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Rebuilding the Walls. Do your part!

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Read Neh 4:15-23
Israel’s disobedience was the reason why God allowed the Babylonians to come, destroy the city, and take the people captive for 70 years. Israel was guilty of its destruction.
The years of captivity had come to an end. God had promised to let then return. The first group, led by Zerubbabel, had returned but they had not accomplished much rebuilding the city and the protective walls.
God called Nehemiah to leave his comfortable position at the royal palace and go to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. But it would not make sense to rebuild the city without rebuilding the walls. If the walls were not rebuilt, the city would be again at the mercy of any enemy.
The Lord is calling us to do a similar work. The enemy came and destroyed much in the church. It destroyed attendance, friendships, ministries, and trust. We are now in a rebuilding phase.
There are a few things we must constantly remember if we want to rebuild this work:

The enemy always tries to stop the work.

The enemy will never be happy when he sees God’s people united building for God. According to 4:1, Samballat, the leader of the enemies, found out about the Jews rebuilding the wall and he got furious.
Whenever Christians decide to do anything to glorify God, the enemy gets upset. He gets furious when he sees us rebuilding God’s work. He will do anything to stop the work. How does he do it?

Despising the work we do.

Look at the way he talk about the builders and the work in verses 2-3: “feeble Jews”, “Can they revive the stones?”, “even a fox can break it”.
Throughout the years, I have heard people despising the work we do here. One said, “they do not even have money to pay the electric bill”; another one said “all will leave the church”; “that’s weak little church”; “they have programs”, etc.
It does not surprise me that the enemy despises the work. What it is sad is to see “so called Christians” despising the effort or work of Christians trying to do something for God, No effort for God should be despised!
How should you react to that? Bring it to God as Nehemiah did in verse 5… Ask God to take care of them!
What is that the enemies of the work pretend? Discouraging the builders.

Trying to discourage the builders.

“they [the enemy] have demoralized the builders” 4:5
Discouragement should not be part of our life as Christians. There are more reasons to be encouraged than discouraged.
But the enemy is an expert in psychological warfare. In his weapons repertoire, one of the most effective ones is “discouragement”. He does not aim this weapon to those that are not doing anything in church, but to the workers, those that are building the work.
And he knows how to do it! He whispers to your ear, “nobody show gratitude for your work!”; “they do not acknowledge your effort”; “you work sacrificially, but look at those that do nothing”.
The enemy’s desire is that you abandon the work you started.

Conspiring to fight the church.

“All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem...” 4:8
Jerusalem could represent our church, the work God has entrusted us.
A conspiracy is plan made by a group of people united to cause harm to a superior or to something in particular.
They were against the leader, Nehemiah, and against his work, the city and the walls.
I have never seen a conspiracy against an usher, a teacher, or a deacon; but I have seen many conspiracies against the pastors. That’s another way the devil works to stop God’s work!

Bringing disturbance to the church. 4:8

Bringing disturbance to the church. 4:8

“they come to fight and to cause a disturbance in it” 4:8b
To cause disturbance means “to alter the peace and harmony” of a group.
That’s why Paul commanded the churches to be vigilant on people who bring disturbance and stay away from them:
Titus 3:10 NASB95
Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,
Titus 3:10
Romans 16:17 NASB95
Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
Rom 16
He also told them to reject them if they insist on bringing division:
Titus 3:10 NASB95
Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,

Builders must be on guard all the time.

“we set up a guard against them day and night” 4:9
We must be on guard because the enemy does not sleep; he prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Christians, and mainly workers, must be on guard:

Against giving out.

“The strength of the burden bearers is failing. yet there is much rubbish.” 4:10
Every church has its “burden bearers”, those that do most of the job and carry most of the financial burden. Sometimes, they get tired! They need to be relieved, replaced so they can rest.
When all the members are pulling in the same direction, when all are willing to do something, the burden is lighter!
If you are tired, do not quit! Seek and train a replacement and take a break, but do not quit. Remember, “Quitters never win; and winners never quit!”
Before we set the bricks, we must remove the rubbish left by the enemy’s attack, but do not give out!
We must also be on guard against those who try to scare you.

Against those who try to scare you.

Read Neh 4:12
Being scared does not come from God; it comes from the devil.
See who was scaring them! Other Jews! There is always negative people who scare or discourage others.
Nehemiah saw necessary to remind them who their God was: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your [family]” 4:14
An enemy tried to scare me a couple of years ago. His words were: “When this explode, all the people will leave.” Well, the thing (his conspiracy) exploded, and only those who were like him left.
Be on guard against that kind of people!

Builders must focus on their part of the job.

God is not expecting you to do everything, but to do your part.

Everyone must be rebuilding the walls.

“then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” 4:15
The entire chapter 3 describes all the families, name by name, each one working on their portion of the wall.
There were priests, fathers, mothers, children (big and small) helping one way or another.
God is not expecting you to do everything, but to do your part.
The work is easily carried if everyone contributes to it, with talent, time, and money. Our rebuilding must involve members, no members, ushers, deacons, teachers, etc. Everyone doing something!

Protecting the work.

While some do the work, the others must be protecting the workers.
Nehemiah 4:16 NASB95
From that day on, half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows and the breastplates; and the captains were behind the whole house of Judah.
Neh 4:16
How can we protect them? Do not let people criticize them, do not allow murmur or gossip about them, pray for them, support them. If someone attacks them, you must defend them.
Remember that you and your family are the beneficiaries of their efforts.

Building, but ready to fight the enemy.

Nehemiah 4:17–18 NASB95
Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me.
Neh 4:17-18
Builders must carry the trowel or the shovel on one hand and the sword on the other hand. The enemy may come at any moment to destroy or discourage you.
The sword of the Spirit must be carried and proclaimed by all, those who do the work and those that are beneficiaries of the work. The work is done by preaching the gospel and building up those that have received Jesus until...
Ephesians 4:13 NASB95
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Builders must carry the trowel or the shovel on one hand and the sword on the other hand. 4:17-18
As Nehemiah told the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, on verse 19, I tell you today, “The work is great and extensive...” We cannot do it if we do not unite as one body. If you hear the trumpet (the calling) to help those that are tired or being attack, go and help, go and support by participating in your church activities.
It is time to rebuild together! If you do not want to rebuild, at least, do not hinder those that want to rebuild!
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