Another reason for reluctance on the part of those inside the family of God is the rubble lying around. The result of sin and the fallout of judgment are often piled upon and added to year after year. By the time rebuilding finally gets underway, there is a tremendous amount of accumulated “rubble” to overcome. The actual effects of sin and people’s attitude toward the things they and others have suffered all serve to hinder God’s work in people’s lives.
By Nevin Bass
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work (Neh. 4:6).
THERE ARE VARIOUS TYPES of resistance to the work of rebuilding. Just as surely as the walls need rebuilding there will be opposition to this ministry. What are the sources and the causes of this opposition? There will be resistance from without, resistance from within, and rebellion everywhere.
First, there is resistance from without. It comes from those outside the construction zone and those closely attached inside yet allied to outsiders. What are their reasons for standing against what will certainly be a benefit to God’s people? Perhaps at a rare honest moment they will concede the collective benefits of God’s wall, yet they see limited or no benefit to themselves personally. And herein lies the problem. The test of worth for every project, every endeavor, every work must be the inherent value such an effort has to their selfish interests. For various reasons, these outsiders see the advancement of the cause of Christ as a threat to their own interests.
Second, there is reluctance from within. Those who are saddled with the work itself are reluctant to begin and/or, having begun, to finish the rebuilding effort. There was a reluctance to begin before Nehemiah arrived due to apathy. Apathy must be overcome by anointed leadership, inspired vision, and proof of God’s blessing (Neh. 2:17¬18). But maintaining a sustained effort to continue a work once begun means battling fatigue and disappointment. It would be much simpler if every rebuilding effort could be completed in fifty-two days! And yet as in the case of Nehemiah, the wall that was rebuilt was just the first phase of the overall rebuilding process.
Another reason for reluctance on the part of those inside the family of God is the rubble lying around. The result of sin and the fallout of judgment are often piled upon and added to year after year. By the time rebuilding finally gets underway, there is a tremendous amount of accumulated “rubble” to overcome. The actual effects of sin and people’s attitude toward the things they and others have suffered all serve to hinder God’s work in people’s lives. And finally, another source of resistance was rebellion throughout the region. When Satan is unable to stop the rebuilding effort, he often tries to plant seeds of rebellion inside the newly constructed walls. After it was rebellion finding a home inside the walls of Jerusalem that brought about God’s judgment originally. We must not forget that Jerusalem in days gone by was a proud and strong city, complete with walls and gates. It was rebellion inside those walls that caused destruction and reproach. When one feels that this is not possible in his own life, he becomes a prime target for the enemy and often an unknowing tool to disrupt and damage the work of rebuilding.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12).
If falling were not possible, God would only need builders, and rebuilders would all be janitors. If falling were not possible, the ministry of the postexilic prophets would not be needed, and Ezra and Nehemiah would not have needed to return to Jerusalem, because they would have been born and raised there.