Day 10 - Nehemiah: chosen while cupbearer to a king

Read: Nehemiah 2:1-5

THEME: We know that God is able to select whomever He wants to do whatever He chooses. He can also raise, mould and empower the least of us to do more than we can ask or imagine. Occasionally we get a glimpse of what catches His attention.

It seems strange to emphasise that Nehemiah was a cupbearer to a king when the Old Testament book that carries his name records the years he spent away from court overseeing Jerusalem and rebuilding its walls. But it was Nehemiah’s cheerfulness as a cupbearer in the Persian court (a role where tasting carried significant risks) that would have caught God’s attention, marking him out as a suitable governor for Jerusalem.

When news of Jerusalem’s devastation caused Nehemiah to feel downcast, the king was immediately able to recognise his change of disposition, given that this was the first time he had looked sad before his Persian master. After a brief conversation, which Nehemiah had preceded with an even briefer prayer, the king released his cupbearer from exile to spend a season in his homeland, serving God with his customary thoroughness and cheerfulness.

It should come as no surprise that it is in the book of Nehemiah that we read ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength’.

Let us be known as those who serve the Lord with cheerfulness.