As the work on the walls of Jerusalem began, the attacks began in earnest from Satan and his minions.
One of the ways Satan and Nehemiah’s enemies attacked was by mockery. It usually is the first way Satan attacks; and a way that discourages those who are engaged in the work. When people belittle and mock a work, they realize that something good is happening and going on, and they also realize that they must try to stop it. And, it usually starts off with mockery. In Nehemiah 4:3 the opponents attacked the solidarity of the wall by stating, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.” How often has mockery stopped a good work? How often has the statement, “Well, we’ve not done it that way before,” or “We tried that, it didn’t work,” stopped a good work from proceeding. There will always be the nay-sayers; the mockers; the jealous who will try to stop Christians from doing God’s work. And we listen. We have stopped preaching and teaching the gospel to many because Satan and his workers tells us we shouldn’t and we can’t. Keep the gospel in the four walls of a “church building,” they say. The big question is, “Will we listen to them, or obey God?” The mockers and doubters will always be there! What will we do?
When confronted with this, Nehemiah prayed. “Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity! Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.” (Nehemiah 4:4-5 NKJV). Beloved, when we face difficulties, the first thing we need to do is pray! When we hear a discouraging word (and they will come) we need to pray. Before we begin a great undertaking, we need to pray! Prayer needs to bathe everything we do, plan to do and want to do for the work of the Lord. Brethren, we need to focus on what God can do. We need to keep our focus on God, not on our enemies.
After the mockery, the work continued in earnest, and the walls were joined up to half it’s height. Why? The people had a mind to work. Beloved, what if we all had a mind to work as they did, to build the church SPIRITUALLY – to build one another and encourage one another to closer service in following Jesus.
Having a mind to work is so important if we will do God’s will. We have to work at growing spiritually. We have to work at being better husbands, and on this Father’s Day, better fathers. We have to work at being better wives and mothers. We have to work at being better parents. We can’t rebuild a marriage if we are not willing to work at it. We can’t parent well if we are not willing to work.
It takes three to build a marriage – God, the husband and the wife. And it takes constant work to make a marriage into what God intended for it to be!
Then, consider how important it is that families be involved in helping the church to be what God wants it to be. And consider how the church can help rebuild families. Notice Titus 2:1-5 “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” NKJV
Notice that Titus is to speak “sound doctrine,” or “sound teaching.” Sound doctrine is what builds a church. And a HUGE part of sound doctrine involves how Christians should live their lives.
Older men are to set the example in soberness, temperance, love, and patience.
Older women are to be teachers of good things, and to admonish the younger women to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keeps at home.” The church is to help one another in the body, and consider the multigenerational teaching that should go on. Older Christians should be teaching and showing the younger Christians how to live; how to have good families; how to live so that God and his word are not blasphemed. Young adults then teach their children, and the sound doctrine and gospel are continually perpetuated.
It is a multifaceted work to rebuild the church. One man cannot do it by himself.
Families must be involved in rebuilding the walls. When we have strong Christian families; families that really live by the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church will then be strengthened to do the work God intends for her to do.
Brethren, pray and let’s all commit to being what God wants us to be for his kingdom.