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Friday, May 27, 2011

Nehemiah 6:16

And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.

For further study - Nehemiah 6:1-16

What a stamp of approval, the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval", when the world, in fact the enemy of the Jewish people, realized that "the work was wrought of our God". The work Nehemiah wrote about, of course, was the rebuilding of the "walls and the streets" of the city of Jerusalem.

God had worked in the heart of the King of Persia to allow Nehemiah, the King's cupbearer, to return to Jerusalem to reconstruct the walls around the city and repair the streets of the "holy city".

As we come to the sixth chapter of Nehemiah, we see that the job has been completed, verse 15. This was a very fine bit of civil engineering, to repair the walls and the streets of a war-torn city. Actually it had taken only 52 days to do all of this work in this devastated city, verse 15.

As the "foreman" on the job, Nehemiah had led the workers, as a man of God, with a purpose focused on service for the Lord and His chosen city. It was a matter of "focus" with Nehemiah.

Verses 2-4 indicate that the enemies of the Jewish city and its people wanted to stop the work of the Lord. They tried to divert Nehemiah away from his work. Notice Nehemiah's response to the invitation to walk away from his God-given mission, verse 3.

The focus, according to Nehemiah was, "I'm doing a great work, so that I can not come down". When doing a great work for the Lord, we must stay focused on the mission that God has given us and let nothing distract us from His will for our lives. It may be hard to focus but we must do so to get His work done.

As one reads through all of Nehemiah's account of this rebuilding of the walls and repairing the streets of Jerusalem we can find example after example of how God's man under God's leadership and provision, can do God's will much faster than previously thought.

This project was done as a testimony to the "heathen" around Jerusalem who were doing everything they could to cause Nehemiah and his team to fail. This event is one of the "milestones" along the way, in Jewish history.

The fact is that the Persian king Artaxerxes would make a decree that would mark the time in history to start the count that would lead up to the time when Jesus Christ would be hailed as the King of Kings, on the day of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem,Daniel 9:25-26.

The exactness of this pronouncement by the King sets in place the point of reference by which Jews, Gentiles and Christians can begin to count 173,880 days until Messiah Jesus Christ would show up in Jerusalem, Luke 19:40-45.

According to Jesus, in the Luke passage, He showed up in Jerusalem on the exact day He was to be there, not a day late or a day early, the exact day He was to be there. Jesus then told those there and the ones who would read this passage later that by reading the Word of God, and understanding what it's saying, we can know what time it is in His plan for the future.

The practical and the prophetic come together in this passage of scripture, our devotional reading for today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me, dear Lord, to focus on the mission you have given me to complete for you as I await your call for me to join you in heaven.