“Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem… And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and it’s gates which were burned with fire…”
“Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and it’s gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach”
When the need was identified, the first thing Nehemiah did when he arrived in Jerusalem was to privately go inspect the wall to fully understand it’s current condition and the work that had to be done. Then when he motivated the people to invest in rebuilding the wall, he did not overwhelm them by giving them a guided tour of the entire wall and everything that needed to be accomplished. Instead he assigned groups and families to parts of the wall that would mean the most to the protection of their families. The rebuilding required dedicated focus, the ensuring that the foundation was solid and would hold the weight and stresses placed on it by the wall. The rebuilding would also require the faith that God would give them the strength and protection they needed to reach the goal.
As men, husbands, and fathers, we must be willing to privately inspect our walls and foundation in prayer. Asking God to reveal to us where cracks exist, where walls need to be built or even where the structure must be torn down and the foundation firmly established. Often, as men, we try to accomplish too much, or don’t want to face the sins or areas in our lives that require the most attention. It is far easier to pave a skim coat over the top of that broken, pot-hole filled road, than it is to dig down to the foundation beneath it, in order to properly fix the causes of its deterioration in the first place. If we choose the easy path of applying a skim coating, all we accomplish is the temporary covering of our sins or deep needs for the transforming work of Christ in our hearts and life. Eventually, the hidden cracks will resurface, or the wall will fall either under it’s own weight or the stresses around it.
We are not doing ourselves, our wives and kids, or our God any service by pretending to be strong, temporarily covering up our issues, or failing to humbly kneel before our Savior at the Cross. In fact, our chosen path will act as an example to be imitated by our wife and children. Either we lead them by example to the Cross and to Christ’s restorative work in their lives, or we sin by leading them, by example, away to wonder in the wilderness. Our deepest need is to fully realize that each of us are not perfect, and we were never expected to be perfect. A perfect person does not need a Savior, and the only one to fill that description becameour Savior.
What did you find upon inspection of your walls?
Is the foundation in support or opposition to the walls that have been built?
Do you cover over issues and sins, or do you fall to your knees in repentance and devote yourself to real and lasting change?
Challenge: focus to build a proper foundation in scripture, and tear down any walls to rebuild that are not supported by this foundation. Repent where needed.