Nehemiah 2


Nehemiah 2:4-5

The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” 


As a reminder, Nehemiah is in a key position in the kingdom – a cupbearer, the person who tests the wine before the king drinks it to ensure he is not poisoned. In this position, one acts as a protector, servant and advisor…someone who gains trust from the king.

He is in a position where he is found in the king’s presence often, often enough that the king noticed that Nehemiah was sad and asks why.


Nehemiah was ready.

When asked the question, “what is it you want?” Nehemiah was ready.  He had prayed (for 4 months), he had thought through what was needed (time, safety, supplies) and he gave clear answers on what he wanted – how much time he needed, letters to secure safety and supplies, and army officers and cavalry to go with him as he traveled.

Nehemiah was honest.

When asked why he was sad, Nehemiah was honest.  He shared that his sadness was sorrow of heart and he shared why – gaining sympathy before revealing the name of the city.  And his ask was big – time and resources to rebuild a city!

Nehemiah was obedient. 

Nehemiah was obedient to God and the king.  He didn’t ask for more than he needed, didn’t take advantage of the situation and we later learn (Chapter 6) just how dedicated he was, not allowing any distractions to keep him from “doing a good work.”

Life Application

Would you be ready if someone asked you today, “what is it you want?” 
We serve a God who loves us and knows us well, a God who knows what burdens our hearts, a God that created us for a time, place and purpose.  And, because of all this, we find ourselves in times of His favor, just like Nehemiah.  In those times, we must be ready, honest and obedient.   
God, I thank you for the favor you’ve shown me thus far.  I know you’ve created me with a plan and purpose and have put me in positions of leadership over and over again…whether for a reason or for a season.  May I never forget that, but rather seek your face for how you want to use me here and now.  May I prepare in prayer for future opportunities, may I speak up honestly when given the opportunity and may I follow through in bold obedience when favor is given. 

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-Rei Bailey

PS I think I found a new commentary that I love. 🙂  See the whole break down of Nehemiah 2 here ->