Nehemiah

This devotional is written by Matt Coombs. Matt is married to Pip and is one of the leaders at St Mary's.

Nehemiah 6:15-7:3

15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

Opposition to the Completed Wall

16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.

17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them. 18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah. 19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

7 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do. 3 I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses."

Reflection

The wall is completed!

The wall in this story stands as a towering testament of all that God has done through Nehemiah and his friends (16). There is no hiding it. It boldly and defiantly says in spite of all the abuse and the mocking God will finish what he started!

Their enemies were left afraid and lost their confidence (16). In the end, they were the ones who were exposed and discredited. God did what He said He would do and he finished what he started. Here in the story of Nehemiah and the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, we see that when God is up to something and God is moving, he will bring to completion what he promises to do.
Notice that verse 16 doesn't read, they realised that this work had been done with the help of our Nehemiah." Nehemiah knew that this was God's victory and that this was His task and His mission. Nehemiah knew that he and the people of Jerusalem were merely participants in God's vision and mission; they were servants of the Lord, put there to carry out the tasks God had assigned.

Have a think back through your story, remind yourself of the ways that God has worked in your life. You are like the walls of Jerusalem – you are a testament to God's work in you. You might not be the finished work, but know that God will finish what he started. Romans 12 says "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." How can you cooperate with him in this work?

Are there areas of your life that you are waiting for God to carry to completion? Have confidence that he will finish what he started. Where can you cooperate with that?

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