Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going. – Ecclesiastes 9:10 ESV
Nehemiah had traveled from Susa to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the walls of the city. Since his arrival, he had encountered a lot of resistance from the people who lived outside of Jerusalem.
To counter their interference and the threats they had made against the people of Jerusalem, Nehemiah had his men work while carrying their weapons in one hand.
In Nehemiah 6, his enemies sent messengers asking him to meet them at Ono. The messengers wanted to get Nehemiah to take a break from building the wall. Nehemiah’s response was powerful,
“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3 ESV)
Ono was approximately 25-30 miles away from Jerusalem and would have required Nehemiah to be away from his post for 3-4 days. Furthermore, Nehemiah suspected that they meant to harm him.
The rebuilding of the wall had been neglected for many years until Nehemiah went to Jerusalem. Since he had been in Jerusalem, several attempts had been made to discourage the people and would have been successful had it not been for Nehemiah.
Nehemiah’s passion to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was enough to inspire those around him to put their hands to the work. Can you imagine what would have happened if Nehemiah had walked away from rebuilding the wall for four days?
Can you imagine what would have happened if you had failed to return to Jerusalem?
Four times his enemies sent the same message. Four times Nehemiah returned the same response. On the fifth attempt, the gloves came off and the threats began (Nehemiah 6:5-7). But Nehemiah remained firm. He had resolved to do the work that God had given him and he would not stop until it had been completed or God stopped him.
My friend, we can learn from Nehemiah. Each of us has been given a task by the Lord. Each of us is engaged in great work that requires our resolve…you may not feel as if you’re doing great work, but you are.
- Taking care of your family is a privilege.
- Using your gifts for God is a gift.
- Sharing your faith with someone is an honor.
Whatever you have been called to do, work at it with all your might. The enemy will try to distract you from your task. He will put obstacles in your way. He will send people to discourage you. He will make the work harder than it has to be which may cause you to start wondering, “Did God really say…?”
If you think about it, the devil is really good at causing people to question God. It’s the same tactic he used successfully in the Garden of Eden and it’s the same tactic he attempted on Jesus in the desert. But we don’t have to give in.
Like Jesus, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us. Like Nehemiah, we can refuse to stop the work we’re doing for God to engage with the enemy.
If nobody has said it to you before, I will: you’re doing a good work, my friend, don’t come down.
Abba Father, thank You for the work that You have given me. Help me to remain focused on the task at hand and not to be distracted from completing it. Send encouragement when I am discouraged, send reinforcement when I am weak. But more importantly, Lord, help me to remember that I’m doing a great work and I can’t come down. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Pause for Reflection
- What work has God given you to accomplish?
- What are the obstacles that you’re facing as you try to accomplish the work?
- How can you use Nehemiah’s words as inspiration?
Other actions you can take: