Sunday service, Detlef Stegen, 28 Jan 2018
6 So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7 But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Are you busy building the walls of Jerusalem? The Bible says we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12). Have you identified the enemy who wants to prevent you from rebuilding the walls which he destroyed in your life?
Here we find a Nehemiah who had a heart for God’s work. He received the message of the state of Jerusalem, and it broke his heart. Even the heathen king could see that his face was not as before, for he was downcast. Nehemiah could testify that he had never before been sad in the presence of the king. But this was God’s time in history to use His servants.
How wonderful if we are in tune with God. Then we can reflect that which is on God’s heart. Even if it’s dark then you can still reflect God. You have been created in God’s image. God has breathed His breath into you. Is His Spirit alive in you? Or have you quenched Him, so that there is no reflection of God seen in your life.
After Jesus was tempted in the winderness, he went to the synagogue in Nazareth and testified, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim good news to the poor, recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18) Do you realise that you live in the year of the Lord’s favour. Jesus sat down and proclaimed that this word is fulfilled in their midst. Many prophets longed to see this acceptable year of the Lord but they didn’t see it.
You have put off the old man. Now put on the new self and set your heart and mind on Him. We read in Eph 4:25-32, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Maybe once you were a letter written by the finger of God. Everyone could read that this was God’s doing in this life. But you can cause confusion when your actions and attitude no longer reflect God’s ways. At first things build up in your heart and eventually when your heart is filled with criticism you start to speak to others to influence them from the overflow of what is in your heart. It is confusion being caused. But Nehemiah wouldn’t allow the enemy to sow confusion and they set a guard day and night.
If you notice in your own heart is brewing something which is not in obedience to God, take note and set a guard. Nehemiah remembered the prophecies as spoken by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel.
Pray that God would give you an obedient heart. If God speaks to you in the service, don’t forget God’s voice and what He has instructed you to do.