Putting God's Word into Practice…

Notes from Nehemiah (Chapter 4:10-23)

on November 27, 2014

In the first part of chapter 4, we see opposition is mounting against the Lord’s work of restoration in the city of Jerusalem.

Discouragement, weariness, and loneliness were setting in, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” (vs. 10) Have you ever been there?  I know I have many times.  The burden seems too heavy, the work too much, the loneliness overwhelming.  It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom on the front lines of the battle ministering to your precious children day in and day out, or if you are a full-time pastor meeting the needs of the congregation the Lord has entrusted to your care–the Lord’s work is a serious task!

An enemy attack was on the horizon.  “At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions” and warned them to prepare for an attack.  We need our spiritual brothers and sisters to come along side of us to warn us, strengthen us, and help us come up with a plan of action to defend ourselves against the enemy.  Even when we feel like we are alone, we are never alone–God has given us the church (all the people who are called by His name) and Himself to help in our times of need.

Not only were the people overwhelmed and tired, but they were afraid.  Fear is one of the biggest obstacles to the advancement of the Lord’s work.  I’m sure the “what ifs” were coming out all over the place…”What if I’m building my wall and the enemy shoots an arrow at me?”  “What if my daughters are out working on the wall, and dangerous men come and hurt them?”  “What if we did all this work to half-way and we get captured?” “What if we are just wasting our time?” “What if…”  Thankfully Nehemiah was an excellent leader.  He knew just what to say, “DO NOT BE AFRAID of them.  REMEMBER THE LORD who is great and awesome, and FIGHT for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (vs. 14)  Sometimes we need someone who will remind us to take our eyes off our circumstances and put them back on the LORD!  Remembering His power and character will allow hope to be resurrected in our hearts.  And we need to be reminded about what we are fighting for–our families and homes!  For us, Satan is a tenacious enemy who wants to destroy homes and families.  Remember the Lord and who you are fighting for!  Don’t give up or hide in fear–prepare for battle!

At this time in the rebuilding of the wall God frustrated the plans of the enemy, and each returned to the work on the wall.  But they were more equipped.  Funny how God does that–He uses the fearful, burdensome times to grow us in wisdom and preparation.  1) They people’s jobs were divided into construction and protection. 2) The leaders stood behind all the people…the leaders had their backs!  3)  The workers were equipped with weapons and tools.  4) A rally plan was put in place.  When someone needed help, a horn would sound and those nearby would rally to their aid to fight alongside of them.  What another beautiful picture of what the church should look like!

Our God will fight for us. (vs. 20)  The people were not afraid to rally together against the enemy because they knew the battle belonged to the Lord.  As the church of Jesus Christ–let’s spend more time coming to each other’s aid and seeing the power of the Lord against opposition and enemies.  Who knows what God will do, if we could come together!  Let’s be willing to leave our “section of the wall” and help others.  And if we are the ones in need–let’s be humble enough to sound the trumpet and ask for assistance!

So we labored at the work…guard by night…labor by day…none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand. (vs. 21-23)  We need to be always dressed and prepared for battle but still laboring with intensity and focus.  Don’t give up.  Don’t be afraid. Remember the Lord.  Press on!  Together!

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