One of the most inspiring accounts contained in Old Testament scripture concerning the resiliency and work ethic of God’s people can be found in the book of Nehemiah. If you want the full picture of what is happening you need to go back to the book of Jeremiah.
The short version:
Jeremiah was a prophet of God who spoke concerning the need for people to repent and to turn again to God (Jeremiah 20). The people did not heed his warning. So, in Daniel 1 we read that God gave them over to king Nebuchadnezzar. The nation of Israel was now in Babylonian exile. In the book of Nehemiah, we read of a man named Nehemiah who played a significant role in rebuilding Jerusalem following their time in exile. In this fascinating book, we read of the struggles that Nehemiah faced in his work. We read of the ups (Having a tremendous “hardworking mindset” (4:16), and the wall being completed in an astounding 52 days.) We also read of the downs, (People spreading lies, rumors, and threats of death). Through all this Nehemiah remained true to his task until it was complete.
Perhaps my favorite part of this account is found in Nehemiah 4. It is at this point that the formerly exiled people are afraid for their lives. They have heard that their enemies are planning to attack and kill them in order to halt the progress of rebuilding Jerusalem. What do the people do? Are they paralyzed with fear? Do they cave in to the pressure to halt the work? Nehemiah 4:18 states, “Each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built.”
You might think based on the current political climate that I might use this passage to make some sort of political point about guns and weaponry. However, nowhere in scripture do I find that being a focal point, therefore it will not be the focal point of this post.
What is the point?
The point is, God’s people have work to do. They had work to do then, and we have work to do now. I fear that far too often we fall into a trap that Satan throws in front of us and we allow ourselves to get so worked up and passionate about details that we fail to see the big picture. We have work to do. Our work is more important than politics. Our work is more important than social standing. Our work is more important than anything else. It is my prayer for the church that we are known for our love (John 13:35), our commitment to truth (John 14:1-3), and our mission of making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). We have work in front of us, we have building to do. Keep moving forward.