Welcome to our Tuesday devotions. Every Tuesday, we will offer a study in the book of Nehemiah. We hope you enjoy these devotions and will also follow us on social media at @thecovenc. We post encouraging Bible verses, upcoming events at The Cove, and much more.
Fight or Fear
By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Nehemiah 4:10-14 (NASB)
Thus in Judah it was said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, Yet there is much rubbish; And we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.” Our enemies said, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, “They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,” then I stationed men in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears and bows. When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.”
Nehemiah had gotten the people of Israel to rise up and start one of the biggest building projects of that time. Each person was responsible for building a section of the broken down walls around the city, and it was working, last week we saw gaps closed and the structure was half the height.
Now, Jewish enemies who had previously been able to come and go as they wished, had their freedom restricted, and opposition began. Not idle intimidation, but a very real, very scary, menacing threat.
Rumors and murmurings began among the workers. Exhausted, they were only half finished with the job and now they had to contend with the probability that the enemy could strike from anywhere at any time. Nehemiah took the information seriously and stationed people to stand as guards.
Then, in verse 14 he spoke up and said “Do not be afraid of them: remember the Lord who is great and awesome . . .” Yes, what they were going through was fearsome, but God is greater.
The same thing is true today as we battle an unseen, yet real virus. Rumors and changing news happens so fast we can hardly keep up. There is a very real reason to be concerned for the health of our family and for ourselves, but as Nehemiah said, “do not be afraid . . .”
This passage ends with the call to fight for your brothers, sons, daughters, wives and your houses.” I believe we can use this today as a battle cry as a fight for our faith during these unprecedented times. God wants us to stand up and be bold for Him. He is using this microscopic foe to bring us to Himself. I also believe that the great commission that Jesus left us with before He ascended into Heaven, to go to all the world and make disciples is even more of a battle cry than ever before.
May we stand firm in our faith, may we fight for the faith of our families and may we make disciples wherever we go.
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
- When there is fear from a real foe, there is often rumors and murmuring. Do our best to find the truth in the middle of everything we hear.
- No matter how scary a situation we are in, God is bigger. Remember He is great and awesome.
- Post guards around our situation. The guards I choose to post today are the Truth in God’s word, and wonderful accountability partners who will watch my back as I watch their back in return.
- Remember who is fighting the fight for us. Jesus died on the cross to take away all of our guilt and shame and fights for us.
The fight was real for Nehemiah just as the battle is real today. His enemy was someone he could see, as well as something (rumors) he could not see. He had to fight each one, yet the strategy was different for each enemy.
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- Even though what is happening today is as scary and as real as what Nehemiah faced, how can we look to the great and awesome God who will fight with us and for us?
- Am I contributing to the rumors spread across the internet by passing everything on without checking for truth?
- Will I spend diligent time in prayer to be an effective warrior for Christ instead of letting fear take my fighting spirit away?
- How will I use this time of quiet and isolation? Spend time in fear, or spend time preparing for spiritual battle?
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