DON’T JUST DO SOMETHING
Mighty God, on my brokenness may Your healing mend, on my waywardness may Your forgiveness descend.
Read NEHEMIAH 2:11–20
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (Psa. 130:5). Nehemiah obviously agrees with the psalmist.
“Who do you think you are?” may be an understandable response to an outsider arriving to make changes. The mantra “The Lord has told me” is not sufficient to calm anxiety and suspicion. Nehemiah does indeed have a call from God, but he is sensitive in his approach. To the Jerusalem inhabitants, he is an official in the Persian Empire. He has not experienced their suffering. He was not there when King Artaxerxes interpreted a prior attempt at rebuilding as rebellion and put a stop to it (see Ezra 4).
Nehemiah demonstrates humility as he arrives and also a continuing dependence on the “God of heaven” (20). This man of action does not run ahead of himself. After four months of grueling travel, he rests for three days. Then he goes on this poignant moonlit ride among the rubble of the city. With great discretion, he takes stock of the situation. He picks his way around the wreckage which once protected the city. He examines the collapsed hillside terraces, which have lain for a hundred years. The stones seem to cry out to the Israelites and their enemies, “God has abandoned his people.” With every step, Nehemiah reflects on his God-given task. When he does speak to the inhabitants, he does not talk the language of an outsider: “See the trouble we are in” (17). Nehemiah’s confidence in God’s leading and provision energizes his challenge to them to rebuild. It also enables him to dismiss the enemy opposition, which comes hot on the heels of the Israelites’ positive response.
Many a brilliant project fails because visionaries do not demonstrate Nehemiah’s prudent waiting on God’s timing. Many an inspired mission crashes through an unwillingness to take careful stock and to galvanize a team. God grant us urgent patience and humility.
How do you know if God is with you in some endeavor?
Lord, there are so many lessons here for me to learn: prayer, patience, wisdom, courage. Plant these truths in me today.
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