The God Who Sees

Why is your face sad?


Nehemiah had made an effort to choose joy in the king’s presence; to serve him with a glad heart, but an overwhelming sadness for his people couldn’t be hidden. The king knew. The king saw Nehemiah’s “sadness of heart”.

Read Nehemiah chapter 2

As Christians there is reason to enter into our King’s gates with joy and praise, but even when gladness is genuinely felt at the opportunity to enter into his presence and serve him, he still sees our troubled hearts. He knows. He knows when your heart is breaking over a wandering child, a broken relationship, the weight of injustice… He knows when your heart grieves for your people.

He is El Roi: The God who sees.

He knows every troubled thought that passes through your mind. He sees every tear that trickles down your cheek. As a good father who longs to comfort his child he asks, “Why is your face sad?” It is an invitation to come to him and share your burdened heart.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8

One of my favorite statements is a play on a well known children’s song. A sweet friend often reverses the lyrics and sings, “Jesus knows me, this I love.” Such a precious, comforting thought. Nothing you share with him will take him by surprise.

Is your heart hurting for the lost? Does your heart cry over the troubles of your people? He sees. He knows. And it pleases Our King to send you.

“…Why should not my face be sad?…” Nehemiah 2:3

Start Nehemiah from the Beginning.

Cupbearer to the King


“…Now I was cupbearer to the king.” Nehemiah 1:11b

What a privilege to holdĀ such an honorable position: Cupbearer to the King.

Job description #1: The cupbearer will stand in the presence of the king, and refill the wine cups of those who attend his feasts.

This is the same great privilege that you and I are given: to be in the presence of our King, Jesus Christ, at his side and at his service. To refill the empty cups of those who sit at the King’s table, to share the King’s wine with everyone who has been invited into his presence. What a beautiful picture of ministry within the church. You and I can sit by Jesus’ side, take hold of his wine; his blood poured out for us on the cross, and share it with our brothers and sisters when theirĀ cups feel empty.

To pour into someone else’s cup, we must be willing to pour out our lives.

“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.” Philippians 2:17

Job description #2: The loyal cupbearer will taste the king’s wine before it is handed to the king, for the king’s protection in the case that it may be spoiled or poisoned.

The duty of the cupbearer requires a willingness to possibly give one’s life for the sake of the king. Just as our King was willing to give his life for us. As Jesus prepared to go to the cross, to shed his blood and lay his life down for us, he prayed these words to the Father:

“Father if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

Jesus was ready to bear the cup that was given to him, according to the Father’s will. He was the cupbearer first. What about you? What cup are you being asked to bear? What sacrifice are you being asked to make for the sake of our King?

Continue to Day 4.

Start Nehemiah from the Beginning.

Spiritual Captivity


I love that God chose the Israelites to be his people. It gives me great hope for my imperfect ways and this imperfect world, because the Israelites were imperfect people too. Yet, God chose them, to show the world how immeasurable his love is. Just as he continues to love the Israelites, he continues to love you and me, no matter how far we’ve strayed or how strong the chains are that have held us captive to sin.

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

His love wants to free us from the inclinations of this imperfect flesh. He’s calling us out of captivity and into his kingdom.

Read Nehemiah chapter 1

Some of us, like Nehemiah, have heard God calling us back from a place of spiritual exile. And like Nehemiah, when we look around we see a broken world, full of troubled hearts, and we weep.

I have loved ones, very dear to me, who are not walking with the Lord. I see how the flesh holds them captive and I mourn. I want them to experience the love of Jesus and to know how glorious his kingdom is. I want them to join me in rebuilding the broken walls.

“…I continue fasting and praying before the God of heaven… who keeps covenant and steadfast love…”

Do you see the broken hearted? The people still living with great trouble and shame? Have you wept before the Lord for their restoration? For our restoration?

“God, remember your words… even if we are exiled to the ends of the earth… you will gather us… and Your Name will dwell with us… you have redeemed…”

Redeemed: to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.


Continue to Day 3.

Start Nehemiah from the Beginning.

Broken Stones – Rebuilding With Nehemiah

Open Bible
Broken hearts, broken homes, broken lives… Sometimes walking through this broken world feels like every step has the potential to land on shards of shattered circumstances.

We need Jesus.
He is the master rebuilder, repairer, renewer, restorer, redeemer!

I need Jesus. This year I asked Him to repair some broken places in my life and He brought me to the book of Nehemiah. Perhaps you’re experiencing some brokenness in your life too? Nehemiah is filled with practical encouragement to help us overcome adversity and build our faith on solid ground.

“you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…” 1Peter 2:5

Perhaps you’re leading a church or ministry among scattered living stones? Nehemiah is filled with spiritual insight to help us gather and build up this family of believers.

I hope you’ll join me for devotionals in the book of Nehemiah. Watch how

God can take these broken stones and build a beautiful kingdom.