ot long after Ezra had led a revival in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:8), Nehemiah was led by God to do his part there too (Nehemiah 2:1). And, as we saw in the last chapter, it all started with a burden.
As we found out in chapter 1, Nehemiah was king Artaxerxes' cupbearer. In Nehemiah 2:1 we find out that Nehemiah had always been cheerful in the presence of the king. However, news of the weak condition of Jerusalem was more than he could bear. And so, as he performed his responsibilities before Artaxerxes, his face betrayed his heavy heart. When the king saw his servant's sadness and discovered what had weighed him down, he promptly had letters written at Nehemiah's request to provide for all the things which Nehemiah needed to accomplish his mission.
Remember how Ezra had gone previously without armed support (Ezra 8:22)? Well, such was not the case with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:9). This goes to show us that even though God is always the same in His character and ability, He doesn't always do things the same way.
After Nehemiah had made the journey to Jerusalem and had been there for a few days, he went out alone one night and viewed the remains of the walls of the city. In so doing he contrived a plan for reconstruction. Afterward, he called the people to that task. And, despite the mockery of some local enemies of God - Sanballat, Tobiah and an Arabian named Geshem - Nehemiah set his mind to his purpose. As he stood in the streets of Jerusalem, His courage was still as strong as it had been before Artaxerxes.