At this time, Nehemiah is in Persia, and he has seen certain brethren who have recently been in Jerusalem. They had no television; they had no radio; no Internet; they had no newspapers, as we know them. They had no telephones. Yet, Nehemiah was wanting some news. He said, “What is the city of God like? The people of God-what is their condition? I want to know. Tell it to me, so I can visualize it, so I can see it.”
As they brought this report. they wept. I’m certain, as they said, “Oh, Nehemiah, you cannot believe the degradation. You cannot believe the desolation. You cannot believe the danger. You cannot believe the poverty. The city is in disarray. The gates have been burned with fire. The walls have crumbled. The streets are filled with weeds, and trash, and debris. The people are discouraged; the people are in poverty; the people are in hunger.”
Nehemiah saw this: a city with walls that had crumbled. And, you’re going to find out that the Book of Nehemiah, a large part of the Book of Nehemiah, is the story of the rebuilding of these walls.
Now, these walls were literal walls in that day, but we’re asking a question: not only, “What did it mean then?” but, “What does it mean today?” Because, you see, walls are also symbolical. Walls stand for protection. Walls are symbolic of separation. Walls speak to us of conservation. Walls spoke of the glory of God. Walls, in the Bible, and especially around the city of Jerusalem, had a symbolic meaning. They spoke of the glory of God; they spoke of the salvation of God; they spoke of the protection of God over His people. And, the walls had fallen.
Now, what does this mean to us today? We are called to rebuild walls that are in decay. Please think with me, for a moment, about some walls today that have fallen to the ground; some walls that are in disarray.
We are told that nations decay and the walls of national defense usually fall into nine cycles.
1. People go from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. People go from spiritual faith to courage;
3. People go from courage to liberty;
4. People go from liberty to abundance;
5. People go from abundance to selfishness;
6. People go from selfishness to complacency;
7. People go from complacency to apathy;
8. People go from apathy to dependence;
9. People go from dependence back again to bondage.
I believe no matter where we live it is time for us take our place along the walls and rebuilt the walls of spiritual defense that God wants us to have for our respective nations.
1. Domestic Walls
In 1870, only 3% of the homes in America, ended up in the divorce court. Today, over 40% of our homes end in the divorce court: 40%-from 3% to 40%.
There is a militant war being waged against the home. The feminists today are anti-home, many of them. Let me read what one of them has written. She wrote, “With the destruction of the nuclear family”-but, she means by the nuclear family, a family where there’s a father and a mother and children living under one roof-“With the destruction of the nuclear family must come a new way of looking at children. They must be seen as the responsibility of the entire society rather than individual parents.”
They are saying, “We need to take your children, and teach your children, brainwash your children, indoctrinate your children to the new society, the new way of doing things.” And, the truth of the matter is these are not just a few people out here on the periphery. Here is a mighty, militant, dynamic movement in America. Throughout the world, the family is the foundation of any nation. As go the families, so go the nations.
2. Decency Walls
The walls of decency are decaying. Look what’s happening to us. Pass the newsstand in the average corner drugstore, and pornography will stare you in the face as if a broken sewer line were overflowing in the newsstands. We have ceased to be shocked. And, what used to amaze us, now, just simply amuses us. And, what was horrible yesterday is acceptable today, and has become a stepping-stone for something worse tomorrow.
Can a man go upon hot coals and his feet be not burned? Can a man take a fire in his bosom and be not burned? (Proverbs 6:27-28). Can a person feed on garbage and it not affect his health?
Look, if you will, at the wall of decency in our educational system. What’s happened to our educational system? Why are students running wild? I’ll tell you why. We have put prayer out of our schools. We put God out of our schools. And, with the Bible out, and with God out, evolution is in, homosexuality is in, illicit sex is in, murderous abortion is in, venereal disease is in, and God is out.
Now, I feel sorry for a school teacher who stands up and tells kids “You must do right,” and, they say, “Teacher, what is right? And, where do you get right from? Who says what is right? And, who says what is wrong, unless there’s a God in Heaven who does?” We’ve got to get back to God. How can we morally govern anybody, unless we come back to the moral foundations? The Bible says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
3. Doctrinal Walls
I’m saying that the walls of decency have crumbled. Walls of doctrine have fallen. I believe with all of my heart there’s not a lot wrong in any nation that could not be changed, if we had a generation of preachers who would stand in the pulpit and preach, “Thus saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:4). I believe that with all of my heart.
We have many ministers who are preaching the gospel-and I thank God for them; but we have many who no longer believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. And, many times, the congregation doesn’t know that, because they don’t have enough courage to stand in front of people and say, “I no longer believe this book.” And, they’re taking their salary under false pretenses. They ought to get out. They’re cumbering the ground.
Liberalism is a parasite. It has no power to build. It doesn’t build orphanages, and colleges, and churches. It is a parasite that crawls into institutions that have been built by Bible-believers. And, I’m telling you that walls of doctrine and walls of theology have crumbled, and it is time that God’s people started to rebuild them.
Of course, we are to love people as individuals-whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever their philosophy, whatever their creed, whatever their race, whatever their color-they are to be loved, for Jesus Christ loves them. Yet, we are not to tolerate godless philosophies that are taking our country apart a stone at a time. The walls have fallen; and it is time that we open our eyes and see that the walls have fallen.
What motivated Nehemiah’s heart, head and hands, was that he could visualize the situation. Take a few moments to see your city and nation for what is today. Once our mind and heart have seen it, we will never be able to go back to where we were in our thinking of the past. Visionary leadership learns from the past and leans into the future!