Texts: Nehemiah 2:1-3
This month we focus on a new theme; ‘The work begins’, the goal is to inspire the entire LUC family as we focus on building a new sanctuary. The ground breaking ceremony is already done and what awaits is for us to begin building. Today’s theme encourages us to Conquer fear and embrace Faith. Many of us who have had the experience of building know that it entails a lot of work and resources, without which it becomes very difficult to make any meaningful progress.
Our text reflection introduces us to a servant Leader-Nehemiah, whose deep concern and passion in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem is a model for us. The Babylonians had destroyed Jerusalem and its protective walls when they captured it. Nehemiah was concerned about it because it was the Jews’ holy city. As Judah’s capital city, it represented Jewish national identity. Jewish history centred around the city from the time of Abrahams gifts to Melchizedek, King of Salem (Gen14:17-20), to the days when Solomon built the glorious Temple (1Kings 7:51), and throughout the history of the Kings. Nehemiah loved his homeland even though he had lived his whole life in Babylon. He wanted to return to Jerusalem to unite the Jews and to remove the shame of Jerusalem’s broken-down walls. The walls offered safety from raids and symbolized strength and peace.
Nehemiah’s greatest challenge after receiving news on the situation in Jerusalem was Fear. He says in Vs (2b) after appearing before the King ‘’ I became dreadfully afraid’. Despite his fears, he uttered a silent prayer (2:4) and stepped out in Faith with bold respectful words, and went on to ask permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall.
Fear is a weapon Satan uses so that Gods people do not achieve their desired goals. When we are afraid, we begin to doubt. We doubt ourselves, we doubt God, we doubt other people, we become skeptical. The cure for fear is to develop confidence in God-that confidence is called Faith. As we pull together for the ultra-modern sanctuary, we call on each of us not to fear; where finances will come from, whether we can manage in 24 months and so on. Like Nehemiah, lets conquer fear and choose to trust in God to guide us in this grand journey of Faith. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.’’ (Deut 31:6)