#DailyDevotion It Is Always God’s Word And Promise That Encourages And Strengthens Us
Read Neh 2:11–20; 4:1–6
Neh 2:17-20 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” (18) And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of 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. (19) But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” (20) Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
So I’m looking at this reading for today and I’m thinking to myself, “Self, what can I say about this? Where is Jesus? What is the Good News?” So I stop and pray some more.
So here’s what I get now. The God which speaks to the prophets is always Jesus. He is the Word of God (John 1). It is He who speaks to the prophets and guides His people Israel at the behest of the Father. Jesus had spoken to Nehemiah. He had given him a promise that the time of exile was over and it was time to get busy rebuilding Jerusalem. Jesus had moved the heart of the king to make this possible. And it is with the promise and word of the Lord that Nehemiah encourages and strengthens the people. Even when the enemies of Judah jeer and mock the Jews rebuilding, the Lord Jesus’ word encourages and strengthens them.
We too as the Church, the Israel of God, sometimes get discouraged here in our exile in this fallen world. But we have a promise and command from the Lord Jesus to build up His temple, His body, the Church. He promises us He is always with us. Jesus promises the gates of Hades will never overcome the Church. We have the assurance that Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, is running the show on behalf of His Church.
It is God who wills and works in us. It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. God’s Word will accomplish the purpose for which it is sent out. The good news of the full, free gift of the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, a new heavens and a new earth, a resurrected body all for the sake of Jesus Christ and His life, work, innocent suffering and death, the spilling of His blood and His resurrection being our guarantee of it, has gone out into all the world. We are called to be faithful in getting that message out, whether it be supporting our local congregation as the mission post in our area or supporting those whom the Lord Jesus sends out from us into the rest of the world. We will be encouraged by Jesus’ Word and Promises even when our enemies jeer and taunt us. We will be encourage by our Lord when it looks like nothing is getting done or worse things seem to be going backwards, for this is His Church and He is in care of it. We are simply called to be faithful to our callings in our life. The results are up to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus Christ, let us be encouraged and never give up hope with your promises on our lips and in our minds even as Nehemiah and the people he ministered were also encouraged by your Word and Promise. Amen.