I couldn't believe he was talking to me. I'm just the guy with the cup, right? Then I get, like this jab in my ribs, and a voice in my head saying, "It's your turn to man up now!"
I answered, “Your Majesty, I hope you live forever! I feel sad because the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and its gates have been burned down.”
Nehemiah 2: 3
Next thing I know the king is asking me all kinds of questions. It wasn't like he was getting all up in my business, it was like he really cared and wanted to help. You coulda knocked me over with a feather!
But there was that jab in my ribs again and the voice in my head (or was it my heart?). And I'm thinking, "Really, Lord, you want me to ask the most powerful guy around for a laundry list of stuff so we can go fix our hometown?"
(Can you imagine God sitting back, folding His big old arms, grinning, and nodding, "Yes!"?)
So I asked. Then it was the king's turn to say, "Yes!"
Jump back, Jack!
Before we knew it, me, bro, and the guys were on our way! Things were looking good for the old neighborhood. Who'd believe it?
Unfortunately, it was time for a reality check: not everyone was happy about the reno crew coming to town.
Sanballat from Horon and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about what I was doing. They were very upset and angry that someone had come to help the Israelites.
Nehemiah 3: 10 ERV
There was that jab in the ribs...again. It was time to fish or cut bait. So I called in the homeboys to let them know what I'd seen. If they wanted to cut and run, that wasn't on me.
But, no, these crazy guys were psyched! They were all over getting to work. Great.
And we did. But no sooner had we gotten the fork-lift from Home Depot than the hateful guys with the attitudes showed up.
But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked us and regarded us with contempt and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
Nehemiah 2: 19 AMP
And guess who was looking at me? Yep! The homeboys. They were through cutting bait. They were ready to fish, but they were waiting on me to be the first one to cast a line.
Okay, Lord, you and me! And if you don't show up, we're going to be in a world of hurt.
I shot back, “The God-of-Heaven will make sure we succeed. We’re his servants and we’re going to work, rebuilding. You can keep your nose out of it. You get no say in this—Jerusalem’s none of your business!”
Nehemiah 2: 20 MSG