Why Was “the Good Hand of God” on Nehemiah?

Of all the things that impress me about Nehemiah, “the good hand of God” intrigues me more than anything else.

After Nehemiah had fasted and prayed about what God had placed on his heart to do for Jerusalem, he went to the king of Persia and asked permission to rebuild Jerusalem. The king gave his permission and helped Nehemiah and the Jews in Jerusalem because as Nehemiah put it, “The good hand of God was upon me.”

Why was that the case? While we may not know for certain, the following ideas seem very pertinent to this question.

First, Nehemiah prayed and asked for open doors and for God’s favor. He sought God with all his heart, and God answered his prayers. Praying fervently and with urgency according to God’s will unlocks the windows of heaven.

Second, Nehemiah not only prayed to God; he also listened to God. God placed Nehemiah’s life work in Nehemiah’s heart. God blesses what He commands. Nehemiah heard the voice of God and followed His leading.

Third, Nehemiah carried out God’s work in God’s way. Sometimes we try to do God’s work in our way. When we do so we miss God’s favor because we are trying to get the glory for ourselves. God blesses obedience.

Finally, Nehemiah chose the difficult path. Nehemiah had everything he needed in Persia. He had safety, security, and a responsible work to do. What else could a man of that day have? In our way of thinking, he had it all.

Like Moses before him, Nehemiah chose God’s way over the easy way. God bestowed His good hand on Nehemiah and his work. Because of “God’s good hand” upon him, Nehemiah finished his work, delivering the people of Jerusalem from danger and disgrace.

May God’s good hand be over our work as well.


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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 (NIV)