Thought for the Week - 19th FebruaryPastor Gareth Watkins
But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.
And he spoke before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they fortify themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish—stones that are burned?”
Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”
Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity!
Do not cover their iniquity, and do not let their sin be blotted out from before You; for they have provoked You to anger before the builders.
So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.
Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.
Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.
Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”
And our adversaries said, “They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease.”
So it was, when the Jews who dwelt near them came, that they told us ten times, “From whatever place you turn, they will be upon us.”
Nehemiah 4: 1-12 gives us various reasons why not everyone can get into the presence of God.
These Israelites were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, re-establishing the nation, re-establishing the Jewish temple and the worship of the true God, Jehovah.
They had been in captivity for over 70 years and there was a lot of rubbish in the city to dispose of. The builders became tired, they were exhausted, and they became fearful as the Ammonites plus the other neighbouring nations issued death threats to them more than 10 times. They had lots of negative thoughts as they built the walls up to half way.
These are just a few reasons why people can fail to get into the presence of God.
When you add sin, unbelief, lack of trust in God, is it any wonder these builder struggled to keep on going.
This is like us building the wall of our spiritual lives. Be encouraged to keep looking to God. Do not listen to the negative voices. Take all your sins and worries to Christ and He will get you there.
Through Christ you can accomplish all things… You can find the presence of God, you can get into the presence of God.