Daily Thought for: 16th July
Nehemiah 6. 15-19; 8. 14-18
So the wall was finished, 6. 15. Against the background of all that happened
since Nehemiah first heard the sad news of Jerusalems tragedy, these are
wonderful words. Right to the very end there were obstacles to progress,
and efforts to spoil the work. Sanballat and Tobiah became increasingly
aggressive in their efforts to destroy the final achievement. Every cunning
device was used, but Nehemiah had his eyes wide open to their schemes.
He resisted to the end. Deep within was his certainty that this was Gods
business. His resource was in his God. Now therefore, O God, strengthen
my hands, v. 9.
In the Scriptures, the thought of finished work is worth following through; maybe you could look at it today. The heavens and the earth were finished, Gen. 2. 1-3. Moses finished the Tabernacle, Ex. 40. 33. Solomon finished the House of the Lord, 2 Chr. 5. 1. When Jesus knew that all was done for our salvation on the cross, He said, It is finished, John 19. 30. Thus, God is the God of finality. When He begins something, He finishes it.
What a thrill it must have been to Nehemiah and all the people to realize that the wall was complete, and the gates fully restored. There was much rejoicing; it was the time for celebration, the celebration of the feast of tabernacles, 8. 14-18. This was ordained as a feast to celebrate the harvest. When they had gathered in the harvest, they dwelt in booths for seven days, enjoying the satisfaction of accomplishment. This had not been remembered since the days of Joshua, v. 17. God wants those who are His children to live in the joy of victory and blessing.
It is interesting to consider the function that walls and gates performed. They provided security and protection to all within them. This was essential because of enemies, for walls shut the enemy out. When Nehemiah came back from Jerusalem, he found disorder and things that were lacking, especially the sabbath being violated, 13. 11-22. So he kept the gates closed to sanctify the sabbath. We learn that the need for godliness must be safeguarded at all times. For us today, there is no room for complacency. Live prayerfully, with watchfulness.