Friday: What to do with the Whiners
Text: 12 The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!”[e] 13 So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows.
14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:12-14, NLT)
They were surrounded. The situation looked and felt grim. And I’m imagining there were many who were feeling hopeless.
So Nehemiah recruited more people to protect the vulnerable spots. And then he called them to remember.
“Remember the great and glorious God who has called you to this task, who has protected you and provided everything you need.”
“And remember why you are doing this. This is no mere exercise in futility. We’re not looking to win a beautification award. No, we are building this wall to protect ourselves and make a better life for our wives and children.”
We read the stories in the Old Testament where the people were called to remember what God had done. They rehearsed and reminded themselves regularly. Then when they found themselves in a difficult situation the truth was not a far off concept, but one upon which they could depend.
The same holds true for the writers of the New Testament. Paul was clear on this with the Philippian believers. “It’s no hardship for me to write of these things again,” he told them. He knew the power of remembering what God has done and what he promises to do.
Perhaps you know what it’s like to feel surrounded and hopeless. Remember God. Remember he has called you to the task. Remember he promises to not just give you life, but joy.