This morning continues our look at the great book of Nehemiah.This wonderful Old Testament work has a lot to teach us about our lives as Christians and how we pursue relationship with Jesus.
Nehemiah spent three days in Jerusalem, before going out in the night to walk around the city and inspect the walls for himself. After he had completed his inspection, reveals his mission to rebuild the walls and bring dignity back to the city. The people are on board, and prepare for the work ahead. Three men, Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite & Geshem the Arab, jeered and mocked the people of Jerusalem.
The people worked diligently, they and their families rebuilding sections near their homes and districts. When Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem heard that work was going forward they plotted to fight against Jerusalem.
When reading Nehemiah 2:9-4:23, two big ideas stand out: Planning and perseverance in the face of opposition.
When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he told no one of his mission. Instead, he began to inspect the city and the walls. He began to make preparations—he began to plan.
As Christians, we need to make plans (and realistic plans at that). Over the last few years, I’ve noticed that this is something many Christians don’t do well, as if our plans would somehow hinder God’s sovereignty and ability to work in the world. At best, prayer is the extent of much of our planning:
“God, I want to do XYZ… and Lord God, I just pray that a door to XYZ would be opened.”