Our property line is edged by a cement block wall, separating our lawn and the neighbor’s driveway. Soon after we moved into our home, that three-foot-high wall collapsed into a heap onto our neighbor’s driveway. A crew was immediately sought out to repair and to rebuild that retaining wall. The job was long, tedious, and expensive, with many hours and dollars invested. But that project pales in comparison with this wall-building project undertaken in Old Testament times.
Nehemiah faced a daunting task, the walls surrounding Jerusalem were in disarray, broken down years prior by the invading kingdom of Babylon. Through God’s forgiveness and grace, a remnant of Jews were returning from captivity, rebuilding their temple, repopulating their promised land, finally coming home. Reconstructing those battered walls was urgent, a strong wall surrounding the city would be an essential defense for these returning kinsmen, an important step in keeping the inhabitants safe and secure within that hedge of protection. When God chose Nehemiah to be the foreman of that massive project, that praying prophet kept the lines of communication open with his God, interceding often and seeking direction as he faced many demoralizing challenges.
Persecution began immediately, first in the form of mocking and teasing, “…these feeble Jews…if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” One can almost hear the taunting voices, those degrading comments, directed at Nehemiah and his work crew. When that failed to halt the progress, the enemies conspired together “…to come and fight against Jerusalem, and hinder it.” The psychological hammering didn’t work, so they would attack these “feeble Jews” physically. “Nevertheless, we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night.” Nehemiah responded with prayer, then action, arming his wall-building crew and setting guards to protect the ongoing work. With that plan thwarted, the wall was completed, in a record-setting fifty-two days, a feat that could only be attributed to the powerful God they served! Now the “doors upon the gates” needed to be added. The enemies resorted to a more subtle attack, attempting to set up a seemingly innocent meeting with Nehemiah, a let’s-all-get-along moment, but Nehemiah knew that “they thought to do me mischief.” Nehemiah’s response, “I am doing a great work, so I cannot come down.” Nehemiah was laser-focused on God’s work.
Any time we are called on to accomplish a work for God, we can expect battles and challenges from the world around us, a world that despises our God, His work, and His children. Nehemiah’s success was directly linked with his prayer life. When faced with mockery, he prayed; when a physical attack was certain, he took it to God; when the enemy sought compromise, more prayer! He expressed his needs immediately, then resumed the work confidently, picking up the trowel and finishing that wall! Are you facing a battle? Follow Nehemiah’s godly pattern, seek God, stand strong, stay focused. But as we will see tomorrow, the resistance was not over, Satan had an evil tactic in mind…
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
When the task is tough and the resistance is overwhelming, help me to take it to the Lord in prayer, finding the strength to complete Your work through Your power.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-418-63d7e3fbe316b' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=418&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-418-63d7e3fbe316b' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-418-63d7e3fbe316b' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>