trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Arise and Build!

And stop being so complacent! Nehemiah 2.11-20

Return from Exile: Nehemiah 1-5 (3)

Pray Psalm 126.6.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

Sing Psalm 126.6.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
They who in tears of sorrow sow and cast their seed on every hand,
with joy shall reach their heav’nly home, and bring the harvest of their land.

Read Nehemiah 2.1-20; meditate on verses 11-20.

What did Nehemiah do by night?

How did he respond to what he had seen?

Apparently, the people who returned to Jerusalem had become used to their walls being in ruins. Or maybe they’d just worn themselves out rebuilding the temple, and they had no more vision or energy. At any rate, it seems Nehemiah was the one person willing to decry this dissolute situation and call the people to action.

His by-night survey of the walls confirmed what he had heard in Shushan (vv. 11-16): The walls of Jerusalem “were broken down and its gates…were burned with fire” (v. 13). He met with the leadership in Jerusalem and confronted them with the seriousness of the situation (v. 17). Did they not know this? Or had they just decided not to look at it, and somehow to just get by?

But we know what was in Nehemiah’s heart: “Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem” (v. 18). They must have sensed that he meant it: “So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work” (v. 18).

Sometimes that’s all it takes—someone who is willing to face the problem, call others to join with him, and get busy, against all opposition (v. 19), to do that which brings honor to God and health and safety to His people (v. 20).

As we look at our churches today—how so many of them are awash in worldly interests and ways, have set aside the mission of making disciples, and have lost sight of the nature of true worship—we can decide that this is as good as it gets and just leave things lie. Or we can be like Nehemiah, survey the damage, seek the Lord, and call our fellow believers to arise and build.

Complacent or committed.

Which are you?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The narration of this story is stunning (which is a total aside to the message of this passage). But let’s look at it for just a moment. The true historicity of it is found in this sentence: “Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal under me to pass. So I went up in the night by the valley, and viewed the wall; then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned” (Neh. 2.14, 15). Can you hear these words spoken and see Nehemiah on horseback, at night, without guard dogs or any form of protection, riding through the quiet night, viewing the dismal destruction of his beloved city?
God’s Word is so beautifully written and so true. What a delight for all our senses!

Back to work.

“Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (Prov. 25.26).

I wonder, are we as concerned about our own spirits, or our churches’ spirits, as Nehemiah was about Jerusalem? Do you think it might be helpful to take an evening’s solitary ride around our broken-down walls, or the crushed walls of the captive Church today? What would we see? Would we be as downcast as Nehemiah? Do we even care anymore? Are we complacent or committed?

The repair work must start within ourselves and then move outward to our churches. The walls of the corporate church will never be properly rebuilt by broken down people who do not love the Law of God and all His Word, like Ezra and Nehemiah did. Their intense love for God and His Law gave them the power within to do the work without.

If we lack the gumption of the Holy Spirit, I fear we will just keep clomp-clomping around what’s broken down and never have the inclination or power to dismount our steed, arise, and build.

But. Our heavenly Father will “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Lk. 11.13).
“For the Holy Spirit will teach you…” (Lk. 12.12).
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (Jn. 14.16, 17).
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1.8).

“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build…” (Neh. 2.20).

Let’s get busy doing it! First inside, then out.

For reflection
1. How are the “walls” of your soul under attack day by day? How do you prepare each day to defend and rebuild them?

2. Is it fair to say that the “walls” of our churches need rebuilding? Explain.

3. What does “arise and build” mean for you and your work in your Personal Mission Field?

The application to ourselves is plain. The church of God asks for our help. Is it not desolate, and exposed to assaults? Does the consideration of its low estate cause you any grief? Let not business, pleasure, or the support of a party so engage attention, as that Zion and her welfare shall be nothing to you. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Nehemiah 2.19, 20

Pray Psalm 126.1-5.
Pray that God’s people today will recognize that our lives and churches are in desperate need of revival. Pray that we will arise, look to Jesus, and build afresh the walls of our faith!

Sing Psalm 126.1-5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
When God restored our fortunes all, we were like those who sweetly dream.
Our mouths with joy and laughter filled, made Him our constant song and theme.

Then the astonished nations said, “The Lord has done great things for them!”
Indeed, great things our God has done, Whose Name we praise, Amen, Amen!

Restore our fortunes, Lord our King! Let grace like flowing streams prevail.
All they with tears of joy shall sing who sow while yet they weep and wail.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.