Can These Old Stones Be Revived Again?

Nehemiah 4: 1But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.

This asks a bunch of questions and each one could be a message in itself.  The last one, will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned, is what I want us to take note of today.  It’s not posed to us by Nehemiah or by God.  It came from the adversaries of Israel.  God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the walls.  He wasn’t a mason or an architect; he was a cupbearer for the king.  Yet he returned to Israel to rebuild the wall.  He saw the nation in terrible shape and the wall that defined Jerusalem shattered.  The only thing left was the foundation.  No matter the shape of your spiritual life, the foundation of the Lord stands sure.  That means there is hope for you and me and our church, hope for anyone who gets to the place on the foundation that they belong.

The enemy said that whatever work they did would be so weak that a fox could get through it.  The world parades the wicked.  It’s a massive effort to discourage the children of God.  Some people’s faith gets shattered by it all.  They put too much stock in what the wicked are doing.  People have sold themselves to the devil.  Don’t hate the sinner; hate the devil behind it.  Before I was saved I made fun of Christians too.  We’d ride around town and find a preacher on the radio and make fun of him.  After I got saved those old buddies left me behind, but God gave me a family.  I’m thankful that now many of those old buddies are saved and in church.  Before I was saved I was an adversary.  Now I know we have to try to win them to the Lord and not let the devil use them to destroy the lively stone God made us to be. It’s the devil’s will to destroy each church and empty it.

God made the stones.  The master shaper, Jesus Christ, shapes them.  He’s the master sculptor.  He fashioned us into a building block in the wall of the kingdom of God.  Remember your place.  Pay no attention to the Sanballat’s of the world.  You may feel interference in that you can’t seem to pray or study the Word as you should.  You may have troubles and trials.  The devil is after our defeat.  Don’t give way to him.  Heaven is prepared for God’s people with God’s people.  The church is here for us and by God through us.  It takes us as workers together with Jesus Christ.  Without each of us there is a gap.  It takes each one together.  The wicked would have you believe you’re a failure and should give up on God.  Many don’t know what to believe anymore.  Guard your faith.  Get away from the devil.  You have the opportunity for God to revive you.

The stones appeared to be shattered.  The Lord told Nehemiah to set their faces to rebuild and he’d take care of the rest.  They saw broken stones, more of a trash pile.  That’s what people think these days—the Bible is rubbish and they don’t need Christianity or Christians.  Nehemiah was told new stones weren’t required.  He was to use the shattered, broken stones and clean them up.  It got done by the hand of God.  The hand of God is not on us to shatter us.  He’s willing to reach down and put you together; just trust him.

There are cracks in the stones; we all have cracks and breaks in our relationship with God.  You may feel you’re crumbling, but God said the stones can be revived.  We’re not able.  Nehemiah wasn’t able.  GOD IS ABLE!  If you’ll take the first step, God will pull your broken pieces back together.  God can put us back together and make something of us.  Do you feel like a burned out failure?  Hush that up.  God wants to put you back together.  It can be done!

The devil had turned God’s city into a trash dump and he wants to do that to us.  We were buried in trespasses and sins but he changed us.  Jesus was crucified and buried deeper than we’ve ever been.  He came out of the grave.  He rose in the body.  He won’t let you be buried deeper than he was.  Don’t tell me you can’t be pulled from the trash heap.  No matter the pieces or cracks, they brought the stones out, cleaned them up and put the pieces together. They followed God’s recipe and instructions.  He put them where they were to go.  We can’t go back to the good old days but we can bring the parts to get back where we once were.

Put the stones back.  Keep going on.  Build.  The goal of our existence is to be revived—put together by the hands of God; his hands on ours put the shattered pieces together.  He’ll put you in the wall, then on the wall.  To be on the wall you first have to be put in it.  Look at these walls.  Its block on block in the wall and that makes them also on the wall.  Even though our enemies want us to think we can’t be fixed, God has already answered the question.  He who built us can put us back together.  Bring yourself—broken, burned, un-bonded—and be repaired and revived.

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