Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work. Nehemiah 2:17-18
Nehemiah's compassion for his fellow Israelites led him to action. At great risk, he spoke to the king and was granted leave to lead in the rebuilding of Jerusalem's broken down walls. After surveying the damage and determining the size of the project, Nehemiah stood before the discouraged people and inspired them to begin the job. Notice that they were encouraged by two things Nehemiah said.
First, Nehemiah explained that God had graciously saved his life. A cupbearer that exhibited sadness in front of the king not only lost his job; he lost his head. However, when Nehemiah had been unable to hide his grief over Jerusalem's condition in the king's presence, God graciously spared his life.
Second, the king was willing to participate in the rebuilding project. He gave Nehemiah timber from the royal forest and sent army officers and cavalry to ensure safe passage for Nehemiah. When the people heard how God had worked, they said, "Let us start rebuilding."
It's amazing how God works. He moved the heart of a pagan king to spare Nehemiah's life and supply materials for rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was willing to risk his life to serve God. What are you and I willing to risk in order to do great things for God?
Father, thank You for the privilege of allowing us to be involved in Your work. Give us the courage we need to do great things for You. In Jesus' name. Amen.