Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach. Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. – Nehemiah 2:17-20
Everybody knew there was a problem but, to that date, no one had the courage or wisdom to fix it.
Nehemiah has been an intercessor as he mourned and prayed for the sins of his people and the condition of their city. He had been an amazing lobbyist convincing Artaxerxes to change his political position on Israel, and help them rebuild. Nehemiah, then, became a scout leader of military troops, supplies, and people as he led them back to Judah. He went out at night, changing hats again, and became a master architect with the plans to rebuild.
Now, Nehemiah must do what might be the most difficult task of all: motivate people to action and work!
But, as the Lord blessed every other step Nehemiah took, He blesses him once again. The fire of one man moved a nation. He showed his passion. He showed what God had told him to do. He showed them the evidence of the providence of God in what the king said and did for him. He basically cried out, “What are we waiting for?!?” And the people responded,
Let us rise up and build!
Even when Geshem, a third enemy, showed up from the south, completing the circle of enemies around them, Nehemiah does not waiver. He turns to Sanballat and Tobiah and tells them to get their stuff out of the Temple and get themselves out of Jerusalem. Rather than cowering at the site of another enemy, Nehemiah kicks the other out of town!
We all need spiritual leaders in our lives. Of course, we should seek the will of God in the study of His word, but we need good pastors to guide us and give us instruction. The world will always mock righteous reform. Mock and ridicule are Satan’s first volley of fiery darts. Did we think the devil was going to just give up and go home simply because we showed up? What happens if we are not in the shield of faith of a good Bible church? The church must be in strong unity and fellowship to fight off the devil and build the foundation and walls of the Christian life.
And remember, the first step to recovery is to kick out the invaders!