In my column last week, we looked at how the whole nation of Israel slept on the ground in Jerusalem to protect the work they were doing in releasing God’s people from oppression. We saw how sometimes there can be a short season where we are required to do something uncomfortable to get the big result. Any sportsperson will tell you that if you aren’t experiencing some pain at times you probably aren’t invested in what you are doing! This week we will look at how the whole nation and Nehemiah in particular were empowered to endure their uncomfortable season.
Some people in this world are consumers and some are contributors. Jesus calls each of us to be contributors. Jesus desires us to be part of the solution not casual bystanders to His cause! Nehemiah 5:17 & 19 ‘I asked for nothing, even though I regularly fed 150 Jewish officials at my table, besides all the visitors from other lands. 19 Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it’. Nehemiah as the governor of Judah had every right to demand a significant wage but he refused. Not only that but Nehemiah personally financed much of the catering while the work was on! This heralded an unprecedented period of generosity from the least in the kingdom to the greatest. Everyone got involved. This was not a period for passengers but impassioned contributors. Nehemiah was determined that the financial outcome of his time in Judah would be Net Positive. Nehemiah and the people were confident that they could sow generously into this work because they knew God had called them too it. A whole nation left their fields to go do God’s thing for a season fully confident that God would bless the work of their hand not only building His wall, but in their fields when they returned. Nehemiah’s prayer is quite telling. ‘Lord you have seen my generosity in this short season. I know you won’t leave me hanging’. As our church community enters our season of building let’s have the same faith and confidence that Nehemiah had. Let’s sow generously by faith knowing full well we will be rewarded in this life and the next. What a great inspiration Nehemiah is to all of us about what we can achieve when we all determine in our hearts to be contributors that are Net Positive.