Sunday, August 1, 2010
from the rubble of Jericho
The Word for today:
Ezra, the scripture scholar and teacher, had tried for a decade to get the wall built. Nehemiah, the decisive man of action, managed to get the job done in just over seven weeks:
So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. (Nehemiah 6:15)
When the huge project was finished, Nehemiah organized a spectacular victory celebration. It featured two choirs that circled the wall in opposite directions.
He placed Ezra at the front of the first choir, and put himself at the tail end of the second choir's procession.
When the two choirs met in the middle, near the temple area, they held a worship service the like of which had not been seen in Jerusalem for many generations.
“Even if you finish your wall, if a fox walks on top of it, it will collapse,” their enemies had predicted (Nehemiah 4:3). How wrong they were, for here we see the wall supporting an entire parade. The trumpets were blowing. The choirs were circling the city, singing with all their might. And the walls stood firm.
What a contrast to a very similar scene in the book of Joshua, chapter 6. Then, when the people circled the city of Jericho, shouting and blowing trumpets, Jericho's thick walls came tumbling down.
The Lord Jesus Christ told a parable which defined the difference between Jerusalem and Jericho. Wise men, he said, will build their houses upon "the rock:"
"Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock."
But foolish men will build their houses upon shifting sand:
"Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Matthew 7:24-27)
From the time in Nehemiah 8 when Ezra stood on a wooden platform, reading from a simple scroll, the people had begun to reconstruct their lives according to the Word of God.
Never forget the contrasting pictures of Jericho and Jerusalem. And when the day comes--it might be today--when you must rebuild your life, or your marriage, or your family, or your church, or your relationship to God, then remember to open the Word of God. Search out its rebuilding instructions and follow them.
And then watch a miracle in the making, as a Jerusalem rises from the rubble of Jericho.