Run the Race: Rebuild like Nehemiah

1 April 2022

9.8 MINS

The Old Testament story of Nehemiah encourages us to get up and rebuild our crumbling society, for the kingdom of God is at hand, and His strength is with us. Though all around us may seem dire and we encounter much opposition, God has the final word.

Every age faces an uncertain future. History tells us this clearly, and the wise learn from it. It should therefore come as no surprise when circumstances beyond our control knock us for six — that’s the world and the times in which we live. We live with wars and rumours of wars, rampant wickedness as the enemies of God attack all mankind.

‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ His promises are life to us. His Word gives us signposts and directions, admonition and encouragement. Just like a good parent, He doesn’t want our life and journey derailed.

It’s time to put our wheels back on, dust off the bonnet and rev the engine!

New Covenant Ministry

2 Corinthians 4 (selected TPT) 

“Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or fight with weariness. We reject every shameful cover up and refused to resort to cunning trickery or distorting the word of God.

Instead, we open up our souls to you by presenting the truth to everyone’s conscience in the sight and presence of God. Even if our Gospel message is veiled, it is only veiled to those who are perishing, for their minds have been blinded by the God of this age, leading them in unbelief. Their blindness keeps them from seeing the dayspring light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the divine image of God.

We don’t preach ourselves, but rather the lordship of Jesus Christ, for we are your servants for Jesus’ sake.

For God, Who said, “let brilliant light shine out of the darkness,” He’s the one who cascaded His light into us — the brilliant dawning light of the glorious knowledge of God as we gaze into the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in clay jars.

We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that this immeasurable power will be seen as gods, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option.

We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us. We may be knocked down but not out. We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies… the resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity.

We consider living to mean that we are constantly being handed over to death for Christ’s sake so that the life of Jesus would be revealed through our humanity. So then, death is at work in us but it releases life in you… We do this because we are convinced that He who raised Jesus will raise us up with Him, and together we’ll all be brought into His presence.

Yes, all things work for your enrichment so that more of God’s marvellous grace will spread to more and more people, resulting in an even greater increase of praise to God, bringing Him even more glory.

So, no wonder we don’t give up! But even though the outer person gradually wears away, our inner being is renewed every single day we view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us and eternal, weighted glory far beyond all comparison, because we don’t focus our attention on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.”

Noteworthy: Nehemiah

Nehemiah was resilient and wise, and committed to the work God had placed in his hands.

Here’s a shorthand highlight package. (Amp)

The book of Nehemiah is part of what was one original book. This book contained the books of Ezra, Esther and Nehemiah. We take up the story of the Israelites returning to the promised land, released from bondage by King Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36). Israel receives permission from King Cyrus to go back and rebuild the temple.

Chapter 2 records who left Babylon and who did not. Chapter 3 is on rebuilding the temple: joy and sorrow. It’s estimated that only approximately 10% of the families who were led into captivity decided to return to their homeland. The rest either stayed in Babylon or journeyed north. The latter grew to become the European Jews.

Why didn’t they return? Perhaps when we live in the world long enough, worshipping strange gods, it becomes too comfortable?

In Chapter 4, the Samaritans were not happy. They came and complained, rejected the work and set about to frustrate it. Letters of accusation were sent to Artaxerxes insisting that the Hebrews were always troublemakers and continued to be such, thwarting the authority of the King. In Chapter 4, work stops until Darius 2.

In Chapter 5, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to the Jews in Judea and Jerusalem. Zerubbabel, the heir to the throne of Judah and Jozadak, began to rebuild the temple and the wall, along with the prophets.

Again, the governor says, who authorised this? But by God’s grace, they continued and couldn’t be stopped until Darius heard the case.

When the scrolls were looked up, he told the governor and the men to keep away from there and let the work continue. Indeed, he financed it and blessed it with the provision ‘that the king might be blessed’!

Chapter 7 contains the lineage of Ezra. He’s one of the King’s scribes. He, along with many others, returned to Jerusalem carrying physical and financial blessings to rebuild and replace all that was taken from them.

Chapter 7 contains a 70-year silence. During this time, the saga of Esther took place — another evil plan by the devil to destroy the Jews.

Artaxerxes then declines and gives over. He allows others to go, and Ezra knows God’s blessings upon his work. However, there was sin in the camp. The Israelites had taken foreign wives, pagans. The devil always seeks to throw a spanner in the works by giving us an opportunity to sin and turn our backs on God’s ways, and there’s always a cost to that.

So, we come to Nehemiah, the King’s cupbearer. One evening while waiting upon his king, it was noticed that Nehemiah’s demeanour was downcast. The king inquired the reason of him. Nehemiah explained his sorrow that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and lay in ruins.

It’s noted here that the queen, whom many believe to have been Queen Esther, was dining with the king that evening. The King proclaimed Nehemiah would return to Jerusalem, rebuild the walls and make the city habitable and safe once more. He blessed him with all manner of goods and allowed all who wished to return to do so. Here was God’s grace and favour.

On Your Bike, Squire!

Nehemiah 2:

“Then I came to the Governors beyond the river and gave them the King’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah, the servant, the Amorite, heard this, it distressed them exceedingly that a man had come to inquire for and require the good and prosperity of the Israelites.

So, I came to Jerusalem, I had been there three days. Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. No beast was with me except the one I rode.  (Sometimes, investigation is done alone.)

I went out by night by the valley gate toward the Dragon’s well and to the Dung gate and inspected the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its Gates which had been destroyed by fire.

I passed over the fountain gate and to the King’s pool; but there was no place for the beast that was under me to pass.

So gradually I went up by the brook Kedron in the night and inspected the wall; then I turned back and entered the city by the valley gate, and so returned.

And the magistrates knew not where I went, or what I did; nor had I yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles officials or the rest of who did the work.

Then I said to them, ‘You see the bad situation we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a disgrace.’

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was upon me for good, and the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, ‘let us rise up and build!’ So, they strengthened their hands for the good work.

When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobias the servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed us to scorn and despised us and said, ‘What is this thing you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?’

I answered them, the God of heaven will prosper us, therefore we his servants will arise and build; but you have no portion or right or memorial in Jerusalem.”

Overcoming Opposition

Chapter 3 recalls the building of the gates. Here is a wonderful summary and explanation of the significance of each gate in Jerusalem and how they line up with our Messiah, viewed through the lens of the New Covenant. I hope you take the time to look at it. I found it breathtaking.

Chapter 4 recounts Sanballat, fiercely angry, ridiculing the Jews.

Nehemiah turns to God and says, “Don’t let them get away with this, Lord, for they have vexed with alarm the builders and provoked You. They have all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem to injure, cause confusion and failure in it.

But because of them, we made our prayer to You, our God, and set a watch against them day and night… and our enemy said, ‘They will not know or see till we come into their midst and kill them and stop the work.’… so I set armed men behind the wall in places where it was less protected; I even used the people’s families with their swords, spears and bows.”

‘Don’t be afraid of the enemy; remember the Lord your God and imprinting this upon your minds, take courage to fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters your wives and your homes.’

When the enemy learned their plot was known to us and what they were proposing, we all returned to the wall everyone to his work. (This speaks of personal responsibility in keeping the wolves from our door, our family safe from attack.)

And from that time forth, half of my servants worked at the task, and the other half held the Spears Shields bows and coats of mail, and the leaders stood behind all the House of Judah. And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked.

And he who sounded the trumpet was at my side…. the work was great and scattered and we are separated on the wall, one far from another. In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there; now God will fight for us.’

So, we laboured at the work, while half of them held the spears from dawn until the stars came out.

At that time also I said to the people, ‘Let everyone of his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that at night they may be a guard to us, and labour during the day.’

So, none of us, I, my kinsmen, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, took off our clothes; each kept his weapon in his hand for days.

Chapter 6 recounts Sanballat and company continuing to stir and sow dissent. They sent out word that the Jews planned to rebel against the king and were only building the wall because of it.

Nehemiah replied to them, ‘No such thing as you say has been done; you are inventing them out of your own heart and mind.’ But they also wanted to frighten us, thinking our hands will be so weak that the work will not be done — but now, strengthen my hands!

Chapter 7:

When the wall was built, and I had set up the doors and the gatekeepers, singers and Levites had been appointed… I said to them, “Don’t let the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot; and while the watcher still on guard, let them shut and bar the doors. a point guards from the people of Jerusalem each to his watch on the wall and each opposite his own house.”

Now let’s fast-forward to our battlefront.

Spiritual Warfare

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (TPT)

“Now please listen, for I need to address an issue. I’m making this personal appeal to you by the gentleness and self-forgetfulness of Christ. I am the one who is humble and timid when face to face with you but bold and outspoken when a safe distance away.

Now I plead with you that when I come, don’t force me to take a hard line with you (which I’m willing to do), by daring to confront those who mistakenly believe that we are living by the standards of the world, not by the spirits wisdom and power.

For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign requiring human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energised with divine power to effectively dismantle the defences behind which people hide.

We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the anointed one. Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience.”

This completes one long complicated Greek sentence that began in verse 3.
In this passage, Paul describes four arenas of our warfare:

  1. We are empowered by grace and with the Gospel to dismantle strongholds.
  2. We demolish arguments, opinions, theories, and philosophies.
  3. We take captive every thought to insist that it become obedient to the mind of Christ.
  4. We stand ready and willing to wage war and defeat the enemy. (Ephesians 6:10-18])

The Truth — Can We Handle the Truth?

We learn the truth by the Word. That’s the truth we lean upon.

The finale of this discussion will come to you soon.

In the meantime, may I humbly ask that as you read the resources, pray for the Lord to expose our weaknesses? We all have them.

So, out of the ditch, and on your bike, Squire!


Photo by Pixabay.

We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.

Fake news and censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate now.

Leave A Comment

Recent Articles:

Use your voice today to protect

Faith · Family · Freedom · Life



The Daily Declaration is an Australian Christian news site dedicated to providing a voice for Christian values in the public square. Our vision is to see the revitalisation of our Judeo-Christian values for the common good. We are non-profit, independent, crowdfunded, and provide Christian news for a growing audience across Australia, Asia, and the South Pacific. The opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Declaration. Read More.