Building and Battling

They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.  For the builders, every on had his sword girded by his side, and so builded.  And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

Nehemiah 4:17

Nehemiah and the men with him were doing a great work for the Lord.  They were rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem.  Then, as now, not everyone was excited about this great work for the Lord.  These verses tell us that the opposition got so bad that they were forced to work with one hand and hold a weapon in the other hand; always ready to fend off an attack.  That must have been a difficult thing to do- I have all the problems I can handle when I try to build something with both hands, let alone one hand!

But these men were doing nothing different than what we must do in our Christian lives: they were building and battling.  The building process we can apply to doing something for the Lord.  Whatever it is we might do for Him, we are “building.”  But another part of the Christian life is “battling.”  Our battles come in the form of fighting the world, the flesh and the devil.  It is a battle every day: a battle to resist sin, a battle to avoid “conforming to the world”, and a battle against the “wiles of the devil.”  Personally, I know that my own worst enemy is the guy that looks back at me in the mirror every morning.  I have more trouble out of that old buzzard than I do with everybody else put together!

Sometimes we want to build: we want to do something for the Lord.  But we don’t fight the battles and succumb to sin, failure, defeat and discouragement.  Other times, we fight and fight to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, but it ends there.  Our lives are all about ourselves. 

As Christians, we have to have the correct balance of “building and battling.”  Fortunately, Jesus is our strength for both!

4 responses to this post.

  1. I’m so glad you went back to that part of Nehemiah. 🙂 I like to think of our sword being His word, which we carry with us all the time! And weren’t they dedicated, to do that? I wonder sometimes how easily I can give up if it’s not easy to do something . . .Building and carrying a sword could not have been easy! God is so good to teach us and I am so thankful that He is teaching us through you! deb


    • It’s hard to imagine that kind of dedication, to be able to work with one hand with a sword in the other. It’s true of me- I know that I can give up very easily when I’m doing something that gets difficult. That’s why I have to stay close to the Lord and allow Him to help me!


  2. Ben, This reminded me of the armor of God that Paul talks about in Ephesians 6, especially “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” As Christians, we should put on all of the armor God has provided each day to be ready for the battle. This also reminded me of the song “Grounded” by the Christian hip hop band The O.C. Supertones. The chorus of the song is, “How will you stand if you don’t understand. Fight like a man, scriptures in hand.”

    But you are right, just fighting the battles is not enough. We need to simulaneously build and be prepared for battle. Thanks for another great lesson. Peace, Linda


    • “Fight like a man, scriptures in hand.” That’s a great quote and I will probably use it sometime soon. The Bible is so important to our Christian lives, I don’t think you can overemphasize it. I have found that when I get away from reading it and meditating on it, that’s when I have problems.


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