When God Breaks Your Heart, What Then?

Nehemiah was called by God to “build that wall”.  What characteristics made Nehemiah the perfect man for the task?  Well, at the beginning of the story; Nehemiah was the cup-bearer to King Artaxerxes.  Content to stay behind, he was comfortable in the prestigious job he had.  As the book opens, something shook up his contentment.  Indeed, God broke his heart for His people.  That broken-hearted state became the catalyst to transforming this layman into a powerful man of God. Hearing God’s call,  He rebuilt the wall. Then, as governor  he guided the people back into a place of political, social, and economic stability. Furthermore, he  lead the people to trust God, once more.  The faithful followers of God  no longer remained the target of ridicule and abuse.

Ezra accomplished the spiritual establishment of the new community, whereas Nehemiah succeeded in giving it physical stability…The project (building the wall) was completed in the remarkably short time of 52 days.  During this endeavor he faced determined opposition: mockery (Neh 2:19, 4:1-3), armed raids (4:7-12), a ruse to draw him outside the city, without doubt to murder him (6:1-4), blackmail (6:5-9); and finally, a prophet hired to foretell his death.  In every case he met the challenge with courage, wisdom, and an invincible determination to complete the task for which God had called him.1

What happened to transform Nehemiah’s heart; propelling him to hear God’s call, heed the call and have the fortitude to complete the task against so much opposition?

NEHEMIAH

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Abiding, Steadfast Joy Overflowing When Injustice and Violence Reign

These two books went live today.  The first: Abiding, Steadfast Joy subtitle “Never Again to be Bound in a Life of Quiet Desperation” has been essentially a 3 year labor of love.  Written, rewritten and transformed many times.  Somewhat like my life.  Intertwining bits of my life, this book mostly expounds on Biblical Doctrine and Theology.  I share with you all that God has taught me through many trials, failures, and sorrows; every step of the way leading me to know Him more.  Then, as I discovered He was my greatest treasure; He also taught me 3 foundations of truth from His Word which transformed my heart to rest in His Abiding, Steadfast Joy, regardless of the circumstances or storms this journey brings. Just click on each cover page to be linked to information to purchase.

ABIDING, STEADFAST JOYAbiding, Steadfast Joy

WHEN INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE REIGN:

Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times.  Answering the questions of “Why, God?” Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation.  With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

May God’s Grace, Love and Mercy Fill Your Hearts today.

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

When God Commanded: “Build That Wall!”

The previous series told of how God’s people had sinned against Him. Beginning with Solomon, they had allowed in many cultures and incorporated idolatry into their worship.  This lead to a division between the ten tribes of the Jewish nation from the other two.  The ten tribes making up the Northern Kingdom fell to the Assyrians first.  Ignoring the warnings of God, the Southern Kingdom fell to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar after His overthrow of the Assyrians.  As a divided nation, their strength to withstand evil had been diminished. Just as God promised, after seventy years of exile; the remnant of faithful believers began to return to Jerusalem to rebuild.  Under Zerubbabel, a descendent of David; the first group returned and built the temple.  Then Ezra, a priest, lead the second group. Years later, God called a layman, Nehemiah, to “build that wall.”

Why was a wall needed?  According to the report Nehemiah received, the remnant in Jerusalem was shamed. A city with broken walls revealed a defeated people. The Jews who had returned to their homeland were both in unsafe conditions and humiliated at living in a destroyed city…. rebuilding the walls showed that God was with His people.1

Nehemiah 6:16 refers to this fact, after the wall was completed. “And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.”

A BROKEN WALL

When Nebuchadnezzar took Judah captive, he destroyed the temple and destroyed the wall.

And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

Therefore, he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand. And all the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes; all these he brought to Babylon.

 And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof (2 Chronicles 36: 15-19).

God had pleaded with His people.  He knew that continuing down the path of sin and idolatrous living would destroy any hope of happiness.  Happiness could only be found in God, their creator who knew exactly what their hearts needed to be satisfied.  But alas, they did not heed His warnings.  In order, to save the few that were faithful; judgment would have to come upon them all.  The righteous would suffer, alongside the unrighteous; that the nation could be cleansed.

FEARFUL AWAITING OF JUDGMENT

 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries (Hebrews 10: 26-27).

This is not saying those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, can lose their salvation.  It is saying, those who have heard the truth and reject it; have no hope.

For the nation of Israel, they awaited the Messiah.  However, the majority were seeking worldly pleasures; doing whatever they wanted.  Having been given the truth, they rejected it.  Now judgment would come.  Unfortunately, the righteous would also suffer; however, theirs would be the sweet redemption one day.  God promised that, they believed it.  In this world, Christians will suffer or even die for the name of Christ.  But one day, He will return for His own.

GOD COMMANDED NEHEMIAH TO BUILD THAT WALL

Well back to the story at hand.  The first group of faithful returned to Jerusalem as soon as they heard the decree of Cyrus.  Of the millions scattered, only a few returned.  Many chose to stay where they were in new lands among their former captors.  They had grown comfortable in their new lifestyle.  “The people who returned to the land of promise were publicly acknowledging that they believed God would reestablish the nation and usher in a time of kingdom blessing”2

Those who returned still faced many challenges.  Many enemies still entered their city.  Their temple was always at risk of being attacked.  That is, until God Commanded Nehemiah to build that wall.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS FOR YOU AND ME

What could all this possibly mean for us?  Everything!  We must turn our eyes to the only one who can provide hope amid the turmoil and evil we see around us. Just as God preserved and re-established His people in the Old Testament, He will today.  If only we would trust Him.  Oh, yes; we may face continued trials on this journey. However, we can trust He who promised to provide us His best.  He is the treasure we seek.  Take time to read your Bible and sit alone with God.  If you do not know Him, I urge you to consider Him today.  Below is a link to how to be saved.

CONCLUDING TWEETS
DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?

If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.

OR ARE YOU IN OF NEED PRAYER?

If you have a prayer request email me by clicking here or if you wish to leave a comment:  comment here

OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE

Recently reduced in price, just in time for the holiday season. Check it out at Amazon.com  If you want to know more about this book or my other  books I have written:  You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.

 

 

 

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

1 “Why Was It Important to Rebuild the Walls of Jerusalem?”, Got Questions Ministries, accessed November 6, 2017, https://www.gotquestions.org/rebuild-walls-Jerusalem.html.

2 Martin, John A., “Ezra”, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty: Old Testament, John Walvoord and Roy Zuck, eds., (Colorado Springs: CO: Victor, 2004), 651

 

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

So, Dear Lord; What Do We Do Now?

Looking around us, we see injustice, pain, and sorrow.  So, we cry out to God, “What do we do now?”  We seek the Lord, wanting answers.  Evil, hate, and violence appears to be winning.  So, what can we do?  What can I do? God’s answer rings forth:

 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:18).

How sweet it is to know God’s grace, that can wash us white as snow!  We, who know the Lord, cling to that truth with all its promises. Holding Him close to our hearts, we know that He is our sweetest treasure.  Yet, despite that truth; why do we hold Him hidden, secretively clinging onto our hope?  Shouldn’t we rather share His joy with everyone we meet? Why do we complacently march with the crowds, silent?  Busy trying to be accepted, liked by those around us; yet, we become dim lights hidden. Too afraid to proclaim His truth, for fear that someone might be offended.

I Peter 3:12-19

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How to Overcome Divisions and Spread the Gospel

Consider the history, a people called of God would turn their backs upon the very one who had set them apart as His own.  It would be a repeating story throughout the history of mankind. From the earliest rivalry between Cain and Abel, the story repeats itself; because deep within the hearts of all, sin crouches at our doorway.  Yet, amid all the conflicts, divisions, and battles created by prideful hearts; God has stood faithful to save aside remnant.  Those who would worship Him; and it is for their sakes, God would preserve His people.  He provided for them and all who believe, a Savior who came and paid the ultimate price for all the sins.  He would take upon Himself the sins of all the world; so, as to preserve a remnant on whom He could lavish His love and joy within their hearts.

The minor prophets: Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah continue this message of warning to all who turn their backs upon God.  Beyond their warnings, they tell of hope for all who would worship God.  Isaiah, who came before these minor prophets; spoke very clearly the warnings, while foreshadowing all of God’s mercy, grace and love to save all who would follow Him.

DIVISIONS WITHIN THAT WEAKEN

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