Summary: A look at what we can learn for today from Nehemiah chapter 3
Beginning to build.
Last week and the week before I mentioned how God has an incredible plan for each of our lives.
One of the really great things of having the bible is that you can look through the window at actual lives lived out before God. You can see peoples highs and you can see their lows and if you have some sense of what is actually going on you can see whether they are going to make it or not.
in a character like David for example - who does some really great things and one really dumb thing.You see that through it all he makes it!
Where in the life of someone like king Ahab for example you see clearly he is not going to make it because even after he has messed up - he doesn’t turn around - he doesn’t care he just keeps on messing up.
In fact it was the behaviour of people like King Ahab that led Israel to the mess that Nehemiah found it in on his return from captivity in Susa.
He finds the walls in ruins and the gates burned and the whole place looking like a lounge after a tribe of two year olds on a birthday party rampage have passed through.
The place is just a mess - utter destruction reigns.
You know, I think, sometimes we underestimate the damage that generational sins have wrought on our communities.
What about the guy who decided that because backstreet abortions were so terrible - and they were - lets have legal abortions. That decision has cost 100’s of thousands of New Zealanders their lives and today we don’t have just tourists visiting our beautiful land - we have to import our citizens because we have killed the rightful citizens progressively in the years that have passed before us.
Right now in a myriad of ways New Zealand needs someone to rebuild the moral walls around it because they are broken down folk and nothing good will will happen until they are firmly built back in place.
People wonder why there is progressi vely less and less blessing in our nation - right now folk are saying - why is there so few gold medals at the Olympics as if this were a big deal - the answer lies not in money but it lies with God who can not bless a nation that continues to slide into moral decline which equals rebellion against the living God.
make no mistake folk on it’s current continuim New Zealand is in trouble just as Israel was as she rebelled against God.
But one day in Israel’s history the slide was reversed and that day happened the day that Nehemiah said "Come let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem" and the people replied "Let us start rebuilding" So they began this good work.
In New Zealand the walls need to be rebuilt and the church needs to lead the charge. There is no point in waiting on the government to rebuild the walls - it will play it’s part - but the church needs to lead the charge.
Now I am not aware that God has called us to be responsible for the whole nation personally.
In fact I am fairly sure he hasn’t.
That doesn’t mean he hasn’t called us to carry a burden for New Zealand but that is a different thing to carry the responsibility for the nation.
But what he has called us to do is to be faithful where we are doing what God has called us to do. As we do that God can do incredibly powerful things and it can have amazing impact on our own area but beyond that to the province and to the nation and even beyond the nation to the world.
]Mother Tereasa a Catholic nun began a small and seemingly insignificant mission to the dying on the streets of Calcutta - but you know that ended up in her being a world wide icon for compassion and love in the name of Jesus.
Why because it was driven by a God given vision.
Nehemiah - had a God given vision -
His vision was to see the Spiritual and physical restoration of Jerusalem - to see his people who had been reduced to slavery - prosper again.
So he set out to inspire his people to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and in so doing he was drawing a line in the sand for the Jewish people - The wall announced to God and the world - We are back - God is going to be worshipped in this place.
When our forebears came to this area and settled here they built churches - and I just love the story where they shifted the huge old building that was the church from up at Switzers down to Waikaia and then about thirty or forty years ago they built two new churches and recently we altered Waikaia church. In all of these projects our forebears and some of the people here were nailing their colours to the mast and they were announcing to the community - God is going to be honoured in this place.