As a cupbearer, Nehemiah holds one of the most trusted positions in the king's household. The cupbearer is required to taste the king's wine, to make certain that it has not been poisoned by politically ambitious traitors.
News from Jerusalem prompts Nehemiah to consider giving up this important position-to make a career change. His brother who has just returned from Jerusalem informs him about the deplorable conditions of the Jews there. Nehemiah cannot continue business as usual. He knows that their problem is his problem.
Nehemiah's prayer reveals the spiritual maturity that leads to his career change:
When the king asks Nehemiah what he wants, Nehemiah quickly breathes another prayer to the LORD and asks the king to release him from his responsibilities and allow him to return to rebuild Jerusalem.
Nehemiah arrives on the scene and spends the first three days assessing the situation. He then describes how God has placed His gracious hand upon him to rebuild the walls. The exiles respond to his leadership, saying, "Let us rise up and build" (2:18). In spite of opposition, Nehemiah and the exiles rebuild the walls in fifty-two days. The cupbearer to the king has become a notable leader among his own people.
Review Deuteronomy 7:1-6; 1 Kings 11:1-2. What reason had God given Israel for the prohibition against intermarriage with the Canaanites a thousand years earlier? How had the intermarriage of Israel's third king impacted Israel as a nation?
How do the returning exiles respond to Ezra's message regarding intermarriage?
What are the results of the survey implemented to determine the extent of intermarriage?
How does the LORD raise up leadership for the exiles who have returned to Jerusalem? What does this reveal about how God works?
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The 365 Daily Devotion, written by Iva May, is a brief devotion drawn from the day’s reading of the One Year® Chronological Bible delivered to your email. Each daily devotion concludes with several questions that strengthen reading engagement.