Summary: On this Memorial Day, we remember those that died for our freedoms. They died because they felt that there were things worth fighting for. Nehemiah tells us that there are things that are worth all of us fighting for.
Things Worth Fighting For
Nehemiah 4:11-14 (NLT)
Intro: A father was talking with his rather rebellious son one day & said, "Every person who lives in the United States is a privileged person." The boy answered, "I disagree." And the father replied, "That’s your privilege."
We have the privilege to disagree. We have the privilege to speak our mind. We have freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, and the right of petition. We have the freedom to hope & dream & pursue our dreams. We are free in so many ways!
We have these rights because of what our forefathers have done. You & I didn’t earn the privileges that we enjoy as citizens of this land. But I am thankful for those who did earn them & passed them on to me. Many of them died insuring these rights that we have.
. In February of 1945, on a beach Joe Rosenthal pulled out his camera and clicked a photo that would later become the most reproduced photograph in the history of photography:
Five young Marines planting the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima. The photo of these young men raising the flag was splashed across the front page of every paper in the country, and for months papers republished the photo. Newspapers were saved, posters were purchased, the photo appeared everywhere, people could not get enough of the photo.
. In today’s language, the photo went viral.
. What was so special about that photo.
. What that photo showed was the determination, the grit, the patriotism of those who had gone to war . They were there because we as a country had deemed that there were things worth fighting for.
. We were fighting tyranny and injustice with Germany and we were defending ourselves against Japan.
. We were fighting for all the freedoms we enjoy here today.
. The freedom of speech that we enjoy even when we may not agree with what someone else has to say.
. The freedom of assembly that we enjoy right here right now.
. The freedom from religious persecution that our founders so adamantly put forth in founding our country.
. We fight for security and freedom from terrorism.
. You see, America, these United States, stand for something.
. We stand for freedom and the removal of tyranny.
. We stand for hope. Why do you think that so many people want to come here.
. Many risk their lives to come here and be part of this great country because of that hope.
. I can imagine a family that has been struggling for many years. They have applied immigrate into the United States. They are placed on a list and they wait, and wait and wait and finally they are approved.
. What do you think has driven them to this place? Hope.
. That’s what our country gives to all who are here. Hope.
. The same would be true for illegal immigrants also. Most risk their lives to come here illegally. They risk their lives because of the Hope that is found here.
. That’s what we fight for. That’s what our men and women have fought and died for. Hope
. On this Memorial Day, we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the hope and freedom we have here in our great country.
. You see, they died for the things worth fighting for.
. Our scripture this morning also tells us that there are things worth fighting for.
. We are in Nehemiah 4: 11-14
. The great Jewish leader Nehemiah has brought the people back to Jerusalem to re-build the walls that had been destroyed decades before. Ezra had been successful in rebuilding the Temple and now the city needed to be secured so God sent Nehemiah back to Jerusalem to take control of that task.
. As they are rebuilding the walls, opposition starts against the re-building of the walls. The walls were built up to half the height they needed to be and trouble started. At first, they were just mocked and ridiculed but after the walls were halfway done, the enemy decided to attack and stop the building. That’s where our scripture starts this morning.
. 11Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”
12The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”
13So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.
14Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy!