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On August 8, 2023 wildfires ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui. Over 100 people died, with many others injured. 2200 buildings were destroyed and the financial cost was 5.5 billion dollars. Imagine what it would have been like to return to where your house had been and sift through the ashes to find anything that endured the flames. It was something similar that the Jews experienced in their return to Jerusalem. Nehemiah 3 is a record of the courageous people who rebuilt out of the ashes of ruin. There are spiritual lessons for us.

Consider, THE CONDITIONS THAT CALL FOR RECONSTRUCTION, 2;17; 3:1-2. The walls and gates of the city were destroyed. Something had to be done. It is descriptive of the state of many churches today. Many are in peril, barely hanging on. Family life in America seems defenseless against the assaults of a secular culture. Marriages are burning down. Our children are being captured by the enemy. This society is a shambles. We are being overrun by millions crossing the border. While we recognize that many are fleeing poverty and looking for hope, this week the head of the FBI spoke of the dangers of bad people coming in to do bad things. It is an invasion and we have no walls or gates. Moral walls have been obliterated. Every kind of perversion is promoted and easily accessed by our kids on smartphones.  Criminals are coddled as victims, while their victims are treated with contempt.  Russia and China are ready to pick us like ripe fruit. I want to say there is a responsibility politically. Government has a role in protecting liberty and promoting justice. But, the problems we have will not be fixed at the ballot box alone. Our problem is rebellion against God. It is a spiritual issue.

This points to THE CORRUPTION THAT CAUSED THE DESTRUCTION, 1:6-8. The physical peril that the Jews faced was due to the moral corruption they practiced. When the law of God is not declared in the pulpit, then the laws of men will be distorted by the politicians. We sow the wind and will reap the whirlwind. Nehemiah knew that the heart of the problem was the problem of the heart. The need was not a political revolution, but a spiritual revival. Why would we not expect the culture to rot?  This is a fallen world, under the curse of sin. The devil is the prince of this world—their god whom they worship. Behind the earthly thrones are principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness (cf. Eph. 6:12). Until Christ returns this is the environment of decay we will face. The problem is this:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matt. 5:17).

Salt is meant to arrest the spread of corruption. But “good for nothing” churches have lost the potency of purity.

There can be THE CONSECRATION THAT COMPELS THE RECONSTRUCTION, 3:1. The gates and walls were consecrated by a consecrated construction crew. The word means, “set apart.”  Their commitment to God compelled them to do the work. A church can be revitalized!  A country can be reawakened!  Here is a picture for us.

It is a picture of our method, 3:1-9. There was coordination and cooperation.  People joined together and took responsibility for their part of reconstruction. Personal responsibility led to corporate duty.

It also speaks to our motivation, (3:10, 23, 29).  The phrase is repeated, “by his house.”  These men wanted their family to be safe. They gave priority to their home. The home was God’s first institution. He ordained it before he birthed the church. If we do not have revival in our homes, we will not see revitalization in our churches, and without that there is no hope for reawakening in our nation and regeneration of the lost through mission.

Are you ready to consecrate yourself and do your part? Frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing about so much "deconstruction" of faith. I am ready for reconstruction!

Yours for Him,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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