Thursday, July 9, 2015

Building Our Wall Part 2: Defending the Wall

The wall of Jerusalem. The state of America. They have so much in common. They are broken down. They are under attack. Sanballat did not wish to allow the Jews to rebuild their wall in peace any more than the Enemy wishes to allow us to rebuild America in peace. What did the Jews do about it?

They prayed to the Lord and set a guard to watch. Half of the men watched for the enemy's attack while the other half continued to build. And the builders carried their swords so that should the trumpet be sounded, they would be ready to join in the fight to defend the wall. And should the alarm be sounded, they were to rally together and fight as one. The builders and guards, the rulers and perfumers, to defend their wives and their children and their homes.

So must we have guards. Our pastors must be on the lookout for the attacks on our religious freedom. Talk show hosts often sound alarms as to what things are going on in our government. Some of us must watch. They must watch so that others are free to build. But we must always be ready, we must always be listening for that trumpet if we are the builders, so that when the time comes, we will be ready to join together in the fight.

"Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands. Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.” But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in.” And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid." --Nehemiah 6: 1-14

Sanballat used everything he could think of against the Jews. He sent messages to them saying that it was reported they intended to attack. He said that Nehemiah intended to make himself king. He said that Nehemiah had set up prophets to proclaim that "There is a king in Judah." He fabricated lies to make Nehemiah look bad. But Nehemiah refuted him saying that Sanballat invented them out of his own mind. Sanballat even went so far as to hire people to prophesy against Nehemiah. Yet Nehemiah stood strong. He trusted in God and declared the truth.

The Enemy is always fabricating lies about us. They hate us as Christians. They hate us as Conservatives. They say we hate people because we are against sin. They say we are selfish and don't want to help the needy because we oppose having the government take that role.  And even people on our side take up arms against the leaders on our side because they buy the fabricated story or they disagree on strategy. Like Nehemiah, we have to refute the lies. We have to speak the truth. They will lie about us. They will continue to do so. But we have to speak out. And we have to trust in God. We can't be made afraid by the lies, but only continue to refute them.

And then the wall was finished. Jerusalem was protected, the people were safe, they were rebuilt. They read the Law in the streets so the people would know it. They worshiped the Lord. They celebrated a holy day unto the Lord. And the people of Israel repented from their sins.

So must we declare the Gospel. We must share God's word with all, in the streets, in the town square. How shall they repent if they have not heard? We must worship the Lord always. And repent of our sins. We must tell people the Good News.

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