The wall was repaired in a matter of days. Once lying in rubble around Jerusalem, it now stood firmly, the result of everyone doing his or her part. They hadn’t relied on professional builders. They’d relied on God who gave them the ability to do something great.
There had been opposition, bullying, insults and lies thrown at them to intimidate them to stop. But the Jews didn’t stop. And God was glorified.
So now what? Their goal was reached. Did they just sit back and simply enjoy the fruit of their labor? Not at all.
Appoint the residents of Jerusalem to act as guards, everyone on a regular watch. Some will serve at sentry posts, and some in front of their own homes. (vs 3b)
That wall protected Jerusalem and its residents from outside forces. Jerusalem was also the place where God lived on Earth That wall was there to keep the enemy out.
What spoke to me is that all the residents took guarding the wall seriously. Everyone did their part in protecting the wall around Jerusalem. It guarded the Temple. It also guarded their own homes. That wall was worth guarding.
We are celebrating 20 years of Frederica Baptist Church today. 20 years ago this month a couple dozen people took a giant leap of faith, believing God was calling them to establish a church on the north end of this island. 20 years ago they met in homes, in store fronts, in an elementary school, until they could use their own savings, or put their own homes up for collateral to buy a commercial building in which to worship. It took almost 15 more years from that point to pay off the debt, sell the commercial building, and erect a church building on land given this small congregation, a gift they knew was from God.
So today we will gather with our present fellowship along with former pastors and friends who have called Frederica Baptist their church home at times during these past two decades. It’s going to be a glorious celebration! God be praised.
But I am reminded this was never the goal. God didn’t call these people 20 years ago to build a building so people could drive by and say, “Look! There’s a new church on the north end of the island.” He didn’t ask us to build a church so people would come to fellowship with us, but fellowship with Him through the blood of Jesus. We aren’t here to be a social club, but a holy people unto the Lord, equipped to go and make disciples on the north end of the island.
There will be opposition. And it will be up to each of us to stand guard against the enemy. Our enemy is Satan, sin, apostasy, heresy, tolerance, compromise, the world. We will depend on our leaders to protect us at the door, being gatekeepers and barring the door against the enemy.
But each of us must do our part, too, by guarding our homes, and our hearts from the enemy. Satan is not welcome here! And it’s up to each of us to stand guard.
So I’m going to church today to praise God for bringing us to this point. We have a wonderful facility in which to worship and prepare to be the people we need to be to do God’s work on the north end.
We will sing, worship God together, share a meal, laugh, remember, and praise our faithful God today. Then tomorrow we’ll get to work, protecting what God has given us, and being His hands and feet in this community.
It’s been 20 years in the making. But the work is just begun.