Rebuilding the walls – Part 2
When a society rejects God’s revelations, moral and social anarchy is a natural result. Last week, we looked at what happens when a nation declines spiritually. There is a decline in the family and moral standards disappear, creating internal weaknesses in society’s foundation. Values decline, God and the Bible become no longer relevant. And then spiritual decline occurs in three stages: God is removed from the centre of our lives; individuals start determining what is right/wrong instead of God; and there is anarchy, where the society becomes untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful.
This week, we will look at how to rebuild a nation that is in decline using the template found in the book of Nehemiah. Here we see a nation in decline being restored by returning to God.
Even when it seems hopeless, a nation in decline can be rebuilt. Nehemiah concentrated on one thing, the rebuilding of the wall, and the result was the nation of Israel being restored. Even Jamaica needs to get back to the fundamentals – our families, our values, and our spiritual anchor.
Nehemiah had intimate access to royalty, political standing, and a place to live in the palace. And yet, he was greatly concerned about what was happening in Jerusalem. To start the change:
a. WE ALL NEED TO BE CONCERNED
It’s so easy for us to stay uninvolved and unaware. Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem, yet he was broken by the state of his country and the complacency of the people and decided to become part of the solution. “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.” (Nehemiah 1:3-4, NIV). Nothing will change in our lives, church, or nation until we become concerned about the problem and commit to be part of the solution. Nehemiah’s concern drove him to prayer.
b. WE ALL NEED TO PRAY AND FAST
Nehemiah saw the problem, and he realised that he needed to take it to the One who could fix it, God. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. If we want renewal for Jamaica, we must pray and fast. Rebuilding the walls of our nation starts with us on our knees in prayer: “Eternal Father, bless our land, guard us with thy mighty hand…”
Prayer opens the way for the direction of God and the favour of God. The Lord told Nehemiah to rebuild the walls, but it required a partnership with all stakeholders. To rebuild the walls of Jamaica:
c. WE NEED PARTICIPATIVE PARTNERSHIPS
Nehemiah was able to pull together all the chief agents of the society, fulfilling different roles towards a common goal.
a. The king, representing the government, opened the door for rebuilding to occur. He granted Nehemiah safe passage, a military escort and all the lumber he needed for the rebuilding. The government, the first stakeholder, was heavily invested in the rebuilding.
b. In Jerusalem, Nehemiah took time to survey the extent of the project and planned how to accomplish rebuilding the wall. He then gathered all the significant leaders in the city and outlined the plan to them and got their agreement. For the rebuilding of Jamaica, the Government and all other significant leaders (civic, business, entrepreneurial, educational, etc) must be involved in a participative manner.
c. The third group was the people who were asked to rebuild the wall directly in front of their house. This is the area that they had the most influence and of greatest direct personal benefit to them and would see the result of their efforts. “So, we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6, NIV). When we are unified around a common goal and social partners are working together in the area that most concerns us, we work wholeheartedly to ensure success. The entire nation of Israel began to change, confidence returned to the society, they returned to their spiritual roots, repatriation began, families were reunited, etc.
Doing one thing – the right thing – turned around the nation. We have an opportunity to rebuild the walls that have been broken down in Jamaica. But are we ready to join in partnership for the advancement of the Jamaican people? Then let’s start by praying as Nehemiah did.
“Father God, I confess the sins of Jamaica, including those of myself and my father’s family, that have been committed against You. We have acted very wickedly towards You. As I humble myself and pray, turning from my wicked way, hear our prayers and heal our land according to Your word in Jesus’ name. Amen”.