“And, the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me.”
I love that phrase, that explanation that Nehemiah gives, and we see this at different points in the book of Nehemiah, this reference to the good hand of God. But, if you don’t know all of Nehemiah chapter two, what happens is Nehemiah goes in before the king, King Artaxerxes, to risk his life, basically, asking for permission to leave his post as cupbearer to the king and go rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. And, I mean, there was all kinds of drama and tension in this chapter but verse eight just jumps to the end of the story and says the king granted me what I asked for.
God is the author and the giver of everything good.
So, notice what Nehemiah doesn’t say. He doesn’t say, “The king granted me what I asked because I was really smart in the way I asked it.” Or, “The king granted me what I asked because he was really impressed with all the great work I had done as cupbearer and so he trusted me.” Or, “The king granted me what I asked because…”. Well, he doesn’t say anything but this. “For the good hand of my God was upon me.” He gives all the credit to the good hand of God. Nehemiah knows what we all need to know, that everything in our lives hinges on the good hand of God on us. We can do nothing good apart from His good hand. He’s the author, the giver, of everything that’s good.
Nehemiah 2:8 Reminds Us that Every Good Gift is from God
This is why I find myself just saying all the time, just in everyday conversation, by God’s grace, this, or by God’s grace, that. Because, I know. I know and I want to remind myself. I want to remind myself at all times that anything good in my life, anything good around me, is all by God’s grace, because of God’s goodness. So, to the extent with which this might work itself into my vocabulary more and more and more and your vocabulary, I would encourage it based on Nehemiah chapter two, verse eight.
So, let’s pray. Oh, God. We say together today that anything and everything that is good in our lives comes from your hand. It’s all because of your grace. We deserve to be in hell right now. We deserve eternal judgment before you. We deserve to be given over to ourselves and our sinfulness. And, there is nothing good in us. Everything good in us comes from you. Oh, God. You’re the author and the giver of everything good. You are infinitely good. You are perfectly good. Everything in you, oh God, is good. And, so, we praise you for your goodness in our lives. We praise you for your grace, your good hand in so many different ways in our lives, all the things we take for granted, for your good hand in the water we drink today, for your good hand in the health we have, your good hand in the food you provide, for your good hand in immeasurable, uncountable ways.
Nehemiah 2:8 Leads Us to Live Aware of God’s Goodness
Thank you, God, for your goodness, and we pray that you would help us to live constantly cognizant of your goodness and not in any way taking credit or desiring glory for what only comes and ultimately comes from your hand. God, we pray that all day long today that we might constantly think if not say, by God’s grace, by God’s good hand this, by God’s good hand that, because we want to give you glory, oh God, in every detail of our lives, for your goodness in our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to Nehemiah chapter two, verse eight. Amen.
View the 2022 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.