Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 28, 2015

“The God of heaven will give us success”

Today’s devotion comes from Nehemiah chapter 2.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king.  Now I had not been sad in his presence.  2 So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick?  This is nothing but sadness of heart.”  Then I was very much afraid.  3 I said to the king, “Let the king live forever.  Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?”  4 Then the king said to me, “What would you request?”  So I prayed to the God of heaven.  5 I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before 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 sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?”  So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time.  7 And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.”  And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.

18 I told them (the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who would do the work to rebuild the wall) how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me.  Then they said, “Let us arise and build.”  So they put their hands to the good work.  19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing?  Are you rebelling against the king?”  20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success;  therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.”  Nehemiah Chapter 2:  Verses 1-8 and 18-20.

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Are you sad?

Are you afraid?

Do you not know how you should reply to someone?

Nehemiah prayed to the God of heaven.  Verse 4.

God helped Nehemiah and will help us as well when we pray to Him.

Regarding his request to the king, Neheniah recognized:  “And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me.”  Verse 8.

Nehemiah said generally:   “The God of heaven will give us success”.  Verse 20.

When Nehemiah told them (the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who would do the work to rebuild the wall) specifically how God helped him, they were encouraged and they began to rebuild.

When we tell others generally “The God of heaven will give us success”, a promise in Scripture, others will also be encouraged and engage in good work.

And, when we tell others specifically how God helped us, others will also be encouraged and engage in good work.

Other doctrine focuses on the individual and just exhorts him or her to use their alleged free-will and just do better.

Reformed Doctrine generally focuses on God and His promises in Scripture.

But, Reformed Doctrine also specifically tells others what God has done for them, fitting that specific help within and behind the promises in Scripture.

“Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.”  So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”  Luke 8:39.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;  seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  2 Peter 1:2-4.

Thereby, Reformed Doctrine encourages others to believe more, which in turn encourages them to engage in more good work, trusting God that He will give them success. 

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