March 31 I Tuesday
“The God of heaven will give us success.”
The work of rebuilding the city walls of Jerusalem was met with serious opposition by a coalition of high rank people in the north, south, east and west regions surrounding Jerusalem. Yet, Nehemiah answers with confidence their bold accusation of rebelling against the king. “The God of heaven will give us success,” and he adds, “We His servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it” (Nehemiah 2:20).
Nehemiah’s response is spiritual and practical. Firstly, spiritual in the sense that God will give them success since this is not a human enterprise, but a divine one. God is the one enabling and Nehemiah places his trust and dependence wholeheartedly in God. Secondly, practical in the sense that the people say, “We His servants will start rebuilding…” because they are equipped, ready and eager to go. Nehemiah 4:6 tells us, “We rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” The people were motivated and inspired because God had moved their hearts to share in Nehemiah’s vision.
Nehemiah’s work is characterized by two complementary ingredients: his spirituality in which he is in constant touch with God and dependent on Him, and the practicality of making both his vision and God’s vision come to fruition. God looks for people who have His agenda at heart, and who make themselves available to bring about a purpose much deeper than the practical necessities for which we work—to fulfill the eternal purpose of heaven.
The broken city of Jerusalem, God’s dwelling place, is the picture of a broken relationship with God. The rebuilding of the city walls is symbolic of restoring that relationship. That was God’s purpose and the vision He placed in Nehemiah’s heart. God calls and gives us the vision, confirms the direction, and we have confidence that God will supply the resources to overcome the obstacles and empowerment to complete the task.
Despite severe opposition, in an astounding 52 days the people completed rebuilding the gates and walls surrounding the entire city of Jerusalem. There was a great celebration and the relationship between the people and God was restored. As Christians, we are God’s vessels. In union with Him, our work will prove effective and fruitful. Though we may not always be privy to an end result, we could not have a more exciting, adventurous and rewarding life than to know we are filling a role that plays an integral part of a much bigger picture of God’s agenda, which God completes.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being the One who calls, confirms and completes Your will through me. Help me never to lose sight of Your agenda but seek to glorify You always. Praise You.