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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nehemiah 4:17

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

For further study - Nehemiah 4:10-23

What a great book is, Nehemiah, the one containing our reading for today. Nehemiah was still among the Jews that had not returned to the land of Israel. When he got word of the deplorable conditions of his beloved city of Jerusalem he immediately sought permission from the king to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the "walls" of the city and repair its "streets".

He would face much opposition to the task God had given him. In fact, there would be those who wanted the building stopped. Those who opposed the Jews would even resort to killing the workers. Nehemiah prepared his workers to both rebuild the walls and streets of the city and to protect themselves from the attacks.

As I read through the extended passage for today, I was impressed with what happened about 2,500 years ago and what has been going on in the modern-day Jewish state of Israel. Nehemiah's helpers would work with one hand and hold their weapon with the other as they worked.

That principle extended to the other workers with a portion of them at the work of refurbishing Jerusalem and the other portion of the Jews with shields and spears to protect the workers.

I almost feel like I am reading out of the local Israeli newspaper reporting on a normal life in the Middle East. Today, the Jewish nation of only five and a half million people is building a nation with one hand working to build this Jewish nation and the other half of the nation protecting all Jews from total destruction.

A great statement is used as an exhortation to the Jewish people then - and now. "Our God shall fight for us," found in verse 20, is a reminder to the Jewish people of who they are and what the God of heaven will do for them. They are the “Sons of Jacob”, the one who had his name changed to "Israel" which literally means, “my God will fight for you”.

The truth of the matter is that those five and a half million Jews today are surrounded by at least 350 million Arabs and Muslims who all claim to despise the Jews and want to rid the world of all of them. So what's new?

The only way the Jews will sustain existence is by God fighting for them, which He has done for about 4,000 years. That in and of itself is proof of the reality of a true, all- powerful, holy God who will indeed continue to fight for His “chosen people”, the Jewish people.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for taking care of the Jewish people, which gives me comfort that You will also take care of me, fighting for me, as a member of Your body.