Building a Wall of Protection:

biblical encouragement by sharon cannavo encouragement for dad encouragement for mom

They Each Did What They Could Do

Reflections in the Book of Nehemiah

After the destruction of Jerusalem, Nehemiah was taken in the Babylonian exile and served the king as a cupbearer.  Severely grieved, Nehemiah prayed to God, and then appealed to the king, “If it pleases the king, send me to Judah to the city of my father’s graves, that I may rebuild it”.  By God’s hand, the king granted Nehemiah his request and provided Nehemiah with all his needs for the project.  

Two evil men, Sanballat and Tobiah who were against God’s people, and protested the rebuilding of Jerusalem, sought to undermine the welfare of the people of Israel.

After Nehemiah's arrival, and during the dark of night, he surveyed the all-encompassing damage to the city walls and gates, while avoiding the attention of these two evil men.  Nehemiah approached the Jews, the priests, the nobles, and the officials who were residents in the fallen city and rallied them, explaining that by the hand of God and by the approval of the king they needed to rise up, strengthen their hands for work, and build their city walls of Jerusalem, so that they would put an end to their vulnerability, and the mockery and ridicule at the hands of these evil men. 

Sanballat and Tobiah began spewing threats and insults at the people, tearing them down to discourage them. But, the key to success in this work came from a trust in a Sovereign God, and each family taking on what was just in front of them. They were never asked to repair the miles of wall around the city of Jerusalem, but only the portion within each one’s territory. Even as threats on their lives escalated, they proceeded as they held weapons in one hand and tools in the other, confident in their capability that they could do at least that much.  Span out to get the big picture as side by side, every family committed to his own area became the instruments in God’s hand. Not only to restore the very structure that would secure the small nation but to accomplish the physical and spiritual work that God had ordained for that time and place.

Sanballat and Tobiah continued the jeers and the threats, but Nehemiah and the people prayed and trusted God with the finished work, as they kept their eyes and minds on just the details that were right in front of them, they each did what they could do. Even as their lives were threatened, Nehemiah reminded them, “Do not be afraid!  Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome! Fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.  God faithfully frustrated the evil plans of Sanballat and Tobiah, while the Jews locked arms and rallied to do battle if necessary, knowing that indeed God would fight for them.  Day and night they labored and guarded, sacrificing common comforts for the finished work.  Through all the trials, and all the conflict, the walls were completed.  The nations “fell greatly in their own esteem” as they understood this work had been accomplished by the help and the power of the great God of Israel (Neh. 6:16).  

Do not underestimate the help and power of the great God of Israel in this time and this place!  God sees that the moral wall in our nation, which was established “under God”, has been aggressively torn down.  Yet, there is so much encouragement in this real-life Bible story!  As we experience the beatings from mockery and ridicule, and as we look beyond our front door at the broken walls of our nation’s moral condition… the literal removal of protection from every citizen, it’s overwhelmingly clear we no longer live in a country that appreciates the value of one nation under God.  Our culture has normalized the breaking of every moral law and attempts to convince us that this is truth and reality.  They are the modern-day Sanballat and Tobiah!  We are therefore finding ourselves leaning into defeat against the evils in our culture.  But by trusting God as our great Commander, and His Word as our battle plan, we must also hear the call to rebuild and protect the wall of moral protection surrounding our family, just as diligently as the Jewish families stood beside their next-door neighbors, refusing to be overwhelmed by the nay-sayers. Shoulder to shoulder, we must accomplish the work within and around our individual homes and individual families.  That is doable! That is biblically required.

At Training Hearts for Jesus, we have mined God’s Word to equip you with the righteous weapons and tools to accomplish your portion of the wall!  As you parent biblically you will have done all that you are capable of doing to accomplish the mighty work that God has given you!  Your family testimony will shout to the world, declaring “God is our helper!”  He is the ultimate authority!  One day you might witness our culture’s great fall in their own esteem as they learn the truth! Our God is sovereign over all, and more powerful than anything they have ever encountered.  

Galatians 6:7-10 further confirms this truth:

 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. 

Let's be encouraged!  And let's get to work! 


By Sharon Cannavo