If it Pleases the King
Then the king asked me, “What is your request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.”
As I read this passage, I was reminded of Esther’s requests to King Xerxes. They began with the phrase, “If it pleases the king.” Both Esther and Nehemiah had tremendous favor with their pagan kings due to their submission, loyalty, and reliability. When we are faced with troubling circumstances that threaten our very existence and feel a need to respond, we would do well to seek the face of God with the same request, “If it pleases the king…”
In Nehemiah’s case, he desired to be sent to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The city lay in ruins and was vulnerable to further attack as long as there was no wall for protection. The wall needed to be re-built to protect the people and to advance the kingdom. The wall in itself was not important; God’s people were.
Any time we set out to do what God is calling us to do, we will face opposition. Nehemiah’s opposition came from surrounding kings who did not want to see Jerusalem succeed as a nation because a strong Jerusalem was a threat to their own interests. These kings set out to mock and intimidate those who had gathered to build.
Nehemiah did two very strategic and critical things before attempting to rebuild the wall. First, he surveyed the area in secret to see the reality of what he was facing. This was important in creating a strategy for the rebuilding. Any time you are attempting to build or rebuild something, you need a clear strategy for building. Secondly, Nehemiah cast his vision, and the people jumped on board to help him build. His vision resonated with the people, and they wanted to be a part of the building. Each had their own part of the wall to build and/or repair, meaning everyone had ownership in the re-building of this great city. They didn’t recruit people from outside to draw a crowd or exclude people from building their portion of the wall. They were a united people, and the threats of the enemy did not stop them. Nehemiah 4:6 states, “So we rebuilt the wall until the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had the will to keep working.”
To build God’s kingdom, we need His favor and His provision. We need unity to withstand outside opposition. We need a vision that resonates with everyone included, and we need to include everyone. People are more important than property, but when the people are valued, they will help build the needed property.
If it pleases the king, move forward and build. You are valued and highly favored in God’s eyes. I encourage you to find your portion of the wall, and don’t listen to anyone who mocks or threatens you. If you have a will to keep working, there is no telling what God will do with you! Amen!
Have a blessed day!