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Day 21

“When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.” Nehemiah 8:1
The walls have been rebuilt and the Israelites gather together as one man to hear the Word of the Lord. As Ezra opens the book, “all the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, ‘Amen! Amen!’ Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (8:5,6). As the word of God was read, the Levites instructed the people while they stood there so that they could understand what was being read (8:7,8). In response, the people wept and mourned as they listened to the words of the Law (8:9). However, Nehemiah said to the people that they should not weep …

Day 20

“Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt.” Nehemiah 7:4

The walls have been rebuilt but the city is not fully occupied. Houses need to be rebuilt and people are needed to inhabit the city. Nehemiah therefore takes a census of Israel with the purpose of casting lots “to bring one out of every ten” from the surrounding villages to live in Jerusalem (see 11:1). For the city to be strong, it not only needed strong walls but it needed its houses to be rebuilt and the city to be occupied.

We have seen how important it is that we protect the walls in our lives that God has rebuilt. However, we must also recognise that God wants to rebuild and occupy our inner life. The broken walls in our lives may have resulted in damage to our inner life that needs to be restored and occupied with the Spirit of God. Hurt, disappointment, oppression, offense, sin or perhaps unbelief have destroyed “the houses” and left a vacuum in your life…

Day 19

“After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed.” Nehemiah 7:1 

Having rebuilt the walls and gates, Nehemiah appoints gatekeepers, musicians and the Levites to guard the doors, to worship and to intercede for the people, respectively. Jerusalem is to be protected from the enemy and the gatekeepers are appointed to decide who may enter the city and who may not. The musicians are appointed to worship and praise God and are even placed on the wall during the dedication of the wall (see 12:31)! The Levites are to perform “the service of their God and the service of purification” for the people (see 12:45). The ministries of the gatekeepers, the musicians and the priests require discernment, devotion and dedication. Once our spiritual walls are rebuilt, we need discernment, devotion and dedication to protect what God has restored in our lives. Discernment to know what is, and what is not of God, before we open t…

Day 18

“So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15,16

The wall is rebuilt! Nehemiah and his people persevered to the end. Nehemiah believed God, resisted the enemy, held on to the vision and did not give up. Jerusalem’s walls and gates are rebuilt and stand as a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power. Israel’s enemies recognise God’s hand upon His people and lose their self-confidence. Now Israel’s enemies are intimidated by the realization that God’s supernatural presence and power have enabled Nehemiah and his people to rebuild Jerusalem in just 52 days! A vision fulfilled is a testimony for God’s glory and a banner of victory against the enemy. King David puts it like this: “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his hea…

Day 17

“Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, 'Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.' But I said, 'Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?I will not go in.' And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.” Nehemiah 6:10-12
Tobiah and Sanballat continue to scheme against Nehemiah so “that (he) should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give (him) a bad name in order to taunt (him)” (6:13). Nehemiah sees right through the plot of hiring false prophets to persuade him to run and hide. He understood and saw that God had not sent Shemaiah nor the other prophets because they spoke contrary to what God had put …

Day 16

"They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.' But I prayed, 'Now strengthen my hands.'” Nehemiah 6:9 Apart from setting all the doors in the gates, the wall is repaired and the all the gaps are filled! Upon hearing this, Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem and the enemies of the Jewish people continue to try and intimidate and destroy Nehemiah. The next tactic of the enemy is to pull him away from the work, isolate him and kill him (see John 10:10). Messages are sent to Nehemiah trying to persuade him to go down from Jerusalem into the valley of Ono. With false rumours and lies about Nehemiah’s motives, Sanballat seeks to get Nehemiah to leave his place of security by reacting to the lies and leaving his work. Nehemiah recognises what is going on and prays that the Lord would strengthen his hands to continue the work. Once again, the Lord is exposing the tactics of the enemy in our lives. Satan see…

Day 15

“But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.” Nehemiah 5:15
In Nehemiah chapter 5 there is an outcry among the Jewish people concerning the injustice they had been experiencing among their fellow Jews and from the nobles and officials. People were being exploited and even children had to be sold as slaves to survive. The whole situation upset Nehemiah upon which he spoke to the leaders and said, “Shouldn’t you walk in the fear of our God to avoid the reproach of our Gentile enemies?” (5:9) Nehemiah addresses the real issue. Those who are mistreating their fellow men are not walking in the fear of the Lord. Nehemiah was different. He lived his life in reverence for God. In Isaiah 11:2 and 3 we read that the Spirit of the fear of the Lord will rest on Jesus (the stump of Jesse) and that he will delight in the fear of the Lord! To delight in the fear of the Lord is to find joy in God’s abiding presence and to live to give Him pleasure (see Rom 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:9,11). The fear of t…