They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. – Nehemiah 4:17
Meditation: It might be easy for Christians today to feel embattled, and they are challenged from many quarters. However, lest you grow discouraged, I wanted to remind you that even in the darkest of times, the Lord is our Shield and Protector.
In the days of Nehemiah, the faithful were few, and because of their exile in Babylon, when they returned home they were practically foreigners in their own capital, Jerusalem. As reconstruction on the wall around the city commenced, enemies became apparent. Soon threats were made to everyone involved with the project, especially Nehemiah. As usual in such circumstances, the people who had benefited from the continued devastation of Jerusalem did not want to see her former masters returning to power.
Nehemiah counseled the people working on the great wall to be mindful of the enemy and keep one hand on their weapons at all times. Continually on alert the threats of the enemy became muted. Diligence prevented usurpation despite some infiltration by the unfaithful. Thus admonished the wall was completed and Jerusalem was reinhabited beginning the lengthy period before the coming of the Lord.
You see as long as we live in this world, we will be challenged by enemies beginning with our own selves. Most often, we are our first and worst adversary. Hence the ministry of the Gospel to the hearts and minds of God’s people remains critical. We must be mindful of all those who seek our destruction and defend within and without being continually at the ready against attack. Our greatest weapon is the Sword of the Lord, the Word of God, the Holy Bible. No philosophy or tradition can trump its sharpness in any age.
Call To Action: Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Consider how this passage shows how the Word is best applied. Its doctrines enlighten the mind. Its reproof show us what we are doing wrong. Its correction helps us return to God. Its instruction show us a better path, the path of righteousness. Let us keep one another sharp.