Everyone saw that the wall was rebuilt because of the help of God but Nehemiah knew that although the wall was down this was no time to relax because the enemies he had were still trying to destroy him.
Read Nehemiah 7:1-4
1) Stand Guard for the sake of the city
The walls could give a false sense of security from an enemy attack but Nehemiah knew the danger was not over. Nehemiah changed the ways things were done to keep them safe because most gates would be open from sunrise to sunset but Nehemiah did not want them open until the heat of the day or when everyone was awake. (some believe they would be shut in the middle of the day when the guards would have been the most lax about watching for intruders) He also did not want them open until the guards were in place to make sure the enemy did not sneak in during the day.
The enemy had tried to distract and even kill Nehemiah so why should he think they would stop now. The city was still vulnerable and not completed because all of the houses were not built in the city yet. Many people were still living in villages away from Jerusalem.
When Jesus was tempted in the desert finally Satan would leave but the Bible gives us a clue as to how the enemy works.
Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.
Nehemiah did not want the enemy to think that they even had a chance to attack. Keep in mind that what Nehemiah was doing was preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ to enter Jerusalem; if Satan can keep Jerusalem from being rebuilt he has a chance to keep or delay Christ coming.
More work to be done
As a body of believers there is still much work to do but I think the church in America has always had this false sense of security that our brothers and sisters overseas have not had. We have become lazy in watching to see how the enemy is attacking and now we sit back and are watching how we are being destroyed internally. Many schools and organizations that started off with strong Christian ties have now just become help organizations which is still good but when we provide for people physically without fixing the real problem which is their eternity, then we are not really doing them any good.
1 Chronicles 12:32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
As Christians we need to really start understanding the times we are living in so that we know what to do. We live in a post Christian America and so our mission field has to be seen as being across the street and not just across the ocean. Only 19% of protestants know that salvation comes from Faith in Christ and not from works (The church in an age of Crisis, pg 25, James White) Faith is disregarded because science is now god. (Although scientist accept many things by faith.) Nature is all there is or if you are my age “The cosmos is all that is, was or ever will be” Carl Sagan. Life is an accident and when you die , according to Bill Nye the science guy, you feel no pain only your loved ones do. Which how does Bill Nye know that? I think I will trust the one who not only died but rose again for any advice on eternity. Marriage is being redefined, Truth no longer exist, Family is no longer what it was and is now called a Modern Family, Gender is irrelevant, Childhood is disappearing while we expose our kids to things only adults should see. In the midst of all this the church is called to stand and be a lighthouse to others to keep them from the rocks of destruction and a guide to get them home.
As many Christians fret about the world becoming darker Christians need to realize that this is when we will shine brighter. To shine will come with its criticisms because you will be telling other people they are wrong in their behavior and what they believe. If I truly love someone then I am going to share with them about the pain they will experience through the lifestyle they will choose. To not say anything to someone about the life they are living is not love it is the opposite of love. Acceptance of a lifestyle that leads to destruction is not love it means you never cared for the person who threw their life away.
Isaiah 49:6b I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
God chose the children of Israel to be a light to the world and now we as a church are called to do the same so that people can be put back in a right relationship with Him. The church must not forget that our mission is to lead others to Him because when we do we miss the very assignment from God we are called to complete. When we believe we should be silent instead of warning people of the lifestyle they are living then we are forgetting that calls all men to repentance. (Acts 16:31) All roads do not lead to God (John 14:6) and if we are not careful we will allow the enemy to destroy the very people we love.In essence we will be tricked into thinking that we will be helping others by turning the light off which will leave the rest of the world in the dark wrecking their lives.
2) Stand Guard by being God Fearing
Fearing God is not to be frightened of Him that would be contrary to what scripture teaches. To be God Fearing is to have an admiration, reverence and amazement at who God is. Fearing God means putting Him first in all that we do and also in His mission for the world to know Him.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
The enemy tried to use fear to control Nehemiah and the people. When you fear people more than God then you will give in to every whim they have. When you fear people more than God then you will be silent when it was time to speak up.
When Hitler was killing all the Jews the Church in Germany would sing songs to drown out the noise of the box cars going by with all the Jews loaded in them. They did not want to hear that there was pain and suffering of people so they would just drown out the noise by singing to God even louder. How sad that the church did not want to get involved because they thought the best thing to do was to mind their own business. (see the book How to kill 11 million people)
God fearing people know that there is a mission and they have to stay the course. God fearing people know that their lives are in the hands of God and He can use them as He sees fit. God Fearing people know that what God says is what they do even when the whole world will tell them to be silent. (Acts 5:29)
3) Stand Guard by being faithful
There was still so much at stake for the Kingdom and Nehemiah knew that the work was not completed but Nehemiah also knew that some of the people in Jerusalem were not for the Kingdom work because of their loyalties to the enemies on the outside. As we have seen in our story Nehemiah had Priest that tried to trick him into sinning and there will always be people who will not be for advancing the Kingdom of God only their own agenda.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
Just because you are in the church does not mean you belong to God. (Matthew 7) People use to judge their faithfulness to God by church attendance but God judges it by your faithfulness to do what He says. (Matthew 21:28-32) The faithfulness I am referring to is faithfulness to God through Jesus Christ to do His will no matter what it is. Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Spirit and one of the ways to know if you have the Spirit of God living inside of you. (Galatians 5:22) Faith is thrown around a lot but it has lost its meaning because people do not attach faith to anything. Faith is not just a word it is in the person and work of Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross.
Many Christians have not been faithful to the lives they should live and so the world laughs. We are placed here for a reason just like Nehemiah placed certain people in places so God has placed us where He wants us to be faithful to Him. The church has lost its voice simply by not being faithful in the things God called us to be.
4) Stand Guard with others
Gatekeepers, singers and Levites
Notice all the temple people came together to guard the city because guarding of the city was worshiping God. The Church in the book of Acts thrived simply because the power of God and the love they had for one another. The church is not some made up organization for men to have control over people (davinci code) the Church was established by God because God has never intended for us to live on this planet alone. We are supposed to be with a group of people we care about and who can hold us accountable so the enemy does not destroy us. Nehemiah put people in places that would have each other’s backs, literally.
The list of returned exiles (Nehemiah 7:5-73)
These were the people who returned from captivity to come home. It is not a stretch to parallel this list with how those who are brought back from captivity into the Kingdom of light and now have their names written in the book of life. (Revelation 3:5) The list was who was allowed to live in the walls of the Kingdom as well as who was truly related to the priest so they could carry out priestly duties. These were the Exiles that came home to live and many of them still lived outside of the walls because there were not enough houses within the walls yet. These are the people that made things happen and were part of the building of the Kingdom
It is not important to count the people but to know that all these people counted.
So many times we think that what we do for the Kingdom is insignificant but God sees what we do and it is recorded.
Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Paul is talking to believers in this passage so this is not in regard to sin but how we lived out our salvation on earth. There will always be greats like Nehemiah but we have to remember God has placed us and gifted us to do our part in the Kingdom as well. If we are going to stand guard then we have to have each others backs as we move forward to do the Kingdom work God has called us to.
Our City, our Nation and our world need us to live out the things we say we believe. We need to make God our priority in everything we do instead of giving into the ways of men. We need to be found to be faithful to God and to each other.
Anyone can complain about the mess we are in as a nation but have we done all we can do to protect it? What is God calling you to do today to make a difference in our world?
Is your name written in the book of life? If that is not something you have settled in your life you must ask yourself if you have made Jesus Savior and Lord of your life. It is a total surrender to Him of your life.
Are you living a Godly example at Home, work, school and in your neighborhood?
Have you committed to a group of believers that will encourage you to continue to live the life God has called you to live?