the Second Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Let every man take heed how he buildeth.”
Nehemiah 3:1-3 , Nehemiah 3:5 , Nehemiah 3:8 , Nehemiah 3:10 , Nehemiah 3:12 , Nehemiah 3:20 , Nehemiah 3:27-29 , Nehemiah 3:31 , Nehemiah 3:32
In the rebuilding of Jerusalem several circumstances deserve our notice. We are unable to read the full record of all the workers, and therefore we will select verses of an interesting nature from
Those who were chief in office led the way; they did the work most appropriate to them, for they repaired the gate by which the sheep entered the city for sacrifice, and they did it in a most commendable manner, sanctifying all that they did. Both in our service, and in the manner of it, all believers, being priests unto God, should be examples to others.
And next unto him builded the men of Jericho.
They had less interest in the work, being men of another town, but they lent their aid cheerfully. If we help ourselves, others will be the more inclined to help us.
They did their work thoroughly in its details, and this is the right way to act in the service of the Lord. Nothing should be done in a slovenly manner.
They were too haughty to work, but the people would not be discouraged by them. Nobles are never so ignoble as when they despise the work of the Lord.
Goldsmiths and apothecaries carry on most honourable trades, and happily these had both wealth and hearts to give it.
And where could he work more suitably?
Whatever we do, let us try to serve God at home, and do good in our own neighbourhood.
Good women can take their share in the Lord’s work, and it is highly honourable to them when they do so. In our houses let the daughters serve the cause of Jesus.
Baruch was so eager and zealous that he finished two measures of the wall. We can never do too much for the good cause.
Though forsaken by their nobles, the Tekoites did double work. If great men will not serve God, the poorer sort must shame them by doing double.
And so, by the labours of all, the circle of the wall was complete, and Jerusalem was protected. The church of God in our day needs building up, and it is the duty of each believer to take his share in the work. What can we do? Let the question go round among us, What can I do? Do I really love the Lord, and trust in his Son Jesus? If so, what shall I do, my Saviour to praise?
As labourers on thy church’s walls,
Lord, give us grace to be
Content to lift the heaviest load
Through life’s long day for Thee.
Of wages we will ask no more,
When thou shalt call us home,
Than to have shared that travail sore,
Which makes thy kingdom come.
“The builders, every one had his sword girded by his side.”
Nehemiah 4:1-9 , Nehemiah 4:11-15 , Nehemiah 4:17-21
Nehemiah 4:1 , Nehemiah 4:2
Mockery has always been the favourite weapon of ungodly men. In this case Sanballat scoffed at the zealous eagerness of the people. “See,” said he, “they work as if a city could be built in a day.” That which was eminently to their honour he made the theme of his jeering a very common habit to this day.
This bird of the same feather sang the same note. He scoffed because he was afraid.
Nehemiah 4:4 , Nehemiah 4:5
A prayer more after the spirit of the law than the gospel. It is full of Nehemiah’s zeal for right, but lacks the gentleness of Jesus.
Cromwell bade his soldiers trust in God, and keep their powder dry. Nehemiah was equally practical.
They intended to take them by surprise, but in this they were foiled.
It was well done of these outlying Jews to warn their brethren so often; they acted as sentinels.
Nehemiah 4:13 , Nehemiah 4:14
He set before them the terribleness of God as a reason for having no terror of men. “Fear him, ye saints, and ye will then have nothing else to fear.”
They lost no time in holidays and congratulations; they were in earnest, and kept to their business.
Nehemiah 4:17 , Nehemiah 4:18
So must Christians both labour and fight, watch and pray, build up the good, and guard against the evil.
Nehemiah 4:19 , Nehemiah 4:20
Here was the best reason for courage. If God be for us, who can be against us? O God, our God, fight for us this day!
In God’s work we may well make long days. Time is short, and the Lord’s work deserves all our strength.