Message summary: Genuine faith often has a cooperative element that is expressed as we trust God and are obedient using the resources that He has given us. Today in your walk of faith you will likely face opposition of some type, perhaps even within the ranks of your own family. We urge you to remain steadfast and ever prayerful as you follow the example of Nehemiah, no matter the test you face! Keep building, one brick at a time.
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“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat” (Nehemiah 4:9).
Most modern brick homes, including ours, are frame constructed, and then have a single course of brick veneer which serves as the siding. There are fake brick veneers that come as a sheet but Jesse told me that genuine brick is always laid one brick at a time. However there are now brick-laying machines or robots! (see below for video)
A Scriptural principle is that growing spiritually is similar to bricklaying. This can be applied to marriage. Like building a brick home we build a strong, lifelong marriage one brick at a time. Over the years those single bricks become solid layers with the Lord Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone.
The setting for the book of Nehemiah takes place during the rebuilding of the long neglected walls of Jerusalem after the return from the Exile, “which had been broken down, and its gates which had been destroyed by fire” (Nehemiah 2:13b,14). These walls were vital for security reasons. They had been destroyed by the Babylonians some 150 years earlier. Now they were being rebuilt.
As with any major endeavor those with a heart to move forward in obeying God usually face opposition. As we seek to build our lives for Christ we will face opposition. Are you facing any opposition today? If so, you’re in good company with many other believers who are engaged in conflict with the spiritual forces of evil.
The specific opposition in today’s passage was led by a character by the name of Sanballat. This pesky fellow was persistent and creative in opposing the advancement of God’s work! Perhaps he earned the unenviable title of “Mr. Discouragement.” It seems that he gained many followers in his attempt to foil God’s plan of rebuilding the ruined walls. Unfortunately some of his descendants remain to this day such as Danny Defeatist, Helen Hindrance, Oliver Obstacle, Patty Pessimist, Fanny Fatalist (you get the picture). We mingle with them regularly and we must be on guard or we will join their ranks.
In the immediate context of today’s verse the opposition was threatening a physical attack, but there are many ways we will be opposed; if not in the physical, the spiritual. Paul reminds us that there is much unseen by the naked eye, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 6:12,13).
Our Christian walk, ministry, marriage, vocation, childrearing and many other vital issues of life are much like building a house one brick at a time. This building project will continue all through life until we are called home.
Genuine faith often has a cooperative element that is expressed as we trust God and are obedient using the resources that He has given us. Today in your walk of faith you will likely face opposition of some type, perhaps even within the ranks of your own family. We urge you to remain steadfast and ever prayerful as you follow the example of Nehemiah, no matter the test you face! Keep building, one brick at a time.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber