|With the queen sitting beside him, the king asked me, “How long will you be away and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I told him how long I would be gone.|
I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may letters be given me addressed to the governors of the province Beyond the River to allow me to travel to Judah. May the king also issue a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, directing him to supply me with timber for the beams of the temple fortress gates, for the city wall, and for the house in which I will live.”
The king gave me what I asked, for the gracious power of my God was with me. So I went to the governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. The king had sent officers of the army and cavalry with me.
When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard this, they were very angry that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
Nehemiah has thought through his needs and is prepared with a list of requests. The king grants his requests, providing official letters so he can travel through Persian territories without fear of being attacked and so he can gather supplies to rebuild Jerusalem. These are bold requests, yet he is given what he asks for because the power of God was with him. Yet even so, as Nehemiah begins his journey back to Jerusalem, we see opposition begin to arise around him.
Where in your life do you need to believe in the “gracious power” of your God and disregard opposition?