Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 25: Rebuilding the wall - Nehemiah 2

Then I came to the governors of the province Beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel. Nehemiah 2:9-10 (NIV)

Do you recognize these names? Whenever you read of Ammonites, Amorites, Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Perizzites, or any of the other "ites," you have a picture of the enemy of God -- the flesh. This satanic agency within man inevitably resists the work and the will and the ways of God. Here you have this same enmity; when it comes to the enemies of God . Immediately courage is needed. Whenever a man like Nehemiah says, "I will arise and build," Satan always says, "Then I will arise and oppose." Satan makes things difficult when we start turning back to God.

We see, also, the need for caution. When Nehemiah comes back to Jerusalem and rides about the city at night he doesn't just start putting bricks on top of one another. He doesn't rush out and get all the people excited to build the walls. If he does, he would fall into the trap of his enemies. The first thing he does is arise at night when no one else knows, ride around the walls of the city, and survey the ruins. He takes note of exactly what needs to be done. He makes an honest survey of the facts. Then he begins to lay his plans. These three principles of reconstruction -- a display of concern, confession and commitment, and courage with caution -- are basic to rebuilding.

Merciful and gracious Lord, You cause Your Word to be proclaimed in every generation. Stir up our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may receive this proclamation with humility and finally be exalted at the coming of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS used by permission for private and congregational use
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved
Collect for Proper 26 – Series A - Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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