And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah,
Now there’s a phrase that is suddenly standing out to me…Beyond the River. The phrase is used multiple times in Ezra, Nehemiah, in Joshua, in 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles. The River is the Euphrates. The reference in Ezra and Nehemiah is the land west of the Euphrates.
God had stirred Nehemiah’s heart for his homeland. Have you ever felt that God has called you to a land “Beyond the River”? It is interesting that Nehemiah asked the King for provisions and for letters of protection. I think I need some of that too when I’ve been asked to go Beyond the River! All of the unknowns, possible dangers, possible failure. Thankfully God grants us all that we need and more when He calls us.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
…even “Beyond the River”.