Wednesday, 3 June 2020 Nehemiah 4:1-23
“Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome…” -Nehemiah 4:14
The story of Nehemiah is the story of how an ordinary man was used by an Extraordinary GOD to achieve what in normal circumstances would have been an impossible task! The rebuilding of the broken walls of Jerusalem took just 52 days (Neh.6:15)!!! Surely an impossible human feat- but as the keyword underlines “… the LORD, who is great and awesome” is able!
Chapter 4 of Nehemiah described the opposition they faced to the rebuilding of the wall. This is true of any spiritual undertaking we decide to do. What were the opposing forces that Nehemiah and his men had to deal with?
Derision of the enemy (V.1-3)- they had to deal with a barrage of constant taunting from the enemy trying to halt their work. Instead of giving back in the same coin, Nehemiah just prayed: “Hear us, O our God, for we are despised.”(V.4). When provoked and insulted for the sake of the work of the Lord, think on the words of Paul in 2 Cor.4:8&9: “…we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Remember, if God be on your side, who can be against you? (Rom.8:31)
Conspiracy against the work (V.8)- Their enemies conspired to attack them and oppose the ongoing work. But Nehemiah prayed and became vigilant against the enemy (V.9). 1 Peter 5: 8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Ephesians 6:13 exhorts us to put on the full armour of God against the schemes of the devil.
Failing Strength (V.10)- The enormity of the work made them see the task as indomitable and thought they didn’t have the strength to finish it. We too can often lose sight of the One who is faithful to accomplish the task through us. When physical strength fails, spiritual weariness too can set in that can slow us down. See the antidote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” (Phil.4:19). We need to often remind ourselves that our strength comes through Christ.
Widespread Work (V.19)- It was not an easy task to rebuild the entire length and breadth of the wall where the constant threat of the enemy was looming in the air. Nehemiah had to boost confidence (“Our God will fight for us!”) divide the tasks, post guards day and night and even work with the weapon on! 2Timothy 2:3 says, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Most often we may feel that we are not up to our tasks but when we learn to endure as a good soldier of our Master, the victory is ours!
Brothers and sisters: if you are engaged in the Lord’s work in small ways or big or you are facing a tough situation that you seem to want to buckle in: when we are derided or conspired against or our strength fails or the enormity of the work tries to swallow us up, let these lessons from Nehemiah encourage us to persevere. Above all, look who is on our side! : “Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome!” It is always a winning situation for us!
Promise: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Listen: ‘Strength will rise’