Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open,
– Nehemiah 1:6a…..
I recently finished the book of Nehemiah. What a great book! It seems like whatever I am currently reading is my favorite book of the Bible. Call me wishy-washy, but I think that it is because God shows me new things in each book every time I read it. Therefore, each book replaces the last as my favorite.
One thing I noticed this time through Nehemiah was the fact that in chapter three everyone’s part in building the wall was listed. What does this tell me? If God listed it, it is important. That really caused me to think. If their part in the wall building was that important, imagine how essential each of our tasks are in delivering the Gospel. If He was to write a new book about current times, and He wanted to list what each one of us did for Him, what would he list under our names? What have we done for furthering the cause of Christ? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Another thing that struck me was the adversaries that tried to distract them from their work. They didn’t outright attack, but they tried different tactics. They asked Nehemiah to break from working and come to speak with them. They tried to manipulate using niceties. Nehemiah was too wise for them, however, and refused. Hmmm, how many times have we allowed ourselves to be distracted by those with intentions of hindering the work of the Lord? Sometimes, I wonder if when it happens, we aren’t watching carefully. How many times have we been distracted without realizing that is what happened?
Once the wall was up, the people laid the foundation for God’s temple. They rejoiced and sang over this foundation. They didn’t even have the temple started yet, but the fact that they had a foundation made them want to celebrate. This caught my attention as my thoughts drew to Jesus. He is the foundation of our salvation that leads to heaven. How often do we truly rejoice over that? How often do we truly celebrate that foundation with worship? Do we neglect Him and take Him for granted? Do we sing and bow down at His feet?
The last point I noticed was when Nehemiah went to be with the king. He returned to Jerusalem, and the temple had been defiled. People were doing things there that were sinful and unpleasing to God. He chased them out in efforts to cleanse God’s House. Today’s churches resemble this problem in that many actively defile God’s House. They practice unscriptural and unholy services that are dishonoring to the Lord. They play secular music, they don’t read the Bible, they teach things that are not of God, . . . We need to be as Nehemiah and cleanse these defiled places and bring God back into the picture!
These are just some random thoughts I picked up as reading. I love God’s Word and the bountifulness that exists within it!