kings Presence every day for 4 months before the King can detect that something is wrong


B) In those 4 month’s God was doing a work in Nehemiah’s heart –

1) He was Preparing Nehemiah


C)  We learned from the his prayer at the end of Chapter 1 that Nehemiah Discerned that Artx would be a part of the Plan


D) But Nehemiah hasn’t been trying to persuade Artx  for 4mths

1) he hasn’t been dropping little hints – singing oh Jerusalem oh Jerusalem – { that is what the flesh does – schemes maneuver 4mths


C) He is praying – trusting waiting – that God is going to work on the kings heart

Your spouse needs help needs to GROW – Do you Pray for them – Seek to be an example to them – Or drop notes around the house

A)Ministry: Try to finagle your way in their – drop hints – push open doors

                                             That is the Flesh –


B)  We hate to wait: Yet the Bible tells us the benefits of waiting on the Lord

Isa 40:31 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.


Ps 27:14

14 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!




Ps 62:5-6 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

                             RESULT : SECURITY


Lam 3:25-26  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.  26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly

                                        RESULT DIRECTION


C) Nehemiah waits on the Lord – He doesn’t have to say anything to the King – the King ends up saying something to Him


LISTEN: When you wait on the Lord in prayer, you are not wasting your time; you are investing it.

A) God is preparing both you and your circumstances so that His purposes will be accomplished.


B) When we wait the Lord gives Strength – hope – Direction

1) We see our Problem in light of his Provision –


C) We begin to see the possibilities of the what might happen – what God can do – Burden turns into Vision –

1) That is what happens here with Nehemiah


D)  God Was preparing Nehemiah – those 4months have been a time of gaining strength hope &  direction

1) And his burden is growing to the point where it was finally noticeable


2 Therefore the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart."

A) 2nd thing we see is that God was Preparing the King !!! – Instead of being offended by Nehemiah’s Countenance – he is concerned


v.2b So I became dreadfully afraid,3 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?"


B)) Traditionally, the Jews do have tremendous respect for the dead and for the bodies of the dead.

1) Today in Israel if you’re starting to build a building and you come across a tomb, the whole project stops. 


C) The rabbis are out there and they have to go over a ritual and you have to then take the bones and carry them off someplace else and bury them in a ceremonial way.


D) Special tombs – Abe / David / Rachel


E) Now the Persians also had the same kind of respect for the sepulchers, the tombs or the burial places of their ancestors.


F) So when Nehemiah brings up the fact that “the burial places of his fathers  are lying waste,

1) He hits on an area that would have been sensitive to Artx – Notice the result V. 4 Then the king said to me, "What do you request?"

Artx’s heart had been prepared to respond in this way – by the Lord

A) It was odd for a king to show this type of Concern for one of his servants -  What do you Request


So I prayed to the God of heaven.5 [ FAX PRAYER – HELP ]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."6 Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), "How long will your journey be? And when will you return?" So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. 7 Furthermore I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah,8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy."


Here we see the 3rd Reason for waiting: Gave Time for a Plan to be Developed { Like a Child in the womb – grows & Develops – Sometimes the VISION – needs time to grow & Develop – before birthed or shared

A) So not only had Nehemiah prayed for this opportunity, but he had also planned for it and had his answer ready.


B) During those four months of waiting, he had thought the matter through and knew exactly how he would approach the project.

1) His reply to the king can be summarized in two requests:

“Send me!” (Neh. 2:4–6) and “Give me!” (vv. 7–10)


C) Nehemiah couldn’t leave his post without the approval of the king, nor could he work in Jerusalem without the authority of the king.

1) Pressure from local officials had stopped the work once before (Ezra 4), and Nehemiah didn’t want history to repeat itself.


D) So Nehemiah had a Plan that involved a Time Frame & Provision needed

1) He needed letters of introduction that would guarantee safe travel and hospitality between Susa and Jerusalem.

He also requested letters of authority that would provide the materials needed for the construction of buildings and walls.

A)Nehemiah had done his research well. He even knew the name of the keeper of the king’s forest!) Well thought Plan


B) God honors a Plan: I weary of those who seek to go out and do things for the Lord – no plan – no direction – just going by faith


C) Going out in faith doesn’t mean you’re going out in a Haphazard disorderly manner

1) God sometimes works in that way – But God is also a God of order

   Jesus had groups Sit in groups of 50 / camp in the tribes –


D) God commends those who think thru the project to count the cost

1) Luke 9 Wise builder: Counts the Cost before he even starts the Project


E) Wise King – going to war – Counts the Cost – make sure he has enough fire power to make it


Jesus commended that mentality – Wisdom – those who calculate the Cost – Always factoring in the Lord who is the great Provider

A) I have seen many people launch out into ministry – not having counted the cost – doesn’t take long – before discouraged – stressed out


B) Some of the most disillusioned people I have ever known in ministry are those who are paying the price for not thinking thru their plans


C)  How that relates to CCV – Radio cut backs -  Mission’s trips

No new Missionaries –

1) For the next two yrs we fill that we need to see this as our main Missions Emphasis – the Home front





So Nehemiah shares his well thought Plan: Result  8-9 And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.9 Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me

A) It is interesting how the Lord will sometimes use even unbelievers in the furtherance of His plan


B) He used Hiram the King of Syria to supply David with the Lumber needed for Solomon to build the temple

1) He used Cyrus to deliver His people from Babylon 

2) Caesar issued the decree that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem


Phil 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.


C) Sometimes His means of a supplier comes from –an unbeliever


All of Nehemiah’s needs were Supplied –

A) Letters of endorsement FOR PASSAGE / Materials for PROVISION He


B) The King EVEN gives Neh something he didn’t even ask for

v.9 tells us – he sent captains from his army for PROTECTION

1) Passage / Provision / Protection 


Eph. 3:20  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,


C) Notice Nehemiah’s perception of the Favor he received

Neh 2:8 And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.


For 4 months Nehemiah had been earnestly praying that God would send him to Jerusalem – that he would Change the heart of the king

A) And when he is given the green light – he knows why – God’s hand is upon me – what a boost of confidence for Nehemiah

So Waiting on the Lord – Prepares us - / Prepares those that God wants to use to help us / Provides time for God to unfold a Plan

A) And in this case – There was also a prophetic reason for the wait

Back to V.1 – Beginning of Nisan – March 14th 445 BC


B) Does that date ring a Bell to you ? It should – you see about 70yrs before this event God prophesied thru the Prophet Daniel – Incredible Prophet


C) That the coming of Messiah would be 173,880 days From the time that the King would – issue the decree for a group to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and the walls


God orchestrated the wait for this reason – Artx issues the Decree

A) Stop watch starts – count the days using a Lunar Calendar - April

6th AD 32 – the day Jesus rides into Jerusalem – 483 yrs later


B) Or to the day: 173,880 days later – The Messiah shows up

1) God Knew that event was going to happen – So He holds up this situation with Nehemiah for that Prophetic reason


C) Messiah was coming – Cut off but not for Himself – Hosanna or Crucify

1) Choose to Believe or Not believe




You are His Workmanship – Prepared a way – preparing you

A) Orchestrating – the time / the place – the scenario


B) Are you willing to walk in that way ?


C) Surrender