God in the Gaps

(Today’s post by Adam Cooper)

Nehemiah 4

gapThe rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem continues and there are many around Jerusalem who become angry that the Jews are rebuilding in such a manner. The Jews working together to rebuild the wall are mocked and threatened. It finally gets to the point that they are in such fear for their lives that they carry weapons while they are rebuilding the wall. No matter the threats they continue to work unified to accomplish the first of many steps to reinstating the glory of Israel as a nation and God’s chosen ones. Continually they lift up God and continue to work for His glory knowing that He is watching over them.

Nehemiah’s writing is a tremendous historic account of a nation rebuilding after the defeat of war and exile. But it is also a tremendous account of faith and grace. Faith from the Jews that they could accomplish the work that was sanctioned by God. Faith from the Jews that God would protect them and fight for them if they were attacked. Grace from God in that He was honoring the covenant that He had made with His people long ago and that He was watching over them as they rebuilt and thwarting the plans of their enemies.

I think there is a great deal to be learned from this chapter of Nehemiah.

  1. Even if something is part of God’s plan it does not mean that it is going to be easy for us to accomplish. We are guaranteed, because we live in a fallen world, to face trials along the way.
  2. God will always honor His covenants. No matter how many times the Jews messed up and were punished God always made a way back to Him possible.
  3. Accomplishing God’s will takes work. If the Jews had simply said to themselves “God will protect us, why do we need to rebuild the wall?” I don’t know if things would have gone the way they wanted. They worked, diligently to rebuild the wall and put their faith in God for protection and strength and their effort glorified God.
  4. When things appear to be more than you can handle you can always count on God’s strength because there is nothing too big for Him to handle.

And even though Nehemiah was written so long ago we can still learn from these truths.

  1. Jesus told us that we would face trials but if we persevered and held strong to our faith we would have eternal life. We are only visitors here.
  2. Jesus was God’s way of honoring His covenant with mankind. He was God’s way of providing a way back to Him for everyone, not just a chosen people group.
  3. Life in Christ takes work. We are constantly being barraged by the ways of this world, the temptations that could ruin us. We have to work to resist and remain faithful in Christ through prayer and constant study of God’s Word. Abiding in Christ does not mean waiting on Him to do something, it means actively working to remain in Him and His will while He works around us.
  4. When things get too tough for us to handle by ourselves we know that we can turn to God through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

My prayer today is that we learn from the faith and determination of Nehemiah and the Jews who were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Remain faithful, work diligently, and continually strive to glorify God in all that you do. God always stands in the gap of our defenses.

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