Day 267

Standard

Nehemiah 12:27 – 13:6; Nehemiah 5:14-19; Nehemiah 13:7-31

John Summerville, Elder

There is an old stone wall running along the side of our property that was probably a stone hedge to contain cows in a pasture back in the 19th century. I thought it would look nice to have the wall back to its original glory and have spent many hours / days/ weeks of time stacking stone and straining back muscles. I’ve been working on this for several years and still have a ways to go. It takes time to fit, stack, and shim the irregular stones so that they don’t rock and make a wobbly wall.

The wall around Jerusalem was, of course, a much bigger deal. Nehemiah’s God-given mission was to rebuild the wall and replace the gates. And, yet, if it was just a construction project, we probably wouldn’t find the account in God’s Word. Just as the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, so was the relationship of the Israelite people with their God. As the appointed governor, Nehemiah used the Law of Moses and traditions passed down from king David to establish guidelines for a right and lasting relationship with God. Policies regarding intermarriage, provision for the priests and Levites, the sanctity of the Sabbath and tithing, were reestablished. By having Ezra read and interpret the Law and by insisting on obedience, Nehemiah helped the people rebuild their relationship with God.

Just as it has taken me several years to rebuild my stone hedge it takes time to build a firm (not wobbly) relationship with God. When it comes to restoration, God has already restored our relationship through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is respond and build on the firm foundation that Jesus has established. May we not neglect this gift but devote our lives to the work that God has prepared, in advance for us to do. It is not a wall. It is much more important and lasting than that.

Advertisements

4 responses »

  1. It seems that it never takes long to accept God’s deliverance and then forget Him and go merrily on our own way. Our own, selfish, rebellious way. How great is God’s mercy toward us every day. May we use our minds and hearts to strive to move closer to God, not further away.

  2. One thing that I notice about Nehemiah is his spontaneous prayers. In 2:4, he was face to face with the king and offered a prayer to his God in the middle of the conversation. At the end of this book, we see his prayers pop up in the midst of his narrative. He knew his God was always with him, only a prayer away.
    Father, thank You for Your wall of love and protection around me. It is always there as I commune with You. When I neglect our time together, it allows a breach in that wall and the enemy can sneak in. As I read and digest Your Word and walk in obedience, that wall becomes more and more secure. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Help me to be as faithful to respond to You. Amen.

  3. Wonderful “picture;” and even more wonderful wisdom. It really does take time, and effort, to rebuild.

    We have been invited, by God’s grace, to join Him in work that is so “much more important and lasting.” May each of us contribute, in some measure, to the work he has called us into; rebuilding relationships.

    Thanks, John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s