“8 ‘Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.”10 ‘They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favour in the presence of this man.’ NIV
‘We should deal much more successfully with men if, like Nehemiah, we dealt more largely with God.’ F.B.Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, p.205.
‘’In the LORD’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.’’ Proverbs 21:1.
Nehemiah’s request was clear and definite. He was to receive a specific answer
The idea of ‘’favour’’ comes up a number of times in the Bible. Think about the story of Joseph in Egypt. In Esther chapter 2 you can read about the ‘’favour’’ Esther found in the Persian court.
It was a big thing to ask: ‘’…favour in the presence of this man’’, because ‘’this man’’ – King Artaxerxes, had previously ordered the work on Jerusalem’s walls to stop (It is worth taking the time to read Ezra 4:8-23) You had to tread very carefully with despots like these!
Nehemiah needed a mountain moving, but he knew it was possible.