Nehemiah Is My Role Model
The wall was broken down and its gates were burned with fire.
The book of Nehemiah is a blueprint for one of the Church’s roles in society. The capital of course represents the whole nation. The wall that defended their capital signifies the defenses around our society that have been torn down. Today our society is welcoming any and all forms of godlessness that seek to invade: the erosion of the family unit, the sanctity of marriage, the preciousness of life, the innocence of children, the designed differences of men and women, and above all, the objective and exclusive nature of truth itself.
The gates of Jerusalem were not just the ability to discriminate between the welcome visitors and citizens of the capital and keep out the undesirable and unwanted, but were the seat of government. The city elders sat in the gates and sought to make wise decisions about the daily affairs of the city as well its people’s future. The symbolism of those gates being burned represented not only an immediate, physical threat to the citizens, but to the integrity of the leadership. The ability to make wise decisions about the strategic direction of the capital and the whole nation was consumed by the insatiable destruction of fire, as are many leaders today by populism, humanism and moral relativism.
A Very Political Project
So armed with spiritual authority, and with God’s favour in a very political endeavour, Nehemiah interceded for the well-being of his nation before Heaven and the King. He got Heaven’s and the King’s blessing to go and rebuild Judah, and even resources to rebuild the wall specifically. With just a few men he surveyed the work to be done secretly at night. When ready, he presented the need to the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials and the others who did the work.
“You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” – Nehemiah 2:17
And then fully buying into the solution to the need they said, “Let us rise up and build.” And they got involved.
Side by side they rebuilt the wall. Each family took responsibility for a section, no matter their normal occupation. Goldsmiths, perfumers, merchants, priests and community leaders all laboured manually on their section of the wall, often just in front of their own house, sometimes far beyond.
Side by side they rebuilt the wall; each family took responsibility for a section.
They were criticised and mocked by their enemies, but Nehemiah just talked to God about it. In next to no time they rebuilt it to half the height it was meant to be. This gave their enemies the resolve to get politically organised, and they began working together to attack God’s people and create confusion amongst them. But again Nehemiah talked to God about it, with the added initiative of setting guards.
The plans to confuse Nehemiah’s builders failed, and from that time on those who built on the wall and those that carried loads back and forth did so with their tools in one hand and a weapon in the other. Nehemiah encouraged the people that God was also fighting for them.
What This Means To Us
There’s much more that can be extracted from this book, but here’s what I believe God is saying to us as it relates to defending our nation from the social elements that have destroyed our walls, burned our gates and continue to oppose their reconstruction.
We all need to rebuild the wall of righteousness which results in good things for our people. We all need to each take a section of the political and social wall we are to rebuild, and make sure that Christians and all citizens know how to vote for Christian values – traditional Australian family values.
Everybody has a part to play. Most parts don’t require a particular calling or gifting beyond loving God and loving our neighbours, our nation. Some may be able to work just in front of their own house, literally letterbox dropping their neighbourhoods with “how to vote” information, while others may be able to help coordinate the stand for righteousness for a booth or a whole electorate. But everybody can take responsibility for their section of the wall, and help all voters to vote better.
There’s no excuse for not using the spiritual weapons and authority we have in one hand and the practical tools of democracy in the other, with which we will defend and rebuild our nation. We must restore the gates, replace the ones “burned with fire”, and again promote Christian values in our candidates and parties. They must have absolutely no doubt what it takes to represent us, because we represent Jesus.
But how will they know how many of us care unless we take the effort to say so?
My next article “The Tools of Democracy” explains how we as believers – no matter our background, qualification (or lack thereof) – can insert ourselves practically into the solutions our neighbours need and each help to Rebuild The Wall.