Sept. 7, 2017
Nehemiah 4-Part 4
LET IT GLOW
Do we see it? Do we hear about it? So many folks have gone to Texas and Louisiana to lend a helping hand for those in great need. (Plus supportive business in my area.) Others have sent items and monetary support. It gives me goose bumps to experience the love being shared with our fellow Americans in need. (Our Disaster Relief group from our state convention is feeding the desolate.)
And now as I write, I wonder if even more folk, those in Florida, will be in the same boat soon. I pray that God will quiet the winds and the rains as He did for His disciples in the storm while in a boat. (My sister and her family live there, too.)
So how did the Jews react when their brethren (builders on the wall) were in need of help? Join me as we find out.
There was a conspiracy against Jerusalem. Their enemies completely surrounded the Jews-on the north was Sanballat and the Samaritans; on the south was Geshem and the Arabs, on the east was Tobiah and the Ammonites; then on the wet was Ashdodites, who were the Philistines. They planned to swoop down on the rebuilders, kill them, and end their work before they knew what happened.
Even Judah complained that the workers were getting tired and there was too much rubble to move. Sounds like they were too pooped to pop. They could never be able to build the wall by themselves.
Why in the world was this happening? Earlier, we read about those same wealthy men who wanted the money that Jerusalem provided. Economics is often behind opposition, isn't it?
Cyril J. Baber said, "A powerful Jerusalem means a depressed Samaria. One of the main highways passed through Jerusalem. With Jerusalem a well-protected city, its very location would attract trade; and gone would be Samaria's economic supremacy in the land beyond the river."
Sounds like they didn't have a prayer in the world, but they did.
Verse 9 says, Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
Back in 2:20, NLT, Nehemiah told those enemies, The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, His servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right or historic claim in Jerusalem.
When Nehemiah looked over this situation, he called the noble and people together, encouraging them, Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!
Is our God still great and glorious? He never changes. He is the same today as back them.
Do we make a prayer to our God in our times of need?
Are we holding onto the fact that God can make us successful in our times of need?
Do we hear Nehemiah's strong, unwavering faith in God?
LET IT GROW
Discouragement can come through loss of strength, loss of vision, loss of confidence, and loss of security. (Swindoll)
Nehemiah placed armed guards on the lower parts of the exposed areas. Others that were armed, and stood guard by families as they worked on the wall. Prayer and practical action; God gave us minds and bodies. Are we using them?
Look at verse 15: When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall.
How did this happen?
- From then on, only half of the men worked, while the other half stood guard with weapons.
- Leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah.
- Laborers worked with one hand, holding a weapon in the other hand.
- All workers had a sword belted to them.
- The trumpeter stayed with Nehemiah to sound the alarm when needed.
- Because the work was spread out along the all, separating the men, when they heard the blast of the trumpet, they were to run to aid those being attacked. Then our God will fight for us.
- People living outside Jerusalem were told to come inside the wall and help be a guard as well.
- No one changed their clothing.
- They didn't set aside their weapons, even while going for water to drink.
- The builders worked from daylight to dark.
Are we encouraging those who need it?
Here are some Scriptures to lend a helping hand:
1 Thessalonians 5:8-9
1 Peter 5:8-10
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
LET IT GO
Lend a helping hand to those in need.
Show them love and encouragement.