A few months back I gave the children’s talk up the front of Church, and although my lesson on Nehemiah was aimed at three to seven year olds, I think there are lots of lessons we can learn from him as well. Unjustly overlooked, Nehemiah was an amazing person with awesome character!
Nehemiah was obedient. He knew God had put something on his heart (that is to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and the well being of the people of Israel). He was determined to obey God. It meant he had to leave his well-paying cup bearer job in Persia to fulfill a seemingly impossible task back in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah was also courageous because he was faced with many problems that threatened to thwart his plans. First of all he lacked resources (the time and the people) to build the wall. The Jews had been captives to the Persians and Babylonians for 70 years and although they were now free to go back to their home land many still remained. This means that Jerusalem had practically no-one living there for such a long time. Nehemiah also needed some good quality materials for his project – where were they going to come from? The Persian King had given Nehemiah thirteen years to rebuild the wall before he had to come back to his court. Even with thirteen years, Nehemiah was going to be pushing it! Then the final straw – Sanballat the Horonite was on the verge of declaring war!
Despite the odds Nehemiah had a plan. After praying to God and seeking His protection and strength, Nehemiah had every man available simply rebuild the wall outside his own house. That was it. Sounds pretty simple, hey? Yet because that is what each family did and because God was on their side, they finished that incredible wall in a record of 52 days. In other words, they built a three-chariot wide, enormous wall in less than two months! (See Nehemiah 6:15)
Every time we read a Bible story, there is something we can learn from it. From Nehemiah’s story we can learn that there is an enemy trying to get into our heart; except instead of being called Sanballat, his name is Sin. As sinners, we let sin get into our heart, but when we decide to follow Christ we need to build ourselves a wall against sin. If we focus on building ourselves a wall around our heart, just focusing on our own heart, we can stand firm against the battle and be prepared to do whatever God has in store for us.
So how are you going to build a wall? That answer will lie when you click the ‘comment’ button and share how you do it.
Originally posted at Growing in Grace Online. Slightly altered from the original post.
Black and white image edited by me from our trusty History through the Ages CD ROM