March 9 – Transformation Testimonies – Nehemiah

Read Nehemiah 4:1-23

The city of Jerusalem was an important piece of real estate.  Its significance was first of all tied to the fact that it represented the capital of the nation of Israel and an epicenter of God’s presence.  He had chosen this as the location for the building of the temple where He manifested Himself in the Holy of Holies.  But Jerusalem was also of great value because it was home to many a Jew.  In light of these precious realities, a wall had been constructed around the city, protecting the people and the temple from enemy attack.

Unfortunately, under Nebuchadnezzar the city and temple had been destroyed and many of God’s people had been taken in exile to Babylon decades before the events you read in Nehemiah 4.

Over time, people were permitted to return to their home land.  Reconstruction work on the temple, the city, and the wall was begun.  But this work was not without opposition.  The truth is, Satan is opposed to anything that God is for.  And in Nehemiah 4, he seems to use the threats of Sanballat, Tobiah, and others to bring discouragement to the work.  At risk were the glory of God and the welfare of His people.  Nehemiah helped the people of God recognize this as he challenged them in verse 14:

“After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.’”

This is a theme verse for a ministry to men called “Fight Club.”  And yet, it serves as a good reminder to all that the glory of God and the welfare of His people is still at risk.  It serves as a rally cry to set aside our passivity in family life.  It prompts God’s people to consider anew the greatness of God in a day when He is marginalized.

Doing so can transform a family!  It can transform a city!

Steve Kern

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