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Nehemiah 4:1-6   Truth in Lies

Whenever there is change there is always opposition. Ive heard intelligent passionate people make unintelligent and dispassionate speeches as they try to oppose change in some areas. from surfing competition decisions and criteria to building and development discussions all of these decisions and changes have supporters and opponents. Then there’s politicians, some who have made a career out of being oppositional regardless of the discussion they will oppose it.

Nehemiah encounters some real opposition here in the opening of Ch 4.

There is more opposition here in 4: 1 Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews. 2 And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for themselves?2 Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?” 3 Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!” 4

There are 2 fantastic things in here in the midst of Sanballats tirade there is a great truth; Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that? Revive the stones is exactly what they did they didn’t replace the stones they revived them.

1. Nehemiah ordered wood but not stone, the walls were rebuilt from the rubble.The walls of the city had been destroyed by pulling them down literally and leaving the remnants laying around as rubble. Burned and broken is how Sanballat describes them, heaps of rubbish.

It was picked up, cleaned off, some edges squared and all of it fitted together to form a wall.

Isn’t this how God builds his kingdom by using us broken busted and burnt as we are. It’s broken people burned by life and seen at times as rubbish that God calls to be living stones in his kingdom. He doesn’t perfect us he restores us. Picking us up dusting and cleaning squaring a few edges and placing us into the wall. this is how God builds his church out of living stones as we come to him through Jesus.

1 Peter 2: 4  As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

2. Nehemiah responds to conflict and abuse by turning to God not arguing back with man.

4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are captives. 5 Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of the builders. 

We are despised God but we are faithful to you, your servants will keep at their calling.

1 Cor 1: 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,3 not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Discarded by the world the Jews who were considered a languished defeated people rubbish to be discarded of were rebuilding a wall with renovated rocks and renovated rejuvenated vision purpose value and meaning.

He also keeps on with the work he isn’t distracted by opposition. 6 So we built the wall.

Nehemiah doesn’t engage in a longwinded defence of his actions he just continues on with what he was called to do. He built the wall he didn’t try to win the argument.

He comes to us in the brokenness of our health, in the shipwreck of our family lives, in the loss of all possible peace of mind, even in the very thick of our sins. He saves us in our disasters, not from them. He emphatically does not promise to meet only the odd winner of the self-improvement lottery. He meets us all in our endless and inescapable losing.    Robert Farrar Capon

“Not until the work in hand has failed and we are despised and rejected shall we begin to discern the intent of our heart.” – Watchman Nee

I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. J. K. Rowling

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. Gilbert K. Chesterton

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

Gilbert K. Chesterton