A God-saturated view of the world (Nehemiah 1:11).

A God-saturated view of the world (Nehemiah 1:11).
Photo by Anh Vy / Unsplash

Welcome to the Odd Verse of the Day series.

O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now, I was cupbearer to the king. - Nehemiah 1:11

Nehemiah is such a treat. 

Let's start with the context.

The story is set after the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and its temple, taking many of the people into exile. The combined book of Ezra-Nehemiah (that's right, they are a combined work that was separated much later in history) picks up about 50 years later and tells the return of some Israelites to Jerusalem.

Whew. Get all that?

The story focuses on three key leaders who help return home and rebuild God's house (Zerubbabel, Ezra 1-6; Ezra, Ezra 7-10; Nehemiah, Nem. 1–7).

Stay with me, because it's time to focus on Nehemiah. 

Who was Nehemiah?

He was an Israelite official serving in the Persian government. In fact, that is one of the main takeaways from our odd verse of the day! 

"I was a cupbearer to the king."

According to some scholars, being a cupbearer to the king is one of the highest positions one could hold. Nehemiah is not just some guy; he has worked his way into a highly-held position.

Call it hard work. Call it God's design. I call it both. 

Today's takeaway

You might not have realized it, but Nehemiah 1 is a prayer. It's a prayer of one of God's people praying for deliverance in the middle of a foreign land. Even though Nehemiah has it made in his position. He knows he is not home. 

And don't miss the crucial part of this verse: "Grant [me] mercy in the sight of this man. . ." Who is this man? The Persian king was likely the most powerful man in the known world at that time. 

Yet, for Nehemiah, he is merely another man. Nehemiah has a God-saturated view of the world, and any earthly king is still made in the image of God, just like he. 

This is a good reminder that all your problems are trivial to a God who has determined your value in advance, knows every aspect of you, and loves you deeper than you could ever imagine. 

Let's pray about that!

Father, we are thankful that you are a God of restoration and deliverance. You showed this to us in the Nehemiah story, and we trust you will reveal it to us in our own lives as well. Amen. 

Today's verse comes from my video series, Roll For Verse. In this series, I roll dice to pick a random Bible verse each day. Then, I spent a few minutes sharing devotional thoughts on the verse. If you'd like to join the fun and study the Bible in a new way, check it out on TikTok or YouTube.

@pastor.payton Episode 6 of Roll for Verse takes us to cupbearers and God’s redemption. This video is based on the fun format of Roll for Sandwich by @Adventures In Aardia Come back for more just like this. #rollforsandwich #rollforinitiative #d20 #d20games #biblestudy #verseoftheday #christiantiktok #rollforverse #rollforseries #boardgamegeek #dndtiktok #fyp ♬ Game Of Thrones (Cover) - Sada Alebda