Nehemiah and the Great Wall

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When Nehemiah heard about the broken-down walls of Jerusalem, he wept, he mourned, he fasted, and he prayed to the God of Heaven.  (Nehemiah 1:3-4)

Then he developed a plan, and all the people joined him.  Despite strong opposition, they persisted and, in only 52 days, they prevailed in rebuilding the wall!  Laus Deo!  
(Nehemiah:  1-13)

*   *   *   *

Broken Down Walls:  Then and Now

It’s Labor Day weekend, and we have a lot of scripture about the importance of work and the benefits that flow from hard labor.  One of the best examples comes from the book of Nehemiah.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be taken hostage and taken into exile to Babylon, as Nehemiah was 2500 years ago?  And then to find out that your friends and family who were left behind in Jerusalem are being mistreated, the city walls have been torn down, and the country is in shambles?

It’s terrible!  But Nehemiah is the cupbearer to the Babylonian king.  It’s a comfortable position.  Why should he get involved with troubles back home?  That’s their problem.  And even if he did, what could he do?

Do you sometimes feel like that today?  That the solid “walls” of Judeo-Christian values and Constitutional principles which have protected and prospered America for hundreds of years are being broken down and destroyed?

But so what?  Why should we get involved?  That sounds like hard work.  And what can we do about it anyway?

What Makes Us Weep?

But is it really so bad that, like Nehemiah, we are brought to tears when we examine our walls today?  Life is good, so why worry?  But what about the following examples?

1.  Should we not be weeping at the way that enemies of God are trying to expel Him from our culture and from the public square?

2.  Or at the continued legalized murder of 58 million unborn babies since 1973 – over 3,000 per day in America?

3.  Or at the many marriages and families that have been broken by divorce and which are now even redefined to include same-sex partners?

4.  Or at the coarsening of our culture, at the spread of violence, and at rampant pornography that leaves a trail of ruined men, exploited women, damaged children, disease, crime, and even death?

5.  Or at the attacks on our religious freedoms by groups like the ACLU, LGBT activists, radical Islamic jihadists, and even by members of our own government?

6.  Or at the immoral national debt which now exceeds $23 trillion and which we are passing on to our children – over $70,000 for every American citizen?

7.  Finally, should we not be weeping at the abuse of executive federal power that violates the Constitutional design of limited government and infringes on the rights and the freedoms of “We the People” and of the states?

Thirteen Leadership Principles:  For Action

But weeping is just for starters.  It must lead to action and, yes, to hard work.

That is why Rita Dunaway and I will be reviewing the life of Nehemiah on Crossroads radio this weekend.  He models 13 leadership principles that he used to rebuild the broken-down walls of Jerusalem 2500 years ago, and which we can use today to rebuild our own broken-down walls in America.

They all begin with the letter “P” to make them easier to remember, and they take us to a rousing victory celebration after only 52 days of hard work, as follows:  Prepare, Pray, Purpose, Plan, Proceed, Participate, Passion, Protect, Persist, Pattern, Purify, Prevail, and Praise!  Laus Deo!

Crossroads:  Where Faith and Culture Collide

The program will air on the following Valley stations:  WBTX (1470) at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and again on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., followed by WSVA (550) and WSVA/FM (92.1) at 8:30; and WNLR (1150) at 11:30. You can also listen online to this and also to earlier programs anytime.

We deeply appreciate your prayers, your encouragement, and your financial support.  If you would like to help, please send your check to Crossroads at PO Box 881, Harrisonburg, 22803.   All gifts are tax-deductible.

For God and Country!

Dean