Learning from Nehemiah

Great Walls!

The Great Wall of China has to be one of the most impressive architectural structures in history.   Its great walls measure out to a fantastic 21,196km!  The wall was built as a defence against China’s many enemies and up to 25,000 watchtowers were constructed along this great wall.  The Great Wall of China is a picture of serious strength, power and might and any enemy would have to think twice before breeching it!

The Great Wall of China

In Nehemiah 1:3 we read about the walls of a once great city, “And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach.  The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’”The once impressive, massive wall that surrounded the city of Jerusalem was in ruins, broken down and destroyed, leaving the inhabitants of Jerusalem open to attack.  

Jerusalem

In the Persian capital of Shushan lived a humble man named Nehemiah.  Nehemiah was born in captivity and in the palace of the Persian King.  He was raised up to become a man of great importance.  The cupbearer to the King.  Even though Nehemiah was not born there his heart longed for Jerusalem and its people, this was the place Nehemiah would call home.  Was he happy in Persia?  Maybe, maybe not, but his heart was definitely in Jerusalem, the place that the Father loved.  But, it was in Persia that Nehemiah was shaped and fashioned into a great leader.  There has to have been some hard times for Nehemiah because he had character, he was proven and tried, he was tested through tribulation.  God’s Word tells us in Romans 5:3-4, “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope,”  

The people in Jerusalem were in great distress and suffering greatly.  In any ancient city if there were no walls the city was wide open and vulnerable, anything of value was easily stolen.  Jerusalem had been reduced to a desolate, stagnant town.  No longer the majestic city that it had been under Solomon’s rule.  The people in the town, like the walls, were in a bad state, distressed, frightened and vulnerable.  Mere survivors.

God has so much more for us than just being mere survivors!  He wants us to be more than conquerors’ (Rom 8:37).  He wants you to “soar on wings like eagles, to run and not grow weary,” (Is 40:31) “to walk through the fire and not get burned”  (Is 43:2).  He wants you to “do greater things than Jesus did,” (John 14:12) “to set the oppressed free and break every yoke,” (Is 58:6) to live that “abundant life” that Jesus has given you (John 10:10).  He wants you to “live in freedom and not fear, (Gal 5:1) and to “give you a hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)

But first God needs to build up those broken down walls, He needs to reach into all the shattered places of your heart and restore.  Every tiny crack will be filled in and made new, made stronger, more beautiful and more glorious.  Then, when your walls are built up, the enemy won’t be able to get in and steal your joy, rob you of peace or squash your hope.  Instead you will be secure and powerful and able to resist the devil causing him to flee in terror!  You will be like the Great Wall of China, strong, mighty, impenetrable, incredible!  Allow the Holy Spirit into all areas of your life and He will do a miraculous work in you!