I had a dream where I was standing in the center of a vast wheat field. The wheat was most definitely ready for harvest, with the heads plump and about to burst. The Lord stood before me and put a white bag around my neck and I knew it was so I could begin to gather in the harvest. I looked all around me and I saw people everywhere. Every person was dressed in white; each had the same white bag draped around their neck as they diligently worked at picking the wheat. Angels were everywhere, at least one standing over each worker. As I looked I realized that each person was working a certain section of the field, their own allotted area.
As I sought the Lord about this He led me to Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was a Babylonian captive, a cupbearer to the king (of Persia). As he inquired about the surviving Jews who had escaped and survived the captivity and also about Jerusalem, the response looked very bleak to him.
“They told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.” (Neh. 1:3 MSG)
Nehemiah’s heart was so grieved over this news! “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.” (Neh. 1:4 MSG) He began calling out to God in intercession for the people of Israel and his Nation, confessing the sins of the people, himself included. (v.5-6)
He asked the Lord to make him successful so that he would get what he wanted from the king, and the Lord God granted his request. King Artaxerxes gave him permission to return to rebuild his city. (Neh. 2:5-6) The king not only gave him permission to return to his homeland, but also sent letters of permission and a request for building supplies. “The king even sent along a cavalry escort.” (1:9)
As Nehemiah inspected the wall, he realized just how damaged the city really was. “Jerusalem is desolate and lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire.” (v. 17)
Then Nehemiah said to the men that were with him, “Come—let’s build the wall of Jerusalem and not live with this disgrace any longer.” He told them how God was supporting him and how the king was backing him up. And their response? “We’re with you. Let’s get started.” They rolled up their sleeves, ready for the good work. (v. 18)
“Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set up its doors; and they consecrated the wall (westward) to the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel.
Next to Eliashib the men of Jericho built, and next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars.
Next to them Meremonth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, made repairs. Next to him Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. And next to him Zadok the son of Baana also made repairs.
Next to him the men of Tekoa made repairs, but their brothers did not support the work of their owverseers.
Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate. They laid its beams and set up its doors with its bolts and its bars. . . .Neh. 3:1-7 AMP)
And on and on went the whole entire third chapter of Nehemiah. Thirty-two verses of different people building their part of the wall “next to” the people that built on either side of them. The wall was built by dividing it into sections, appointing people to those specific sections. They diligently worked with and beside their family, friends and neighbors.
As I pray about the times that we are in and all that is going on around us, I continually hear the Lord say, “Love and minister to the people around you. I am drawing the defining lines.” I have felt His heart for family, friends, and the people that are around us everyday. This is our assigned section! As we reach out, love, pour into and minister to the people that is in our realm of influence, we will be doing our part in what the Lord is calling us to in this season. As we work along side other believers, we will build that which Jesus has commissioned us to do.
As Nehemiah and the people worked, their time of building the wall was not easy, there were people that came against them, they were despised, ridiculed, insulted and threatened! (Neh. 4: 4-5)
“When Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairs of the wall of Jerusalem were going so well—they were absolutely furious. They put their heads together and decided to fight against Jerusalem and create as much trouble as they could.” (Neh 4:7-8 MSG)
But they did not stop! “They countered with prayer to God and set a round-the-clock guard against them.” (4:8) And they positioned themselves to fight!
“Then (the leaders of) Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is much rubble;
We ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.”
Our enemies said, “They will not know or see us until we are among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.”
When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times (repeatedly), “From every place you turn, they will come up against us.”
So I stationed armed men behind the wall in the lowest places, at the open positions (where it was least protected); and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows.
When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; (confidently) remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and (with courage from Him) fight for your brothers, your sons, yours daughter, you wives, and for your homes.”
Now when our enemies heard that we knew about their plot against us, and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each one to his work.” (Neh. 4:10-15 AMP)
We have been walking through hard times, and fear has seized so many as we repeatedly hear news of doom, but we are called to “Arise and shine, for our light has come”. (Is. 60:1) The Passion Translation notes on this verse says, “break forth with the light of (a new) day.” “John was a blazing, burning torch” (John 5:35), as he arose, proclaiming and preaching the truth of Jesus! He was truly breaking forth with the light of a new day, ushering in the true Light of the world, “Preparing the way of the Lord!
The mandate on us to “arise and shine” is to prepare the way of the “new thing” that the Lord is doing. Let us roll up our sleeves and be ready for the good work. As we call out to God, weeping, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven, His promise to us; “Now I will arise! I will arise to rescue and protect them!” (Psalm 12:5-6)
God is frustrating the plans of the enemy by exposing the lies and threats that have come against His children! “Everything hidden and covered up will soon be exposed. For the façade is falling down and nothing will be kept secret for long.” (Luke 12:2 TPT)
Nehemiah 1:1 tells us that all this began in “the twentieth year”. We are in the year 2020, a Nehemiah-time of rebuilding; the beginning of “all things new”, and the Lord is drawing defining lines!
“Don’t despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” (Zechariah 4:10)
The Lord is at work, and He will be faithful to complete it! As we each serve in our own sections, the small beginnings will grow into the great harvest that we have been praying for. As we each take care of our own section of the wall, nothing or no one will be able to stop it! We do not have to be afraid; “Our enemies will not prevail; they will only collapse and perish in defeat while we rise up, full of courage.” (Ps. 21:8 TPT)
We need to confidently remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and with great courage from our Lord, we need to fight for our brothers, our sons, our daughter, ours wives, and for our homes!
“So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth (day) of (the month) Elul, in fifty-two days.” (Nehemiah 6:15 AMP)
When all our enemies heard the news and all the surrounding nations saw it, our enemies totally lost their nerve. They knew that God was behind this work. (Neh. 6:15-16 MSG)