Hope in the Face of A Seemingly Impossible Mission

Nehemiah inspects the ruins of the Jerusalem walls at night with a few of his trusted men.
In this 1866 illustration by French artist Gustave Dore, Nehemiah and his band of brothers–(Now the king has sent captains of the army and horsemen with me. Nehemiah 2:9)–inspect the ruins of Jerusalem’s walls by night. (Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons)

I’m not sure what’s up with my pastor of late, but every message seems to be sent directly from God to me personally. I’ve gone through seasons at my church where each week I get more and more angry, or where the messages feed my sense of depression and isolation, or where I just laugh a lot—our pastor is a funny guy. But lately, wherever I go, not just to church, the message seems to be one of peaceful rebuilding. Sometimes the delivery is encouraging and respectful, other times it’s rude, insulting, and full of rejection and proverbial ass-kicking.

The latest series at church is called The Rebuilders, and it’s couched in the premise that the pandemic split families apart and caused job losses. Now it’s time to rebuild. I’m sitting there thinking: ‘Ah, actually, it paved the way for communists to take over the country, but whatever. Go on.’ This week Pastor used the example of Nehemiah, that great organizer and leader of people, who gave up a good gig as the king’s cupbearer and returned to his ancestral homeland to help the Jews rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, which, by the way, was a holy city of national identity for the people. I’m sure some in the congregation began to think about the U.S. Southern border with Mexico, but that’s not where my mind went. How the hell do you rebuild a republic? It’s not just too big for me to rebuild by myself; it’s impossible.

This is where a seasoned pastor can help you interpret the bible. Passages that are easily glossed over get special attention in the learned hands of a good man of god, and reveal so much more than is initially gleaned. Nehemiah is often pointed to as a great strategist, and there’s nothing wrong with looking at him in that way. He was heartbroken to hear about the state of Jerusalem’s wall. It left the people vulnerable and open to attack. He spent days mourning, fasting, and praying. Well, on news of the election results who among us didn’t spend days mourning, fasting, and praying. OK, our prayers might have circled between rageful outbursts, all-consuming shame and panic that such a thing could happen on our generation’s watch, and comatose sessions of despondency. We may have fasted simply because we slept through meals or wasted inordinate amounts of time on the media merry-go-round, being led first in one direction and then catapulted in the opposite direction through the centrifugal force of lies from the left and lies from the right. There is absolutely no question that the election was stolen and the judicial system afforded conservatives no justice. We were defeated. The walls weren’t just in disrepair; the city had been overrun.

Nehemiah didn’t tell anyone his plans. He scouted out the job at night, under the cover of darkness, with only a few other men, all Special Forces-like. Then he went to the city leaders and got them on board with his plan. Next the disorganized citizenry was made responsible for rebuilding a portion of the wall or repairing a gate. The wall was only going to be half-high, but it would be a start. Everybody who took part was acknowledged in writing, including some daughters who worked alongside their father. The chronicling would show future generations all the families, all the professions that took part, from the jewelers to the perfume makers. As Pastor pointed out, there is a great sense of relief that you didn’t have to build the whole wall. You only had to go to this corner, this angle, this point and then stop. The next section was not yours to worry about. But I want the republic back right this instant. I want normalcy back this instant. I want communists and transhumanists defeated this very instant. Yeah, no. That’s God’s part of the project. The construction of the whole wall is God’s job.

Once the work was underway and progress was evident, the problems began. Once you’re poised to reach beyond yourself and be a positive influence in the lives of others, the Enemy gets busy in sabotaging your work and putting up roadblocks. When news got out that the Jews were rebuilding the city wall, enemies began to mock them. They tried five times to lure Nehemiah away from the protection of the city in order to kill him. He refused every time. They threatened to slander him before the king. He called them out on their lies. The people got tired, they gossiped amongst themselves, they were spread out and perpetually afraid of imminent attack. They made mistakes, leaving out portions of the city. The people were taken advantage of by the rich. Workers were forced to sell all they had, including their lands, in order to feed themselves. Nehemiah addressed this issue before the city’s elite, and they agreed to restore everything back to the people. Of course, when Nehemiah left for a while they reverted to their wicked ways, and he had to again force them to do right by the people.

Rebuilding the wall was an impossible task that God made possible through Nehemiah’s leadership and the selfless work of every person in the city. But it was only the beginning. The next step was to rebuild the broken lives of the people. Nehemiah called for Ezra to conduct church. God’s word was not only read to the people, but explained so they clearly understood its meaning as it applied to their lives. They cleaned their spiritual houses so they would again be in right relationship with God.

So, how does this apply to a defeated and despondent army of patriots? Whatever your talents, whatever your gift, no matter where you live, you have a part in rebuilding the republic. Entrepreneur, cupcake maker, farrier, knifemaker, gunsmith, writer, accountant, grocer, farmer—you have a section of the republic to rebuild. Comforts and stockpiles will be sacrificed and utilized. Hardships will abound. You will be mocked and scorned. They’ll tell you republics only last 200 years. Or that the republic was flawed. It’s all a lie to keep you from celebrating and renewing everything that was good about our constitutional republic and the creative people who populated it. God created the heavens and the earth; we create whatever it is we excel at, whatever it is we hear Him calling us to do. Then, together with God, we rest on the seventh day.

But that’s only the beginning. We have to clean spiritual house individually so that we can clean spiritual house as a nation. Some say that morality is non-negotiable going forward. OK, but that means that oppression by any means, by any group, is also immoral. Tyrannical communists, technology wizards who want to enslave us to a digitally perfected illusion, and the people and politicians who support either or both are all also immoral. And hey, Nehemiah is not too proud to pray for hellfire to rain down on this enemies. In fact, Nehemiah prays seven times in the short book of Nehemiah.

After he learns about the condition of the wall, he prays, confesses his own sin, and gives God room to work through him. He doesn’t pass his plan on to God for approval; he pours out his heart, and allows God to formulate the calling within him. Before he meets with his king to request permission to return to Jerusalem to repair the wall, he asks God for help and leaves the outcome in His hands.  He gives credit to God, which helps us remember that it isn’t by our own efforts that we succeed, but through Him. Nehemiah angrily prayed to God when he was mocked and ridiculed. He told God they were mocking God and that God should decide what to do with them. He was pissed, but he did not take matters into his own hands. It’s safe to say that all patriots are beyond pisssed. It’s 100 percent appropriate to tell God exactly how angry you are, and then to let God decide how He will deal with everyone who worked so hard to rob good people of their country, be they communists, tech giants, alphabet agency oppressors, bought politicians, or simply the secular humanist who remain ignorant of our godly foundings and our rich American heritage and history.

Let us not forget that Nehemiah also prayed to God when the city was under threat of attack. He took the necessary precautions, putting half the men on guard while the other half worked. Then he left the results in God’s hands. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should not arm yourself, that you should not have a method of home defense, that you should not train in combatives. That is simply leaving yourself vulnerable to attack. Be prepared, but leave the outcome of whether you are to use your weapon in God’s hands.

“But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm.” Nehemiah 5:16-18

When Nehemiah was threatened, he prayed for God to strengthen him. When Nehemiah thought about the evil plans of his enemies, he asked God to deal with them, removing the desire for revenge and trusting God to deliver justice. Finally, Nehemiah asks God to remember him and all he’s done. He wanted to please God and worked to glorify God, but in a very human way he also wanted God to recognize him. Look Dad, Abba, Father, God, watch me. Look what I did. Look how good I did. One can only imagine God nodding and laughing to himself.

How’s your section of wall coming along?

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