Recently I heard about a mirror you could buy which would make you look thinner than your actual size. While a few family members laughed about the possibility, I gave the idea some thought. Having noticed a few extra inches around my waistline recently, I began to think, Hmm…I think I’d like to try that mirror. What do you think?Wouldn’t it be great to look smaller? Then I thought, have I ever seen myself smaller than God sees me?
In Nehemiah4:10-23, the man of God faced tremendous giants. He had been assigned the task of rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem after they had lain in ruins for some time. The general mood of his workers was echoed in verse 10: “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”Wait a minute, didn’t God call His people to build the wall? Then what was the problem? They had taken their eyes off God and looked at the situation. Ever been there? I have–more times than I want to admit.
What obstacles distracted God’s people? 1. Intimidation–they listened to “haters.” 2. They rehearsed their weaknesses–They saw themselves through the enemy’s eyes, not God’s eyes. Sound familiar? Just yesterday, my husband told me and my sister-in-law that his hips were hurting. I reminded him his brother had both hips replaced and his mother suffered with joint problems. Oops! My sister-in-law soundly rebuked me: “Don’t put those words on him. It doesn’t have to be that way for him.” Ouch!
What giants are you facing today? Does your task seem too large? Are you looking at your weaknesses or to God for the strength He promised to give?
Nehemiah strategized to get the job done. He organized the people by families, equipped them with weapons, and told them to fight for their brothers, sons, daughters, wives and houses. In verse 15, we are told God intervened and brought the enemy’s plot to nothing. He also called for the people to come closer together to bridge the gaps by working as one. They worked so hard that they only took off their clothes to wash them and put them back on.
Is the work hard? Yes! Did you think it would be easy? Hmm…. Pray and ask God for wisdom and strength. Then get to work to rebuild the wall God is showing you.
Memory Verse: Neh.4:14b- Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”
WEEK EIGHT ASSIGNMENT: USING THE GROW METHOD (G-Ask God for understanding; R-Read the passage; O-Observe key words and phrases; and W-Write your thoughts), READ NEH. 5:1-13 AND ANSWER:
1. What were the peoples’ complaint?
2. How did Nehemiah handle the complaints?
Until next week, dig deeper!