Search This Blog


            Recently I was asked to lead a prayer time at our church and the topic that day was our nation.  Typically, the leader of the prayer time gives a short sermonette, no more than ten minutes.  The day before I had nothing inspirational come to mind, but the news kept filling my mind with word “wall” because of all the attention put toward the wall President Trump wants to build between us and Mexico.

            So I started thinking about the “walls” that divide this nation.  When you say “wall” and think of the Bible, your mind immediately goes to the book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament.  So I turned there and what I saw blew my mind.

            Everything that is happening now has happened before.

            The history of Nehemiah started when Israel divided into two nations after the reign of King Solomon.  Ten tribes formed the Northern Kingdom known as Israel and two tribes formed the Southern Kingdom known as Judah.    The northern nation worshiped their own gods and constantly ignored the real God, so He allowed the Assyrians to invade and conquer those tribes in 722 BC with the fall of Samaria, their capitol.

            Judah, the southern nation, didn’t learn their lesson from their northern brothers and followed the same path of disobedience.  So God allowed the Babylonians, who conquered the Assyrians in 612 BC when their capitol Nineveh fell, to take over Jerusalem in 597 BC.  A group of Jews were exiled to Babylon where they lived for seventy years.  During that time, the Persians conquered Babylon and took over in 539 BC.

            The Persians allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild it.  A guy named Zerubbabel led the first group and they laid the foundation of the temple in 539 BC.  It took forty or more years to rebuild the temple to around 486 BC.  Ezra, a priest during the time of King Darius of Persia (458 BC), entered Jerusalem with more exiles and began to make spiritual reforms.

            Then around 440 BC, Nehemiah, the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes, heard the news that the wall around Jerusalem was in disrepair (Nehemiah 1:3).  He asked the king to go to Jerusalem TO BUILD A WALL (Nehemiah 2:3-5).  A wall around Jerusalem would do two things—strengthen the city and keep out those who wanted to enter Jerusalem and make trouble (aka ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION). 

            The king gave him permission to build the wall and even FINANCED it completely. 

            So Nehemiah went to Jerusalem with a group of people and inspired the people to build the wall.  Nehemiah saw with his own eyes that the nation was in ruins without a strong wall and a disgrace to other nations (Nehemiah 2:17)

            But there was OPPOSITION.  Some people did like the idea that Jerusalem would be rebuilt, stronger and more secure than before.  They began to mock Nehemiah.  Their names were Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 2:10, 19).

            Nehemiah, undaunted, pressed on. 

I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”  Nehemiah 2:20

            In chapter 3, everyone contributed to the hard work and began to make it happen.  The wall started going up.

            In chapter 4, Sanballat and Tobiah became greatly incensed.  They ridiculed the Jews and made fun of the wall (Nehemiah 4:3), saying a fox could knock over (yes, they gave FOX NEWS).  They MARCHED to the wall to protest against it (Nehemiah 4:2) and harassing the supporters.  They PLOTTED together to fight against the wall and stirred up trouble (Nehemiah 4:8).  The opposition threatened to KILL the wall-builders. (Nehemiah 4:11).

             Nehemiah hired BORDER PATROL OFFICERS to protect the wall using swords, spears, bows and armor (Nehemiah 4:16).

            In Nehemiah chapter 6, Sanballat and Tobiah wrote letters and sent messengers to the Persian King saying that the Jews planned to revolt against Persia and set up their own kingdom.  They spread FAKE NEWS.  Their goal—a government SHUTDOWN.

Nehemiah responded (tweeted).

I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Nehemiah 6:8

            Nehemiah pressed on, the shutdown avoided, the opposition silenced, and in record time the wall was built in 52 days.  Jerusalem became strong once again and Nehemiah, for the rest of book, went on to rebuild his nation from the inside for the next seven chapters and allowing those who needed to IMMIGRATE back to Jerusalem to do so safely (Nehemiah 11).

            Later on, Nehemiah had to kick some people out of town by beating them and pulling out their hair (Nehemiah 13).  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.