By Ellen White
Nehemiah, one of the Hebrew exiles, occupied a position of influence and honor in the Persian court. As cupbearer to the king, he was admitted freely to the royal presence. By virtue of his position and because of his abilities and fidelity, he had become the monarch’s friend and counselor. The recipient of royal favor, though surrounded by pomp and splendor, did not forget his God nor his people. With deepest interest his heart turned toward Jerusalem; his hopes and joys were bound up with her prosperity. Through this man, prepared by his residence in the Persian court for the work to which he was to be called, God purposed to bring blessing to His people in the land of their fathers.
By messengers from Judea the Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach
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Excerpted from Patriarchs and Prophets, “A Man of Opportunity,” by Ellen G. White.