Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We Are To Be Wallbuilders

In the Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah we read of the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem. This was done in three successive efforts, beginning in the first year of the reign of Cyrus. First, Zerubbabel and Jeshua led a band of Jews to Jerusalem and started the work to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1,2; 3:1,2). Ezra went up to Jerusalem and restored the law by reading and explaining it to the people during the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:1-19). And Nehemiah also went up to Jerusalem to begin work on rebuilding the wall in the 20th year of Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:1ff).

The wall was finished in fifty-two days (Nehemiah 6:15) and the enemies of Israel were "cast down in their own eye" (v. 16. Why? Because they lost their self-confidence. They knew that this work was wrought from God (v. 15b). God today reveals Himself through the works of His people.

The rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem was not without tests and trials! The Jews faced opposition from without and from within. The Lord’s people today face the same opposition.
From without the Jews faced
RIDICULE (Nehemiah 2:19; 4:3);
HINDRANCE (Nehemiah 4:8);
FALSE ACCUSATIONS (Nehemiah 6:5-7); and
COMPROMISE (Nehemiah 6:2).
Today the church of our Lord is ridiculed and called a host of unsavory names and this by even others who claim to be Christians; is impeded in its work by the world; suffers false accusations; and is called to compromise the truth. Unfortunately, many of our brethren have given in to this opposition. They have left the work of rebuilding the wall and have come down from Jerusalem leaving the Lord and His word behind to compromise the truth on the "plain of Ono." Nehemiah was too wise to be sidetracked and stayed with the task given him by the Lord (Nehemiah 6:3). The Lord’s people must exercise that same wisdom today!
The opposition from without caused grave problems for the Jews from within.
Internally they faced
INDIFFERENCE (Nehemiah 3:5);
WORLDLINESS (Nehemiah 4:10);
COWARDICE (Nehemiah 4:11,12).

Many of those within the church today are indifferent and apathetic to the Lord, His work, and His people. They revel in worldliness wanting all that "glitters" and the Lord’s blessing at one and the same time but only to their own deceit. Cowardice is unbecoming to a child of God (Revelation 21:8).

Brethren, let us put our hands together and overcome indifference so that we all may put our "necks to the work of the Lord." Let us rid ourselves of the "rubbish" of worldliness so that we are able "to build the wall." And let us throw off the yoke of cowardice and proclaim the glory of the Lord wherever we may be.

Our Lord and Saviour withstood ridicule. He overcame the hindrances to His work. He did not let the false accusations stop him. He never, never compromised the truth. We, too, can overcome all of these outside obstacles if we will simply follow Jesus (I Peter 2:21; Philippians 4:13).

Even though an internal evil is always more dangerous and deadly than an external evil, both can be overcome.

Brethren, let us, too "finish the wall".

- Jimmie B. Hill

No comments: