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something worth building

By Chris Oliver
August 13, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

Nehemiah 5:14-7:731
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 21:8-10

Often I dream of building. This mysterious draw to create has always existed, and has only grown with age. It’s hard to identify one specific reason my desire to create is so strong, only that the idea, the process, planning, and execution all point to a particular sense of fulfillment unique to any other.

I would wager that Nehemiah also experienced this phenomenon. In our passage we find our recently ordained leader of the exiled Jewish people fully invested in his mission to rebuild the devastated city of Jerusalem. Coupled with his great love for God and His people, God channels through Nehemiah the completion of a project recognized as impossible by his earthly foes: the restoration of the City of David.

With vivid detail I can recall the best and worst moments of my career in building. These recollections inevitably are directed to the times I’ve rallied behind a great leader that elevated me. The mission and leader require one another, and when you have one without the other, nothing worth making will ever be accomplished. Nehemiah not only embodied a master builder, but also a leader capable of beating every odd. In the face of death, abandonment, and failure, he finished his divine project. “And when the enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of God”. (Nehemiah 6:16)

As a craftsman in the service of Judah, I can’t imagine what the desolation of my beloved nation would feel like, or what the constant threat of destruction would do to my soul. However, one day I hope to experience the pride they felt, the satisfaction of being an instrument in building something the world will know was ordained by God.

To memorize:

Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him.

— Psalm 33:1

Prayer to start with: Lord, may you raise up another Nehemiah among us. If that be me, give me the courage to take the charge and place my faith in the sustainer of all.