We continue our walk through the book of Nehemiah, this week’s preacher is Robin Brenchley.
When the going gets tough… the tough hold onto Vision
This chapter tells us how the enemies of the Jews did their very best to stop the re-building of the walls of Jerusalem.
In the first 6 verses we see the enemy take up a standard form of attack. They belittled the work that the Jews were doing, mocking the materials they were using and the walls that they had built.
This is often the case for us today. We are often belittled for believing in God. We are told that science has all the answers, and that the bible is just a collection of quaint fairy tales. We are told that the work we do for God, whatever it is, is of no use because ultimately it will come to nothing.
We should take our cue from the Jews –
1. They disregarded the taunts and derision being levelled at their work, and carried on regardless toward the vision that God had given Nehemiah of a rebuilt Jerusalem.
We too should focus on God and the work that He has given us to do and disregard the taunts that people throw at us as being of no consequence.
In verses 7 to 9, the enemy, realising that their tactics of abuse and derision had failed to work, moved on to making threats against the city. They told the Jews that they would stir up trouble with everyone in the area and turn everyone against them. We often come up against this today don’t we? We find people take great delight attacking the church and openly attacking it, of turning other people against both her and God.
Once again we should follow the Jews’ example –
2. They defended the work and posted guards to protect what had been done, whilst continuing to build the wall.
We too should be prepared to defend our faith, and the work of the church against those who seek to tear down and turn others against God and his Church.
In verse 9 onwards, the enemy, having once again been thwarted in their plans to stop the rebuilding of the walls escalated to threats of physical harm and even murder. When we watch the news we sometimes hear of Christians in this country being prosecuted or sacked from their jobs for sharing their faith. We often hear of Christians around the world being persecuted and even killed for their faith in Jesus.
Yet again, we need to look to the Jews’ example –
3. They determined to complete the work God had given them. Trusting that he would come to their aid at the right time.
When things go bad we are often tempted to think that God has abandoned us, and perhaps that we misheard Him, that God did not want us to do whatever it is that we are being criticised or attacked for. But sometimes it is necessary for us to make a stand for Christ in times of difficulty.
We all go through periods of hardships and difficulty. This is why it is vitally important that we seek God’s will for our lives, for our church and neighbourhood, so that we know what it is that God has called us to do. That way, when the times of hardships and difficulty come – and if we are truly seeking to follow Jesus, they will come – we will be able to hold onto the vision that God has given us and press on to the goal set before us, just as Nehemiah and the Jews did all those centuries ago.
Reading: Nehemiah 4 v 1 – 23
Preacher: Robin Brenchley
Led by: Bev Sills