Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Things to Remember, Things to Forget II

"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 4:14).

A godly leader is invaluable.  Perhaps his greatest contribution to those he leads is his intense awareness of how truly great is the living God.  He sees all circumstances in the light of God's omnipotence.  Consequently, what intimidates others he takes in stride.  As Jeremiah expressed it, "Ah, Lord GOD, Behold You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm!  Nothing is too difficult for You," (Jeremiah 32:17).  
Nehemiah had this same view of God.  His boldness bespoke his confidence in God's power and provision.  Note his two exhortations:  (1) Remember, and (2) Fight. 
(1) Recall, he says, Whose power we have to draw upon: the living God of all the earth. With His power on our behalf, we are certain to triumph.  
(2) He has provided the means for our defense--- use them!  Arm yourselves for the protection of family and home!   One is reminded of the shepherd boy, David, at this point.  Though living long after Nehemiah, his faith and use of means were the same.  He, too, overcame the intimidation of his fellow Israelites by focusing on the awesome might of the same living God Nehemiah served.  And, he, too, used the practical weapons of warfare to slay the enemy who threatened family and home. 

As I Timothy 5:8 affirms, providing for one's own family and home is part of keeping the faith, and acting as a believer.  This would include defense from attack and/or invasion in both the spiritual and physical realms.  As the godly leader is to employ all the weapons at his disposal for spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10--18 and II Corinthians 10:4,5) in order to protect his own from those forces, so he is to use physical force, if necessary, to shield and defend his loved ones from physical assault.  To fail in either is to provide less than godly leadership. 

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