Politics have always been a messy business. Don’t believe me? This week we went back in time to the 5th century BC. Nehemiah, the Cup Bearer to King Artaxerxes of Persia, went back to Jerusalem to git ‘er done! The problem was that the wall was not rebuilt. The city gates were burned, and God’s people were floundering. Messy or not there are many great points to take away from Nehemiah. The one that I would like to spend a little more time on is his position.
Isn’t it a little messy for an Old Testament Christian to serve a pagan king? Do you think that Artaxerxes would ever place Nehemiah into a compromising circumstance? We don’t know that many details about Nehemiah’s job. What we do know is that being a Cup Bearer is an immensely important position. In the ancient world – an still today – being a world leader meant that there was a target on your back. Having trusted advisors was a must. The Cup Bearer was the one who made certain that a drink was not poisonous. That was probably accomplished by taking a swig of whatever the king was drinking first. In other words, Nehemiah was possible drinking poison every day that was meant for the king. We may not know how Nehemiah ascended to his position of power, but we do know that he was so close to the king that with just a look the king could tell that there was something wrong with Nehemiah.
This position was very God pleasing. Christians are the salt and light of the world. God wants his children to let their light shine before mean that they might see their good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. So that means if a Christian rises to power – even today – he or she should faithfully carry our his or her duties to the glory of God.
Want to hear more questionable situations? For example – should a Christian public school teacher instruct his class about evolution? We tackle this question and a few more just like it this morning in our Bible class series – Politics.
Please click HERE to find the Bible class slides.