I Can Work
Nehemiah is often referenced when it comes to encouraging other to work in our Lord’s kingdom. There are so many different inspiring points that his letter brings out that motivates us to work on building walls, the walls that truly matter in this life.
Nehemiah teaches us in the first chapter that the best thing I can do, the most important thing I can do, the first thing I can do is pray. Nehemiah’s second chapter teaches us that despite difficult circumstances and seemingly impossible odds I can still ask. I can ask other to let me help and I can ask others to help me when needed.
Nehemiah’s third and fourth chapters remind us that we can work. It’s not just about work itself but a variety of aspects to that work. He’s prayed earnestly about it, formed a plan, and communicated that plan to others. Now it’s time to get to work. What can we learn from the work he and others engaged in and what enabled them to build those walls in just 52 days?
You Can Work With Others
Nehemiah chapter 3 almost seems like one of those chapters everyone starts to read and then just skips to the end. I’ll admit I have done that. Let’s face it many of the names are hard to pronounce and it almost seems like just big list of names. So what’s the big deal.
There are multiple benefits to this chapter for bible students but one major benefit is that they learned to work with others. When they decided to work they didn’t just call in the professionals to do the work but rather everyone came together to work. You had priests, levites, merchants, women, government officials, goldsmiths, perfumers, and people from other cities (Jericho, Tekoa, Gibeon) working together. Do we not sometimes shrink back from work in the Lord’s kingdom because we’d rather leave it to those who specialize in those areas like shepherds, deacons, and evangelists. Nehemiah shows us we can accomplish the Lord’s work by working with others.
You Can Work Despite Opposition
Some people faced opposition from the moment they left home like those from Tekoa whose elders would not even “stoop to serve their Lord.” Then Sanballat and Tobiah sought to make their work difficult by taunting and ridiculing and even threatening them. This opposition concerned them, scared them, worried them. But Nehemiah reminded them and reminds us that though some will oppose to remember what we’re working and fighting for. “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (4:14) We are fighting for the same things.
You Can Work Through Difficulties
Because of the opposition it caused them to put in place protocols that enabled them to be ready for whatever Sanballat and Tobiah brought. Some would not be able to return home and instead stay in the city. That means that hospitality was needed from others. The work force is cut in half in regards to production because half were continually on guard. Even those who were working were doing so essentially with one hand tied behind their back as they constantly carried a weapon. Even with all of those difficulties they were still able to complete the work in 52 days. Yes there are times we feel that for every step forward we take 2 backwards but we must keep pressing forward together.
You Can Work To Build Unity
Well you may say that they were building walls and all that makes sense but what are we building? Take time to read Ephesians 4:11-16 on your own but notice especially v16 when he says “when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Where are you working? Jesus would tell the church in Sardis that despite their reputation for being alive “I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.” That’s collectively and individually. In what ways can you be more engaged in the work we’ve been called to do? In what ways can you work with others to accomplish the goals? In what ways can you encourage others when opposition and difficulties raise their heads?
Let’s all strive to ask the Lord, ask our shepherds, ask our brethren how we can be more involved in the work our Lord has called us to do.