The Wall of the City
1/14 Reading Portions: Genesis 15; Matthew 14; Nehemiah 4; Acts 14
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So we built the wall. Nehemiah 4:6
Because of some of the profound lessons in prayer and perseverance found in Nehemiah’s record, the building of Jerusalem’s wall may seem somewhat incidental, even insignificant at first glance. Yet, its pages express tremendous gospel truths, both old and new, providing us many meditations to exalt Christ unto the Father’s great glory.
The person and work of Jesus Christ is expressed in Israel’s story. The first wall, which surrounded Jerusalem until the temple and city were finally destroyed presents to us a picture of God’s protective providence to bring Jesus Christ (the first temple) and His gospel ministry (glory of the city) safely to His ultimate and triumphal goal of the cross (destruction of Jerusalem). The exile of Israel foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ’s burial and Israel’s return foreshadowed Christ’s resurrection. The rebuilding of the temple foreshadowed Christ building His church (Matt 16:18) by the power of the Holy Spirit in and through souls redeemed by grace (1 Cor 3:9). The building of the wall foreshadowed Christ’s protective providence surrounding His church (Matt 28:20).
Sanballat is a type of Satan, who is angry with the building of the wall (Neh 4:1); nevertheless, Satan, like Sanballat, will not prevail against the builders (Matt 16:18). Like the building of the temple (Christ’s church), Jesus uses gospel ministers to build the wall.
The spiritual warfare we face while protecting the true gospel church from the likes of Sanballat and Tobiah, and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashododites requires us to be both prayerful and vigilant (Neh 4:9). We must be wise in ministry and supportive of one another (Neh 4:20). Moreover, we must keep God’s Word readily available in order to take immediate action against the enemy (Neh 4:23).
The Holy Spirit dwells in us,
He also does surround
Our lives as a protective wall
Where gospel truth abounds.
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