After writing a blog on Nehemiah chapter 3, I went on and read into chapter 4 and 5. I am loving this book as it has taught me some very valuable principles of how I should live my christian live with Jesus. I am a doer. I love being kept busy and being active within our church family so these verses in chapter 4 spoke into the part of me who enjoys those things.
I noticed two things reading this chapter, one of those I briefly mentioned in ‘which man are you’ and that is that they came with an attitude to work. Verse 6 states:
So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. (Nehemiah 4:6 NKJV)
However the message version says it beautifully… ‘The people had a heart for the work’. Not that these people wanted to work or that they came excited by the work, no they came with a heart FOR it. They came willing to put in the time, and the effort required as they cared for and had a heart for the work. This poses a question both in my life and others, why do we do the things we do? Is it because we have a heart for people in need or is it because we have to? Do we have a heart for the work currently found in our hands? Or do we do it because we feel there is no option?
The verse says the wall was built up to half it’s height FOR the people had a mind to work. The message says, ‘soon the wall was joined together and halfway to it’s height BECAUSE the people had a mind to work.’ It was only because these people came with the right heart and willing hands that the work was completed swiftly.
But then I read on into verses 8 onwards and I read about an attack planned on these people while building. We are told of men who became angry that the walls were being fortified and that Nehemiah warned the people of an imminent and possible threat on their lives. His advice is found in verse 9 and 14. Nehemiah ensured they watched day and night and made prayer to God. He then separates the men out and says “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” (Nehemiah 4:14 NKJV)
What wise words of a man simply relying on God. The Lord, great and awesome! Amazing words of encouragement.
So the plan was to keep watch and to ensure any attacker was killed. But notice v17. I think this is the most interesting of all. While Nehemiah split the men up, some to watch, still the wall needed built, and safely.
Note that it says:
Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built.
As I read this chapter I noticed a very obvious pattern. Nehemiah warned these men to expect attack and to come armed for it. To focus on God and to pray to him, to keep an eye for attackers and to never be too jaded or naive to think they were completely safe and to build on. But he also made one last statement and that was to come with their swords at the side, Girded. With one hand these men built the wall and with the other they carried their weapon.
While we build up our church what are we doing? Are we praying? Seeking God for his heart in the cause? Focusing on God alone? Are we carrying our sword within our hearts? For Gods word says in Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Wow, our bibles, the very word of God is living, powerful and sharper than any sword.
While we build we NEED to ensure the word of God is firmly planted and rooted into our hearts, and minds. That we fully rely on God and in His divine strength and that as we use our hands to serve Him our hearts would be in prayer and meditation with Him.
I guess the question remains Are you armed?