Last week we noticed that our Summer Series theme is “Rebuilding the Walls” taken from Nehemiah. We noted that there are some walls that need to be destroyed in our lives – the walls that sin has built and come between our mates, our children, co-workers, and, unfortunately, those that have come between us and God.
We also saw that sin is what caused the children of Israel to be taken into captivity, and what caused the walls of Jerusalem to be torn down. Sin destroys everything it touches, and causes the walls of protection to be torn down. Hence, we need to rebuild the walls so as to protect our families; the church and our souls.
In Nehemiah 2:9-10 Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel (NKJV). When the enemy hears of plans to rebuild walls he will not be pleased. Satan wants the walls of protection to crumble, and this happens because of disrepair; because attention is not given to the problem at hand. God wants his work to succeed, and it will always succeed, but he wants his church to help rebuild the walls.
Satan has been very happy with the lackluster response of the church (which is the pillar and ground of the truth – 1 Timothy 3:15) to helping families stay together by teaching the truth concerning marriage and child rearing. He has been pleased because we have not prepared our young people to meet the challenges to their faith in the forms of evolution, relativism and atheism.
We need to understand when the enemy is not pleased, he will step up his efforts to destroy that for which God has stood. He will increase his efforts to destroy and intimidate us in every way he can. What will we do? Stand and fight, or flee? For our children’s sake, I pray we fight!
When Nehemiah first set foot in Jerusalem, the first thing he did was to go around the city and survey the damage. He could have grown discouraged by seeing the mess the way it was; he could have grown discouraged because the people had not done anything since their first return in rebuilding the wall. Can you imagine? God’s people, upon their return to Jerusalem, did nothing about rebuilding the walls for some period of approximately 93 years (In 536 BC Cyrus allowed the Jews to go back and they started rebuilding the temple. The temple was not finished until approximately 516 BC. It would be another 61 years before Nehemiah would come and begin work on rebuilding the walls). Can you imagine walking around the destruction day in and day out and doing nothing about it?
Do we see the broken homes and handicapped children in the church because we have not done what we can to shore up the family by teaching and preaching? Don’t get me wrong. A preacher can preach on this till he is blue in the face – unless the church does what it can to help the family do what it can, nothing will change. We have not faced the elephant of divorce in the church, and we have not faced the elephant of children coming from broken homes, or homes that are in an uproar all of the time. Further, have we worked at building the church? We may see the damage done by years of inactivity and failure to teach the world; but what about our failures in teaching the church her responsibilities in preaching the gospel to a lost world. We have been paralyzed into only preaching the gospel in our buildings, when God says for us to get out of the building and into the world (Mark 16:15-16). And, sadly, we see the broken walls in our own lives, our own failings and sins, that keep many from getting involved in God’s work of standing for truth and helping our fellow man to know what God has to offer in the gospel.
Beloved, we must make a decision to do our part in rebuilding. The preacher, elders and deacons can only do so much. Will we study and shore up the walls of our faith? Will we then go and do what the Bible tells us to do? Or will we sit and expect others to do what we should be doing?
Let’s get to work!