Before You Speak.
Do you ever sit and church and have a thought or idea that is in scripture that has nothing to do with the sermon that is being preached? This happens to me all the time... does that mean I should be paying more attention? Haha
Anyway, this week we were in Nehemiah 2. In this passage, Nehemiah is in service to the Persian King and he is distraught about his people, Israel, being exposed without defenses to surrounding hostile kingdoms. He enters into the king's presence with a sad heart and the king notices it. As the king asks him why he was sad, Nehemiah becomes afraid because he is going to tell the king why. Let's read:
Nehemiah 2: 1-5
“In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.””
So why was Nehemiah afraid? Well, he was basically saying to the king that the king was not properly caring for a province within his control AND that Nehemiah's focus was not solely on the job he was to do for the king.
The thing that hit me was in verse 4. When the King asked Nehemiah to tell him, Nehemiah pauses and "prayed to the God of heaven" and then he spoke... wow.
How often do my wants and needs come flying out of my mouth without petitioning the God of heaven? There are things in my heart that I know have caused my heart to be sad and when the opportunity comes up for me to request help, my mouth spouts without petition.
Are you like me? I would guess many of us could learn from Nehemiah. Let's take time this week to pause, pray and then speak.
Soli Deo Gloria