Focused Workers – Nehemiah 4-6
In Nehemiah 4-6, Nehemiah is following God’s plan by rebuilding the walls to Jerusalem and facing trials in the process. There are comparisons that can be made to the opposition that Nehemiah faced and what Christians face today. During reconstruction, rival nations plotted against Nehemiah’s implementation of God’s plan to rebuild the city walls. The rival nations made false accusations, spread rumors, and plotted to stop the reconstruction by force. Though those rebuilding the wall had to guard against attack while working, Nehemiah’s workers remained focused on the mission before them. If threats and rumors weren’t enough distraction, Nehemiah also contended with turmoil among the Israelites. It seems the enemy was both outside and within the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a servant-leader who humbled himself before the people and refused the perks of his position. Though the threats were real and the stakes were high, Nehemiah kept the workers focused on the work at hand and the walls were rebuilt.
So, how do the trials facing Nehemiah and the people of Israel compare to the trials we Christians face? We’re engaged in an important work for our Lord that involves reaching, teaching, saving, and serving. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, followers of Christ have been increasingly ridiculed for the truth they find in the God’s word and are stifled from expressing their faith in school or the workplace. That’s the distraction and threat from outside the walls of the Church. There is certainly a lot of “noise” in media that tries to tell us how truths found in the Bible are wrong, hateful, and non-inclusive, because the truth makes some people confront the brokenness in their life.
Some Christians have acquiesced under the influence of culture (i.e., modernism) or succumbed to false doctrine that teaches what itching ears want to hear. That’s the threat inside the walls of the Church. Staying focused on our mission and purpose for Christ means that we must not allow detractors to get in our way or silence the truth. We must be prepared to suffer ridicule for what we believe. We must be prepared to state boldly what we believe, without condescension. We should suffer the ridicule of the world for our Lord and consider it a blessing, not a distraction.