God sent Nehemiah on a mission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, walls that were broken down through the actions of preceding generations. “Fight for your families, your sons, and your daughters!” He challenged the remnant.
We don’t have to look far to see the devastation surrounding homes and families today. Is it time for that deep cry to rise again?
“After I looked things over,
I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people…
fight for your families, your sons and your daughters,
your wives and your homes.”
The walls have been broken and the gates have been burned around many of our homes. God’s defense system through marriages and families has been undermined, negated, legislated against, and maligned. The fires of hell are aimed to do irreparable damage.
Nehemiah began with prayer!
Prayer was a constant part of Nehemiah’s life! There was more than a physical wall that needed rebuilding. Discouragement, despair, and disgrace hovered over his people. God needed to first bring down internal walls of defeat before they were able to actively rebuild the tangible walls around the city.
Every step included prayer!
Nehemiah began by confessing his own sin and the sins of his people. It wasn’t long before God began to release the strategies to rebuild the broken walls. God mobilizes his people to do kingdom work when they pray!
One person took the faith action of prayer! God gave direction on how to reverse the devastation!
A chain is only as a strong as its weakest link; a wall is only as strong as its lowest point. Nehemiah paid special attention to these exposed areas!
“Therefore I stationed some of the people
behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places…”
We all carry brokenness and wounding! These are our lowest and most exposed places!
We bandage burns and cast broken bones, knowing damaged parts need extra protection and care. The same is true in the spiritual, relational, and emotional dimensions of our lives.
Nehemiah sent the strongest and bravest to the positions of greatest weakness and highest need! If you are strong, ask God to put you in the right place at the right time to strengthen and help the broken and weak. If you are in need, take this moment to ask God to bring men and women of faith beside you!
The first step is placing the right people into the right position; the next step is equipping them to do the work!
“… posting them by families,
with their swords, spears and bows.”
Never separate a bear from her cubs! Few survive the experience! Trying to take a newborn calf from its mother brings similar consequences. I have never experienced the first; I have had a few tangles with the latter!
There is a God-given instinct in each of us to fight for and defend our families. We will risk for family what we would never risk for any other cause.
Nehemiah equipped them to fight:
- swords for face-to-face combat
- spears for an enemy advancing to engage in battle
- bows and arrows for a pending assault from farther away
Families need the right tools to succeed! Pastors, mentors, Christian psychologists, inner healing therapists and many others form the front lines workers in the weakest and most vulnerable places among us.
These have all be an incredible healing influence in my life!
We can easily become worn down by the sheer weight of the rebuild process. Carrying stones all day every day is tiring work!
“…Don’t be afraid of them.
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome...”
The enemy is real! The problems unceasing! The odds seem impossible! In the midst of an overwhelming process, we can become so focused on the rocks in front of us that we miss the bigger picture.
In the midst of intense rebuilding, it is necessary to zoom out and zoom up!
God is bigger than your circumstance! Nothing can outdo the cross!
“The officers posted themselves behind all the people
…who were building the wall.”
We all must take responsibility for our own destructive attitudes and behaviours. Willing and concentrated efforts by those actually living in broken situations is necessary!
Sometimes we think leadership is most effective in the front; Nehemiah knew his officers were most effective behind the workers!
What a difference it makes to know your back is covered! Secure leaders position themselves behind the workers offering prayer and protection. Godly leaders hold up the weak until they reach a healthy level of stability.
The enemy schemes to divide and conquer. In the rebuilding process developing a sense of community and belonging is critical.
“Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people,
“The work is extensive and spread out,
and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.”
There is danger in being separated from the ones who are co-labouring with us. Seeking out support groups, community groups and mentors will help to validate and encourage us as we rebuild.
“Many hands make light work!” was a common saying in my home. It is true! Together we are strong!
Ready to Rebuild
“Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me
took off our clothes; each had his weapon,
even when he went for water.”
God has given us the spiritual garments we need to live victorious. (Ephesians 6:10-18) It is up to us to put them on and to keep them on! Day and night!
At the same time, we cannot neglect the need to sustain and nurture ourselves. Water is a necessity! Water in the bible often refers to Holy Spirit. The greatest need we have is to be constantly filled with the life-giving flow of the Spirit.
Without Him the task is impossible! We would be like an aimless wanderer in the desert dying of thirst!
The rebuild process can seem overwhelming. Make every effort to be refreshed and renewed spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
Nehemiah followed these God strategies to rebuild the ruined walls of Jerusalem. God’s gracious hand was with him! The walls were rebuilt in just fifty-two days!
God is brilliant! His plans are perfect! Following His pattern to rebuild our homes and families, creates strong defenses to help us fight for our homes and families.
More victorious reading! Trophies of Victory! Bring the Trophy Home!