An Audience with the King
This is the second in a series of messages based on the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the Cup Bearer to the most powerful ruler then on the earth. As one of the Hebrews carried off into captivity, Nehemiah had risen to a place of influence. The Cup Bearer was regularly in the King’s presence and had enormous influence because of his position of trust and his access to the king. Nehemiah became aware of the sad state of affairs back in Israel. The walls of the city of Jerusalem were down and its gates were burned with fire, a vulnerable and indefensible condition. The enemy had free access to the city and the people had so compromised themselves that they were losing their identity as the people of God.
Upon hearing the news, Nehemiah humbled himself and prayed. "Prayer is invading the impossible." This is the title of a book written by Jack Hayford years ago, in which he described the powerful linkages between prayer and spiritual warfare, between the king’s answer and a change in the affairs of men.
Just this past week a news story caught my eye. The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinajab, is in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. In an absolutely unbelievable affront to the people of America, he requested security protection so that he could go to Ground Zero! That wasn’t the worst part for me. The worst part is that the present Mayor of New York was actually entertaining the idea until such an outcry arose that he quickly changed his mind. This same mayor is the one who tried to appoint a Muslim Chaplin to the New York City Fire Department!
I relate these two incidents because they illustrate that a nation can become confused and that the result is a vulnerability that is characterized by compromise and tolerance of the activity of the enemy. As Nehemiah went before the king to ask for favor the stakes were high, both for himself personally and for the nation. The people of God were in a sad state. They were defenseless and had begun to compromise with their captors.
Last week I received a communiqué from our national office in which I was invited to join in prayer for the nation of Israel. This same President of Iran has missiles targeted at Israel right now. He is looking for a provocation to justify an attack. This time it is you and I who have been granted an audience with the king. His answer will have huge implications for our future and for the future of the nations of the world.
As we open the Word this morning, let us be in an attitude of prayer. The Lord has said in His Word, "Your walls are continually before Me." We have unrestricted access. Let’s use it wisely.