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The Cupbearer

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer – Nehemiah 1:11.

Nehemiah was the governor of Jerusalem who helped rebuild the city wall. Nehemiah received permission from Artaxerxes to go to Judah and restore his people’s fortunes. He was appointed governor of the province with authority to rebuild the city walls.

Three enemies harassed Nehemiah and his work crew: Sanballat, the Horonite; Tobiah, the Ammonite official; and Geshem, the Arab; their objective was to stop the work of rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem.

The holy city was exposed and in ruins. The walls of Jerusalem were still broken down, and the gates were as the Chaldeans left them. Nehemiah was stationed at the court of Persia. He was in Shushan, the palace of the king of Persia, where the court was ordinarily kept, and he was the king’s cupbearer.

God has a remnant in all places; Obadiah was in the house of Ahab, saints in Caesar’s household, and a devout Nehemiah in the Shushan’s palace.  God can make the courts of princes, sometimes nurseries, and sometimes sanctuaries to the friends and patrons of the church’s cause.

Nehemiah lived at ease, in honor and fullness, but he didn’t forget he was an Israelite, and neither did he shake off the thoughts of his brethren being in distress. Although he was a great man, he had direct access to the king and was an important, influential person. In many cases, the cup-bearer was second only to the king in authority and influence.

Nehemiah didn’t allow his position to make him forget where he came from, who opened the door for his blessings, nor the sorrows of his people in Jerusalem. The Bible states that Nehemiah humbled himself and made reverent addresses to God, praying day and night for God’s favor for himself and his other servants, as well as giving his favor when he petitioned the king to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall.

Some religions teach that once you pray, don’t pray the same prayer again because it’s a lack of faith. Nehemiah was a man of God and had faith, but he knew to pray until he received the answer he needed from God. There are other Scriptures that instruct the believer to continue in prayer; that’s what supplication and petition prayers are about.

Nehemiah not only confessed the sins of Israel, but he confessed that both he and his father’s house had sinned against God. Confession of known sins cleanses and makes us acceptable to stand before Him. God answered Nehemiah’s prayer; He gave him favor with the king, and the king gave letters to the other governors to allow him to pass through. The king also gave him a letter to give to Asap, the keeper of the king’s forest, to give him timber to make beams for the gates and the city’s walls.

Mind you, King Artaxerxes was Persian, and Nehemiah was a Jew. Favor comes from God, who uses man to grant us our desires when we trust Him and not man. Satan uses people who don’t like each other to come together in agreement to try to stop the work that is going toward the kingdom of God.

This is what he did with Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem. They ridiculed Nehemiah, hoping this would stop the progress by humiliating him. After that didn’t work, they sent Shemaiah to prophesy lies to him to try to make him afraid. Satan does the same thing today; he will send people, even a church member, to try to influence you; you can’t do what you’re doing. It will never work, some will even say,” God didn’t tell you to do that”.

Spiritual walls have been broken down, and they need to be rebuilt. When building the walls of prayer, Satan will tell you, “You’re tired; you need to be doing this or that.” “You can’t fast; you know you’re on medication.” The first thing that needs to be done is to confess our sins to God and strive to keep your habit of prayer; it benefits you, not God.

Ask for the strength we need to re-dedicate ourselves to Him. Consecrate a fast, even if it’s for an hour or two until you have been built up. Pray daily; start with five or ten minutes until you gain the strength to pray for however long God desires you to pray. Read and study the Bible; don’t just read it when you’re at church, but it should be read in your home; time should be set daily to spend with God through prayer and reading His Word, the Bible.

Jesus’ return may be on any day; death has no time, but when either one of them comes, we must be in good standing with God if we intend to enter heaven! We get the strength to live according to God’s instructions when we spend time with Him in prayer and reading His Word.

Many Christians spend more time planning for vacation and retirement but not planning for their life after passing. There is life after death, and we must be godly people to enter His kingdom and spend eternity with Him. Read the Bible and apply the instructions to your life daily.

Take time to build the walls of your spirit. Pray, fast, read, and study God’s Word. Work in the ministry you’re affiliated with, give your talents and tithes for the work of the ministry and watch God’s blessings be upon you to prosper you in every area of your life.

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