The Wisdom of Security
(Proverbs 30:26) The Rock Badger is a small weak animal which uses the security of the rock as its defense. It makes the rock its home. The rock becomes its protection against those who would attack it. The rock becomes its shield against attack.
In a similar way Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build My church.” (Matthew 16:18) The wise Christian finds safety from a cruel world by making the church his home. We avoid many unnecessary attacks by dwelling in a safe place. When the city walls are broken down, the people are defenseless. We are wise to surround ourselves with good strong relationships.
One of the reasons why Nehemiah was so aware of this problem was he was dwelling in “Shushan the citadel.” (Nehemiah 1:1) He knew the advantages of living in a secure place. When he learned “the survivors, who are left of the captivity… are… in great distress and reproach,” he knew something must be done to restore the walls. (Nehemiah 1:3)
This story forces us to ask some important questions. Were the people living at Jerusalem God’s people? If they were God’s people, how could they be living in reproach? Had they obeyed God by returning to Jerusalem? How could they be living in such distress, if they have done God’s will? Because, “the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” This left them helpless against any attack of the enemy.
Nehemiah began his plan of restoration with the city gates. (Nehemiah 3:1) Gates control the people who have access into our lives. The gates represent authority and are of great importance. Without gates a city is defenseless. We live in what is called the information age, but much of the information is dangerous lies. We must not believe everything we read on the internet or hear on TV. We need authorities in our lives who can help us discern what is truth. The priests rose up and began building the sheep gate. This is the best place to begin restoration. Begin by building up the people of God. Don’t waste time trying to tear down the goat gate. Focus on doing something positive instead of something negative.
After rebuilding the city gates Nehemiah began building the city walls, but before he could build the walls he discovered they must first remove the garbage and rubble from the destroyed city. (Nehemiah 4:10) Rubble is the garbage left from the past. There are some things in our lives worth redeeming but others must be discarded. Wisdom helps us to know what to save and what to throw away.
Walls are the things which surround us. They represent our covenant relationships. Family is sacred because God created family. “And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2:22) Friends are sacred because God has joined our hearts. “And valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched.” (I Samuel 10:26)
The higher we build the wall, the more difficult the work becomes. We must climb higher to keep building the wall, but the higher we build the stronger the wall becomes. It takes more effort to build lasting relationships. If we’re not careful we allow negative experiences to become rubble which stops us from building stronger relationships. “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1) We must not allow our relationships to fall into ruin or our lives will become like a city without walls. Never forsake a proven relationship for an unproven one.
Almost every city gate was also a watchtower. Watchtowers are elevated places on the wall which have been fortified against attack. They provide extra vision to give vital information to the city and to protect the city gates. They are like a radar system which helps us see beyond ourselves. They are the eyes of the city. In warfare, the first thing the enemy attempts to do is destroy the radar system. If he can destroy our radar, he knows we are fighting blind and cannot see the coming attacks. Our radar system is our relationship with God and those around us. If we have good strong relationships, we know when something is wrong and can sense it in our spirit. Our spirit helps us prepare when an attack is coming upon our lives. They help us know when we should open or close the city gates. The watchtowers give us vision and are the first line of defense for the city.
As Spiritual Leaders God has Made Us Watchmen on the Wall. – Ezekiel 3:17
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