Do The Work And Make A Difference!
“The surrounding nations were afraid . . . because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:16
This story takes place around 445 B.C. Nehemiah, like many other Jewish people, had remained in Persia after a group of exiles were allowed to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple there. Though the temple was now rebuilt, the walls of the city were still in ruins.
Learning about this from visitors, Nehemiah was saddened and despaired. As a cupbearer for the king of Persia, his life was good, but his people in Judah were struggling. Though he was located more than a 1,000 miles away, his heart was focused upon Jerusalem and the fact that God’s people in the land of promise were still vulnerable on all sides.
When the king asked Nehemiah why he looked so sad, Nehemiah explained. And, after praying to God, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return so that he could rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Even though the king was a foreigner and had no vested interest in rebuilding Jerusalem at the tme, it appears that the Spirit of the sovereing Lord moved upon the king’s heart in a mighty way. In response to Nehemiah’s request, the king sent him with both the authority and even the supplies necessary to help renovate the city.
Despite great obstacles, Nehemiah led the people to repair Jerusalem’s wall and rebuild its gates. He faced opposition from the relgious establishment, the cultural authorities and perhaps, even from some of his own realtives. Nehemiah stayed focused and could not be ditrated or deterred from the work at hand.
In fact, through his steadfast dedicaiton and the enthusiasm was was able to demonstrate in his leadership, the work was complete in just 52 days! Not only was this the cause for great celebrationfor God’s chosen people, it also had a secondary impact upon the enemies of Israel. Recognizing the amazing help of God in this feat, even the enemies of the surrounding nations stopped threatening Jerusalem.
In may ways, at times our lives can resemble Jerusalem. The broken down walls can lead to discouragement and dispair. However, like Nehemiah, we too can have hope today amid the wreckage of human failings, when we finally realize we cannot save ourselves. Into the ruins of life Jesus has been born. The Lord our God is our help and strength always.
On the grace journey together with you, Lynwood