Walls are interesting subjects. Before you shake your head and declare me completely crazy, please hear me out. Walls are generally built for protecting. Guarding. Preserving. Serving as visual boundary lines. Providing shelter and protection. Walls of this variety are usually designed for an overall positive purpose. Keeping the enemy out of your land is usually a good thing. Walls are meant for our safety. They are a tangible, comforting presence in a chaotic universe.
However, what about the times when a wall is a giant roadblock in your path to success? When you keep hitting your head over and over again and never figure out what is causing it? This kind of invisible, yet very tangible wall is an unwelcome presence in our lives. Its very ominous structure can be very tall and block all hope for the future. It radiates fear, anxiety and is symbolic for failure. It is called the wall of discouragement.
When I thought I was following His calling. Because I don’t see a way that is possible or feasible. What about when I get turned down and told I’m not good enough. I start to question God. Does He really speak to me? Am I certain that this decision is following God’s Will? What if I’m wrong? What if I fail? (Sorry if this is T.M.I.)
“Nehemiah was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I at the capital city of Susa, which lay 150 miles east of the Tigris River in what is now modern Iran. Nehemiah served as the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11), which evidently put him in a position to speak to the king and request favors from him. After hearing about the sad state of affairs in Judah, Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and its fortifications. He is even given letters from the king to ensure safe passage and to obtain timber from the king’s forest for the gates and walls of Jerusalem.”
He was a cupbearer, which meant he put his life on the line at every meal he attended for his king. I would imagine this guy would be excellent at making each moment count!
“God revealed three things about the returned exiles in this book.
First, the people in view are the approximately 97,000 Israelites who returned from captivity: the remnant. Fifty thousand had returned under Sheshbazzar and Zerubbabel in 536, about 5,000 had returned under Ezra in 458, and about 42,000 returned under Nehemiah in 444 B.C. They had no conscious national influence that arose from their purpose as a nation. They did not have much messianic hope, either. There is no reference to this hope in Ezra, Nehemiah, or Esther. However, Zechariah, who prophesied during this time, gave many messianic prophecies.
Second, the purpose of God was that His people should return to His Law. The civil reformation was secondary to the reading of the Law that took place in Jerusalem. The reading of the Law (ch. 8) led to the praying of the Levites (ch. 9), and that resulted in the making of a covenant (ch. 10). God’s purpose was to put Israel back under the Law until Christ would come.
Third, the divine Potter at work in this book continues the task of reshaping that He began in Ezra. His primary instrument at this time was Nehemiah. Nehemiah was not a king, a priest, or a prophet, but an ordinary citizen. He held a cabinet-level position under Artaxerxes, the Persian monarch, and he became the governor of Judah later. Generally, the kings of Israel had failed, the people had ignored the prophets, and the priests were corrupt. God chose a man who built a wall around Jerusalem in a little over seven weeks so the people could give concentrated attention to the reading and exposition of God’s Word. Nehemiah was a man like others God used before him, a man who lived and walked by faith. Joshua was such a person and was also neither king, prophet, nor priest. Nehemiah did for Israel in his day what Joshua had done in his. Ezra was similar to Moses, and Nehemiah was similar to Joshua.”
Summing up from this wonderful article, Nehemiah had three kinds of faith.
1. Nehemiah had an attitude of faith.
2. Second, Nehemiah also acted in faith.
3. Third, Nehemiah achieved by faith.
Nehemiah had a vision. The more he stepped into that vision, the more opposition he faced. I have fallen into the perfectionism trap where I felt if I was facing opposition, it meant I was doing something wrong. Quite the opposite. Worthy causes were attacked because there was a positive outcome to others in my life.
Build your wall. Your dream. Your future. Protect, preserve, guard and make peace as far as you can see. Then step aside and get ready to see God throw up a wall in an unheard of 52 days! Good things come to those who wait. Now the next blog article will be all about waiting. 😄😂