Here's another in my most recent Sunday Scripture series. I've been posting about my simple study of a little devotional journal titled Reflections: The Woman God Sees., by Jane L. Fryar. This was a journal my dear young friends Sam and Jennifer gave me as part of a set for a gift one year. It has a daily devotional one works through -- I think around a month's worth. It was a blessing to me when I worked through it, so I've been sharing my study here.
For this week, the featured passage was Nehemiah 1:11. The devotional pointed out: "In Jesus, you are the subject of God's limitless forgiveness and love. He delights in you!" The question was asked: "In what ways does recognizing these truths broaden, widen, and deepen your prayers?" I chose to SOAP Nehemiah 1:11 as I considered this question.
S= "O Lord, I beseech Thee, let now Thine ear be attentive to the prayer of Thy servant, and to the prayer of Thy servants, who delight to fear Thy name." (Nehemiah 1:11)
O= C.I. Scofield titles this verse: "Nehemiah beseeches the LORD for favor before the king."
Concerning the word "fear" in "fear Your name", Scofield explains,
"The fear of the LORD' is an Old Testament expression meaning reverential trust, including the hatred of evil."
🌿That the Lord's ear would be attentive to the prayer of his servant -- Nehemiah himself.
🌿That the Lord's ear would be attentive to the prayer of His servants who delight to fear His name -- that is, the children of Israel (verse 6) in addition to Nehemiah
🌿That God would prosper His servant Nehemiah
🌿That God would grant Nehemiah mercy in the sight of the king.
And he adds: "For I was the king's cupbearer." We know this was Nehemiah's job -- to taste the wine before the king raised it to his own lips.
Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary gives us this definition: "One who tasted and served wine to the king. Ancient kings had to be very cautious about what they ate and drank. They used trusted servants to taste everything before they consumed it. If the servant lived or did not get sick, the king and queen then ate or drank. Nehemiah held this highly trusted position under King Artaxerxes."
Cross-references for "cupbearer" --
"Wine was before [Artaxerxes, the king] ... and I took up the wine, and gave it to the king." (Nehemiah 2:1)
"And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, his cupbearers also, and their apparel, and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her." (2 Chronicles 9:3-4)
A= Jesus' limitless forgiveness means that I can confess sin to Him whenever I become conscious of it. It means I can "keep short accounts" with Him.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
Thus, I may come before Him at any time of need, shooting "arrow prayers" heavenward as Nehemiah did.
His limitless love means that He will answer my prayers in the way that will be the very best for me and/or the situation I am praying for. There may be times when the things I ask for are not His perfect will for me. I can trust Him to do what is best in every situation. Our heavenly Father will "give good things to them that ask Him" (Matthew 7:11)!
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us; And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)
Someone has written: "Thou art coming to a King; large petitions with thee bring."
P= "Lord, I praise You so much that I may come before You in prayer at any time of need, just as Nehemiah did in this account. I am so thankful that Your ear is always attentive to my prayer, and that Your limitless love assures You will always answer my prayers in the way that is best. I can trust You to do what's best in each and every situation I face. What a comfort! I praise You in Jesus' name, Amen."
There is the Scripture Sunday for this week!