The Report

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE; MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1:3

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burnt with fire.

And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach. The reporters brought a solemn and sorrowful report. The remnant, the remaining Jews in the city that were not captured, they were in 1) affliction, 2) reproach.

  1. Affliction
    Affliction, trouble, and distress are often the consequences of backsliding and walking away from God. I have personally experienced it to be so. In fact, they are not only often the consequences, they are the natural result. The only reason why the affliction is not as great is often because of God’s great mercies and love. Yet, when I am in affliction, it is only because of God’s love as well, that wants to bring me yet closer back to Him! Affliction is God’s loving call to His prodigal son to head home!
  2. Reproach
    It has the idea of being cast aside. Walking out of God’s will has us feeling that God no longer has a plan for us, but it is only because we choose not to follow that plan. Like affliction, reproach is also a natural result of not following Christ. This reproach, however, in the nation of Israel’s situation, was the reproach of the world, the nations around. Similarly, though I try to be like the world and compromise, in the latter end, I will face the world’s reproach, for I cannot fully embrace their values and ideologies. The only way out is to return to Christ!

The wall of Jerusalem also is broken down. This depicts how bad the situation is. When I give in to the world and follow it, my defences are gone. The spiritual walls are broken down and there is no protection against evil. I am prone again to Satan’s attacks, and powerless to resist. At every attack, my only hope is to raise the white flag of surrender, and give in to sin yet once again.

And the gates thereof are burned with fire. Not only am I open and exposed to the devil’s attacks when I sin and turn my back on God, I cannot bar evil influences from ruining my life. The entry points, the gates, are burnt. Even the slightest resistance cannot be put up. The enemy is on the rampage. They have free access to my spiritual city, which is now nothing but rubble.

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The Reporters

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE; MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1:2

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah. How often God uses those around me to show me my backsliding and sin. Looking around, seeing Christians who faithfully are still loving Jesus, shows how far I have left the Lord. The closing gap between younger Christians in the faith and me shows that I have slowed down in the Christian race, and others are catching up. I have begun to lose precious time for growth in Christ. In Nehemiah, God used one of his family members, as well as men of Judah, to bring him the report. God uses people around me to wake me up to my sin, and I should learn to treasure Godly Christians around me.

And I asked concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. Here Nehemiah shows his concern for his home country, for his people. It was his personal concern. I should show concern for my home country of Heaven, my people, my Christian friends, but applying it personally, I should show concern for my own spiritual life. The first step to rising from the rubble will be to show concern for my spiritual life. To make enquiries concerning it. To scrutinize and really call upon God to search me, and know my heart, to try me, and know my thoughts, for there are wicked ways in me. Nehemiah enquired about the Jews that had escaped, and the remnant. This is important. I ought to survey and discover the things that still remain of my strong Christian life, to hold fast, and strengthen the things that remain, that be ready to die, because my works are not perfect before God. To muster all my available resources to aid in the restoration of a ruined spiritual life.

RISING FROM THE RUBBLE

MEDITATIONS IN NEHEMIAH

Here, an apprentice learns from a master builder, the skills of repairing a broken spiritual relationship with God, and the keys to a strong Christian life, fortified against the enemy.

NEHEMIAH 1

the person, the time, and the place

Nehemiah 1:1
The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace.

The words of Nehemiah. Nehemiah will be a personal book. It was recorded from a first person point of view. Thus, this book will be also written from a first person point of view. I chose to record my meditations in Nehemiah as I felt that not only would it help me to be sure I really chewed on and thought on God’s Word, it would also enable others to benefit from my learning experience.  Backsliding is a personal matter, and I did not realize how far I’ve wandered until I’ve been far from God. Outwardly, I may seem spiritual and serving God, but inwardly, my secret sins have been eating me. Now, personally, I have come to Nehemiah, seeking the Lord, and wanting to draw lessons from this spiritual builder who in 52 days, raised the walls of Jerusalem despite the odds. Lord, in 52 days, I will be a stronger Christian.

     And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year. As I record my meditations, I am currently in my twentieth year. I believe that God is really speaking to me and calling me to rise from the rubble, and build again the destroyed spiritual life. The time is now. I have to realize I have ruined my spiritual life, repent, and turn back to God, to rebuild this broken spiritual relationship.

     As I was in Shushan the palace. No matter the place I am in, the present situation I am currently facing, I have to act. Nehemiah was in Shushan the palace. He was far away from his home country. He was in captivity. I, too, am far from my home country of Heaven. More than that, I am far from my spiritual destination as a Christian—the likeness and image of Christ. Nehemiah was in captivity, in a hostile environment to his faith. As I write, I am serving my country, I am a police officer. I did not choose this way, I was conscripted. The environment has not been kind to my Christian life. I have no Christian friends on my team, I have no spiritual encouragement at work. I feel captive and bound by my sin. But I have Christ, and it will make all the difference.