The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 5: Nehemiah – The Battle Is Over Your Family
The Battle Is Over Your Family
Nehemiah fought in the natural what most of us have to fight in the spiritual. He had returned to Jerusalem to restore it as a place of peace and prosperity for the people who felt defeated and desperate. He gave them a vision, direction and a hope. He gave them a practical task to help re-establish their self-esteem and sense of purpose.
The enemy preferred them to be as they had been before – dejected, downcast and helpless. Once he saw the people revitalised and working, he tried to discourage them by words and insults. When that failed, he threatened physical warfare.
What did Nehemiah do? Believe their lies and shake with fear? No. He prayed to God for protection and made plans for survival. He was not going to give up on the job because the very life and health of the people depended on them finishing the task. So he employed his defence strategy. Yes, it would take hard work and inconvenience but the prize was worth infinitely more than personal physical discomfort. They were fighting for their very existence.
Hello! Society today is suffering because we have abdicated our responsibility as parents. We neglect our families. We prioritise work, financial security and toys above the priceless value of children who should be secure, balanced and enjoying a life with God as their Father and Guide.
And we are the ones to blame. We can’t blame the Government, we can’t blame the schools, and we can’t blame society. We can’t say the church failed them – we have. We have the responsibility for our family and we have abdicated that to our and our children’s peril. We brought them into the world and gave them life. God expects us to nurture, train and lead them. It’s the parents’ role.
Now is the time to take back our God-given privilege and regain a society that prefers relationships to finances, and communication to self-centredness. It’s worth fighting for.
Don’t blame the ‘world’ for the state of your family if you have not fought to save it and maintain it. Yes, you may be criticised for ‘discipline’, for ‘censorship’, for restrictions and narrow-mindedness but if the result is a stable, fun-loving, peaceful and balanced family that is not a drain on society but rather a contributor to it, you have ‘won’ the battle for them, for God and humanity.
Nehemiah would say to us today...
Don’t be afraid of those who are out to destroy your family. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes. Our God will fight for us.
Father, Thank You for inviting us to become a part of Your family. I want to thank you that You established families and that You care about each member of them. Please help me prioritise my family so that they don’t just get the scraps of my time and my day but get the best. Help me to fight for the family You have entrusted to me. In Jesus’ name and for His sake I ask. Amen.
Deuteronomy 11:13-25; Psalm 127; Ephesians 5:22-6:4.
Why is the family under threat?
From where do the most frequent attacks come?
In what ways can we ‘protect’ our families?