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 Issue #98 Wed, 4 Oct 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #98 Wed, 4 Oct 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:20

The Repairer of the Breach

Dear Youth,

Have you ever really wanted to do something great for God but felt inadequate for the job? Maybe you have said what can just one person do. Perhaps you have looked at the work that God needs done and felt totally overwhelmed at the job ahead. Perhaps you wanted to do something for God but discouragement from your peers or even the threat of embarrassment has left you hesitant to work for God. If you have ever felt this way the story of Nehemiah is for you.

I find the whole story of Nehemiah such an encouragement in perseverance in working for God. Nehemiah now had the permission from the king to rebuild Jerusalem and he arrives at his work site with a military escort. Before he could rally the people for the cause of God he needed to see for himself what the job entailed. So he embarks on a secret tour of the wall of Jerusalem in the middle of the night (Nehemiah 2:12-16). He personally inspects the ruins of the city as he quietly makes his way around the broken down walls of the city. I wonder if he had tears in his eyes when he actually beheld the state that God's city was in. The second part of his work was to spend the rest of the night in prayer "for he knew that the morning would call for earnest effort to arouse and unite his dispirited and divided countrymen" (Prophets and Kings p. 637). By the next morning Nehemiah is now ready for the work before him, he calls a press conference and inspires the people to get behind him and undertake something big for God – to rebuild the wall of the city. " Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work" (Nehemiah 2:17,18 ).

Immediately the people are electrified, they catch the spirit of the moment and they are inspired to do the work of God. "His hope, his energy, his enthusiasm, his determination, were contagious…Each man became a Nehemiah in his turn and helped to make stronger the heart and hand of his neighbour" (Prophets and Kings p. 638 ). What a great example of working in unity for the work of God. Here is an example for us, instead of dwelling on the faults of others we should encourage each other and get out and do something for the Lord. This will do wonderful things for binding God's people together.

Just recently a group of us (3 families) has been involved with letterboxing. Everyone loves it and even the little ones take on the job with enthusiasm. No one complains that it is too far to walk or that the numbers of cards are just too overwhelming, instead every letter box is seen as a challenge - maybe someone in this house will learn the truth for salvation. Prayers ascend for the people when they open the letterbox to view what has been placed there. Maybe someone will find salvation because the opportunity was presented for them to know Jesus. The afternoon activity becomes a treasure hunt in distributing the gospel to the community.

It is important that we realise that Satan will redouble his efforts when we endeavour to do big things for God. In Nehemiah's situation it took the form of three individuals who were enemies of God's people – Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. These enemies of God did everything they could to disrupt the work, ranging from accusations of treason (Neh. 2: 19) outright mockery "…if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall" (Neh. 4:3) to threats of violence (Neh. 4:8,11). Moreover, discouragement came from within as God's people began to complain that the job was too overwhelming - "there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall" (Neh. 4: 10).

The defining moment had come. The job was well on its way towards completion, everyone got involved and was building the wall but the whole project was about to be derailed by the very real threats of violence. Did Nehemiah step back or become discouraged? Rather – "taunts and ridicule, opposition and threats, seemed only to inspire Nehemiah with firmer determination and to arouse him to greater watchfulness" (Prophets and Kings p. 643).

Nehemiah, always trusting in God and seeking guidance in prayer now takes a bold move. He doesn't allow the work on the wall to stop instead he redoubles his efforts and arms the workers. Guards are set up and armed with spears and shields and his inspiring words arouse the people "Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, you sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses" (Nehemiah 4: 14). So the people simply get back to work. However, from that time forth we are told that half of the people worked and the other half stood guard with their weapons, and even those that were working had "his sword girded by his side, and so builded" (Nehemiah 4:18 ). They not only kept working they took their job even more serious without even taking off their clothes day or night except for washing (Nehemiah 4:23). They continued to work and stayed always prepared to act at a moment's notice, even when they slept.

I can't help but smile as I imagine Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem standing with their mouths open, shocked and frustrated as the work moves forward and all their attempts at stopping the work are utterly frustrated. What a lesson for us. I believe this is so relevant for us today. For aren't we described in Isaiah 58:12 – "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in." We are the people that are working with God to restore the old truths forgotten by the world and corrupted by Satan. We are the people building the wall. In many ways I feel the story of Nehemiah is a type of the God's last day church and the model of how we need to press on together to finish the work. However, the lesson also tells us that we will be under threat of attack from our enemies and faced with discouragement from our fellow workers. So what is the solution? We need to be armed, now is the time to keep our 'swords by out sides', in other words keep armed with our Bibles (Eph 6:17) and immerse ourselves in His word and stay closely connected with Jesus the our source of life and energy.

You can continue to read in the book of Nehemiah the further hopeless efforts of God's enemies to stop the work of rebuilding the wall, but the work steadily moves forward. There Nehemiah stands with his smiling band of armed faithful workers, tired, dirty and sweaty as they look at the completed wall which miraculously only took 52 days! Youth, never doubt what God can do with just one person – you can be a Nehemiah – "then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28 ).

--George Jackson

PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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