Monday, 01 January 2024
So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore, we His servants will arise and build …. “-Nehemiah 2:20
The book of Nehemiah unfolds the amazing story of the construction of the wall of Jerusalem in 52 days despite strong opposition. Their enemies played all their tricks to stop them progressing. However, the persistent leading of Nehemiah, persevering prayers of the people and God’s support helped them to overcome all their fears and discouragements and make the impossible, possible. In Neh.2:19, we see the first of the enemy’s attacks – they mocked and despised them, accusing them of rebellion against the King. Nehemiah responded to the accusations with a firm Trust in God, and humbling themselves as the “servants” of God.
When Nehemiah heard the news that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and its gates burnt (Neh.1:2-3) he reacted and took action, resulting in the repair of the wall in 52 days. The key verse points to the resolve in Nehemiah’s heart as he reacted to one of the tactics of the enemy.
· Nehemiah felt the pain in his heart and he fasted and prayed for many days – Neh.1:4
· He made an evaluation of the situation - Neh.2:11-16
· He declared a plan to rectify the situation – Neh.2:17
· He executed the plan amid strong resistance - Neh.2:20 – 6:15
Like in Nehemiah’s time, the condition of the world today is such that many are living as captives - the walls of their lives are broken and the enemy has taken them captive. Jesus declared in Matt 9: 37-38 the need for Laborers in God’s vineyard. The end time harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Though many of God’s children hear and see the pathetic condition of the current world, they are unable to respond. The reason being— they have not risen to the call as Nehemiah arose to fast and pray and evaluate and conceive a plan.
1. Arise from Sin
The Bible declares in Ephesians 5:14 “For this reason it says, “Awake sleeper and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” The list of sins are given in Eph.5:1-13 and a solemn warning is given in Vs.15 &16: ”Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making use of your time, because the days are evil.”
Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear me” – so in order to be effective in God’s work, let us arise from every kind of sin and allow the Holy Spirit to captivate our hearts.
2. Arise from Fear
In Judges 7: 11 & 15, we see Gideon very much afraid of the enemy and intimidated by self-pity –but God His Creator knew his potential and had seen a mighty warrior in him (Judges7: 12, 14) to do the task that seemed impossible to Gideon. The turning point happened in Gideon’s life when he started interacting with God Himself. Our point of interaction with God are His word, our Prayers and prophetic voices through His servants.
3. Arise and Pray – Pray first and plan afterwards (Nehemiah prayed and then took action)
In 2Chron.29 we read how they prepared for worship—the Levites arose (V.12); they consecrated themselves and cleansed the Temple (Vs.15-16) and then worshipped God (Vs.29-30). In 2 Chr.30:27 we read of their prayer and its impact “and their voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy dwelling place, to heaven”.
Consecrated- cleansed- praised- worshipped- prayed: which was heard in heaven.
4. Arise and Build
Our key verse gives the action that Nehemiah took to build the wall of Jerusalem. As believers, we have a multi-faceted building process—Build within and build without (outside).
a. Build yourself
We hear the call of God through Jude 20 & 21 to “build yourself up on your most holy faith” That means to first build the wall of Salvation and the wall of God’s protection (Isiah 60:18).
b. Build your family
1 Timothy 5:8 says: But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Proverbs 22:6 speaks of building our children: Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
c. Build others
The vision for our Ministry is from Colossians 1:28 to present every man perfect in Christ. 1Thes.5:11 instructs us: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
Brethren, the call to you today is: Arise and Build! Hence let’s heed the call to build ourselves and build others!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray that You will build my life, my family and others in the coming year. Amen.