Builder to Builder
The work is great and extensive, and we are
separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the
trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. (Neh 4:19, 20)
The workers repairing the wall in
Nehemiah’s time went where they were needed, strengthening weakened areas of
the wall, clearing away rubbish, and putting in new bolts and bars for the
gates. Open to enemy attack while fulfilling these tasks, each of the builders
kept his sword girded at his side at all times. Imagine doing construction work
with a weapon inhibiting your movements and weighing you down. The builders
took this inconvenient but necessary precaution because their individual safety
affected that of the entire city of Jerusalem.
We face the same risks as builders
of the Lord’s house today. Servitude without cultivation is spiritual suicide,
and the longer we serve, the more vulnerable we are to attack. Remember that we
cultivate ourselves for our own protection, as well as for those who depend on
our work. As in Nehemiah’s day, the work today
continues to be extensive. There are always sections to be patched and gates to
be built. We are often spread thin over a wide range of tasks. As we work
diligently, our focus on accomplishing a task for God can sometimes turn into
tunnel vision. We are blind to the needs of brothers and sisters around us or
even see them as obstacles preventing us from doing holy work the way we think
it should be done.
In contrast, those rebuilding the
wall prepared themselves personally against attack but were also ready to drop
their work within a moment’s notice to aid their brother. Let us also hold fast
to the principle that our spiritual cultivation and the health of others’
spiritual life come first.
Although it may bring us
inconvenience or appear that the work goes slower this way, when we know what
is most important in our servitude, God Himself will fight for us.
Questions for Reflection:
1) What concrete step can you take
today to fortify yourself against spiritual attack?
2) When serving with others at
church, do you focus more on progress and results or the spiritual health of