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GOVERNMENT AND OPPORTUNITIES – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:        Biblical view on government, our part is
.             to pray and be thankful for our leaders
SCRIPTURE:    Neh.1:1-2:20, 1Tim.2:1-2
Style:        drama/conversation:  Nehemiah tells
.             a friend how his plan unfolded in order
.             to get King Artaxerxes to agree to
.             helping them rebuild Jerusalem
Cast:         NEHEMIAH, YEPHETH
Props:

SCRIPT:

(NEHEMIAH enters, intent on doing something, when
YEPHETH comes up behind him and calls out.)

YEPHETH    Nehemiah!  Nehemiah!

(NEHEMIAH turns to recognize YEPHETH, a neighbor.)

NEHEMIAH   Oh, Yepheth, good to see you.
.          How does it go with you and your family?

YEPHETH    I have to say, YOU have given the Israelites
.          new hope.  We always wondered how it was
.          for you in the palace.  What an honor
.          to be selected to serve the King.

NEHEMIAH   The honor is from God, whom I serve.

YEPHETH    The word is that you have good rapport
.          with King Artaxerxes, who is not so easy
.          to please.  How much did you have to –
.          compromise?

NEHEMIAH   There were no compromises.  Perhaps this
.          is what earned my respect with the king.

YEPHETH    You must be around the king a lot!
.          So you are never afraid?  And not just
.          about his wine being poisoned, but-
.          just – about getting in his way when
.          he’s in a bad mood?

NEHEMIAH   I must admit that I am afraid at times.      2
.          I am only human.

YEPHETH    So tell me, I am curious.  How does the
.          royal cupbearer get the king, not only
.          to give you permission to rebuild Jerusalem,
.          but help you in the process?

NEHEMIAH   After hearing the news that Jerusalem
.          had been destroyed, for four days,
.          I mourned, fasted and prayed earnestly
.          before the God of heaven, to the Lord
.          who preserves our covenant for those
.          who keep His commandments.

YEPHETH    Is that message aimed at me?

NEHEMIAH   For all of us!  We were taken into captivity
.          only because of our disobedience.
.          Our nation sinned against our God,
.          and we find ourselves in another land,
.          while our capital city falls apart.

YEPHETH    You are right.  We have a lot to confess,
.          or we will only continue to scatter.

NEHEMIAH   God heard my prayer to grant me compassion
.          before men.  Which I needed after those
.          four days.  While handing the king his wine,
.          he noticed that I was sad.

YEPHETH    We have heard that a sad countenance
.          is not tolerated in the royal presence.
.          Is that true?

NEHEMIAH   It is.  And I was afraid.  But he asked
.          me about it because he had never seen me sad
.          ever before.  I told him about Jerusalem.
.          That my city had been destroyed.
.          King Artaxerxes had compassion and asked
.          if I had a request.

YEPHETH    Just like that?  How did you answer?

NEHEMIAH   I prayed again – quickly in my head.

YEPHETH    Of course!  You want to answer wisely.
.                                                       3
NEHEMIAH   Then I asked if it please the king,
.          that I go and rebuild it.

YEPHETH    Just like that!

NEHEMIAH   The words that came from my mouth were
.          far more eloquent and politically tactful.

YEPHETH    I am sure being the cupbearer to the king
.          gave you plenty of exposure to such.

NEHEMIAH   And it was God speaking through me.
.          I rely on God for everything.
.          Every request I have made has been
.          very thoughtful and well planned out.
.          Every attempt is made to be prepared
.          and organized, so when I answer to the king,
.          I am able to answer precisely.
.          Accountability is key to success.
.          I make sure that I make decisions only
.          when I am feeling refreshed, so I make
.          make sure I get enough sleep, and rest
.          and worship on the Sabbath.

YEPHETH    You leave nothing to chance?

NEHEMIAH   Certain situations arise.  It is knowing
.          to only take risks when it counts.

YEPHETH    So there is much danger?

NEHEMIAH   Because I had to pass through other lands,
.          I asked the king to write letters for
.          those governors to allow me to pass through
.          safely.  And the king wrote another letter
.          to ask for timber to help rebuild.

YEPHETH    The king is helping to supply our cause?

NEHEMIAH   Because the king sees that God is with me.
.          The king also supplied me with officers
.          of the army and horsemen for protection.

YEPHETH    This is completely amazing to me.
.          Who thought this could be possible?
.          But how do our OWN people react?
.                                                       4
NEHEMIAH   Our people are cooperating despite
.          the harassment and intimidation tactics
.          of our enemies.  We are working hard
.          not to be discouraged or distracted.
.          And we are seeing progress.

YEPHETH    Perhaps that is the amazing part!
.          To see that we are becoming unified
.          in our attempts!  Let me get my tools
.          and I will join you.

NEHEMIAH   We must all repent and be obedient.
.          The God of heaven will give us success!
.          We His servants will arise and build.