In the last post Grab and Brick and a Bible I began discussing the book Nehemiah. I am falling in love with this book in the Bible! There are so many jewels here. Last week I didn't even know where this book was in the Bible! Oh, how God's Word is surprising!
In Chapter 2 of Nehemiah, Nehemiah is going back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and gates that were destroyed. I did a little history checking and below is a timeline as to when all this happened as far as I can discern. This is all fascinating to me and I hope it is to you as well!
597 BC- King Nebuchadnezzar (King of Babylon or Persia) invades Jerusalem, destroys the city and Temple and takes the Jews captive (including Daniel).
536 BC- King Cyrusof Persia released the Jews to return to Jerusalem. At this time the Jews started to rebuild their homes and the Temple. However, enemies came after King Cyrus died in 530 BC and destroyed the work that had been completed on the temple.
522 BC- King Darius I of Persia encouraged the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was rebuilt
between 520 and 515 BC.
464 BC - King Artaxerxes of Persia began his reign.
457 BC- King Artaxerxes issued a decree to Ezra to rebuild Jerusalem and establish a government. Before this time, from 536 to 457 BC, the Israelites were struggling. They had rebuilt their homes and managed to rebuild the Temple, but the city still lay in ruins.
456-454 BC - Samaritans knocked down the rebuilt sections of the wall and burned the gates of Jerusalem.
444 BC- Nehemiah asks King Artaxerxes if he can return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and gates.
I felt this timeline was important to understand the history of how Jerusalem was destroyed and the lengthy process of rebuilding. So, now we are at 444 BC when Nehemiah has gone to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls. (Note it has been ten years that the walls have lain in ruins.)
"Then I (Nehemiah) said to them, 'You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.'
And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. So they said, ' Let us rise up and build.' Then they set their hands to this good work." Nehemiah 2:17-18
Nehemiah is encouraging the Israelites to rebuild. He is saying, "The King granted us permission and God has made a way for us to rebuild! So let's do this thing! " (Sue paraphrase)
However, whenever someone is called to do something great, there will undoubtedly be naysayers to discourage.
"But when Sanballat, the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and beshem the Arab heard of it, they laughed at us and despised us, and said, 'What is this thing that you are doing? Will you rebel against the king?'" Nehemiah 2:19
Oh friend, how I LOVE the next verse coming up...
"So I answered them, and said to them, 'The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no heritage or right in Jerusalem.'" Nehemiah 2:20
When you are doing what the Lord God has called you to do, the enemy will try to come and discourage you. When you begin to work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to rebuild the broken areas of your life, the enemy will come to try to convince you to stop rebuilding.
I love how Nehemiah responded! He spoke to his enemy (just like Jesus did) and stood on the Word of the Lord. He spoke back to the enemy and he shot his enemy down with a mighty truth.
"You have no heritage or right."
The enemy (Satan) has no right in your life. You have a heritage as a child of the living God and Satan has NO right to your life! Tell him. Speak it as Nehemiah did. When the enemy comes to discourage or defeat you, tell him to leave in the name of Jesus. (Jesus did.) Tell him he has no right to be in your life.
So many truths and jewels in this book. There is even more to come! Rebuild the brokenness. Allow the Holy Spirit to come in and fill in the holes and close the gaps of your heart. He is more than able. He desires us to be whole and not have holes. The enemy, Satan, has no right in your life.
"Let us rise up and build."