Updated: Sep 4, 2019
By Glyndora Condon, based upon sermon notes of Mark Littleton, Minister regarding signs today of a fallen people, the process of weakening people and how people lose control.
When a wall is needed to protect a people, a country, or like-as it was in Nehemiah 5:11-13,
Nehemiah was given the task to rebuild the wall of the Israelites, as permitted by the King of a different nation but in rule over the Israelites; allowing Nehemiah to discover the city wall in bad repair with immense damage of which he assessed; then created a plan to repair it. It is important to study the dynamics of this historical event to see how it applies to strong-holds and the need of a plan, perseverance, and resolve as we face crisis' today.
During this process, as time passed; then the same King chose to now attack the people building the wall, placing them in jeopardy and slowed the progress. The King’s plan was in sections to discourage and to weaken the people. Emphasizing the differences such as race, money, education, age, beauty, strength, uniformity via division; and as we witness our culture and society today; we see that this strategy is indeed present. Let’s us consider the exact mechanisms that were used against Israel and Nehemiah and see if any of these are still currently used as Satan works his attack against those who seek God’s salvation. But, also-even with the unbeliever; let us see a pattern of dysfunction of mankind; who idolizes greed, power, control, or other like strongholds; and how this has continued to impose upon and divide mankind; for selfish gain. Let us consider how this strategy works and how it divides and weakens unity. It is not our intent to offend the non-believer but to utilize examples of history to provide insight. It is also our resolve to allow the example to help us to find a resolution, when the same dysfunction and strategies are being used against us today so that our ability to love one another and to be united-is therefore achieved regardless of opposition. There are three boundaries that mankind must be mindful of in order to not violate each other: Emotional, Physical, and Social. This blog is to address the social boundaries that are being woefully violated in many cultures today. We must take our place and do our part to rebuild a strong and united community so as to respect and protect each other; regardless of differences.
Satan and his followers seek to divide God’s people with the knowledge that division will weaken the unity by taking several actions:
1. Neh. 5:1-5 shows the intent to hurt the poor. First they spin the deception that is masked in an envelope of in-genuine concern; that there are too many people: And their remedy would be to use abortion, limited births, slaughtering the elderly and those with special needs. Do we see this strategy in today’s methodology? In addition, they will utilize any natural catastrophes while making sure that the people are vulnerable. We see this in today’s methodology with the movement to removal of the guns when in fact, it is the people being desensitized to the taking of human life which is the culprit which is allowing lowered moral standards and less respect of people to occur. It is also the more self-seeking and entitled mindset that creates the feelings that I have the right to do whatever I want when others do not agree with me. These are cognitive distortions which are best handled with counseling and with changing society's faulty, deceptive, and controlling direction instead of removing a tool used to cause harm. That tool would not cause harm if the person had a respect of life and the ability to discern, the ability to resolve conflicts amicably, and the want to resolve.
Also, they will heavily tax and exploit the people to ensure they are weak and dependent upon them as they pretend to be there to help. In addition, moral issues are included in the attempt to tempt and to draw God’s people away from truth into sin. With this effort then the godly people resort to becoming as defiled as the world, becoming indistinguishable with the world, effecting their judgment and action against their own people. We see this occurring today as well. People who are good people are now doubting the need of family, spirituality, limitations, and are believing that they should ignore evidence and embrace their subjective and skewed beliefs and therefore justifies their want for freedom but with the absence of responsibility.
With such present today then let us review the example. During the day of Nehemiah, and the crisis he is facing, there is a famine outside ( a natural calamity) of which Nehemiah had planned for and was prepared for; but others around him had not. They sought relief without appropriate measures or respect for what belonged to others. The ½ built walls that were causing issue in the time of Nehemiah, which left the city at risk of their people and their land, left them vulnerable as armies and people came upon the city to steal and kill . Nehemiah ordered each male to build the area of the wall that was at their home’s door, (thus increasing their motivation to secure the wall) and ordered them to hold a weapon in one hand to fight the attackers while building the wall with their other. This was a slow process yet, was providing them safety.
At first the enemy was completely outside but with the taxes, exploitation, and moral decay which then mimicked the world occurring from the inside; then now the enemy also lurked from within their own people.
2. God’s true followers must find a cure for their predicament as they take a stand on truth and continue steadfastly in their work while admonishing those who are acting contrary to what is best for the people and the land which is jeopardizing their souls and safety. This admonishment must be applied with love and concern; yet firm. We find Nehemiah rebuking the interests charged within the people of their faith. Exodus 22:25, Deuteronomy 23:19-20, and Nehemiah (vs ll); speaks to the need for retribution for those who did wrong to the victims; and to return what was stolen from those wronged. His plan was to make the problems stop, as they abandoned the wrong doing. Then to make it right and to keep the promises. Compromises are good when it is not in reference to integrity, but one cannot compromise integrity and believe that their quests will be good.
Nehemiah had to learn how to revive the hearts of those who had been deceived and those who had been wronged; while being sure of their stance. He knew that the walls would keep the enemy outside and the enemies inside had to be reckoned with. He could not pretend that the inside dysfunction did not exist.
It is easier to condemn instead of to confront. It is harder to correct wrong than to confess it. It is easier to prevent than to correct it. We must have multiple forms of accountability to keep all people and agencies visible and accountable. It is better to help people with empowerment, lowering risks, and safety measures, and teaching life skills than to tease people with programs that involve high taxes and exploitation of any people. Yet, the latter uses deceit and paints the former as oppressive.Nehemiah was trying to finish the much needed wall during a crisis; yet had to address enforcement of the people’s faith and commitment. He had to revive and reunite his people in order to gain strength and to take control. During a crisis, we must affirm and care for each other. As a counselor, it would not avail much if people were to come to me, then I told them to fight against further negative patterns yet did not love them enough to listen, to teach, or to affirm them. Without the tools or the resolve, then they would not have gained anything. My play with my clients is to listen, then to work with them to create a plan of action; educate them as to the dysfunction and negative patterns, then teach them better tools. With this plan and action; they leave with empowerment and knowledge that they did not have prior.
These are difficult times that we are in and there are many hard issues to confront but we MUST confront them with a heart of holiness and love that states: “I love you too much to let you continue going this way, or allow the continuance of doing this thing.” We must empower and reunite our people and stop seeking differences. WE must take charge of our protecting our country and people. This starts in our families, our homes, and with each other.
Parents have to make this resolve as they confront issues of their children and what their children are learning from social media, the education forums, the society, and others. The home is the first place that can in-steal a moral compass and the character, as well as; life skills that our children must be armed with. They must know that there are limits, rules, laws, norms, and other social boundaries that are implemented for their own and for other's protection and that all people matter. However, if society is deeming a right to violate another's physical or emotional boundary-then this is not right-and will result in a negative, and even at times; grave consequence.
People must know evidence based knowledge instead of holding to unfounded beliefs that can be whimsical or influenced with distortions. We must seek what is best for mankind as we pull together with unity, as we allow diversity, and not demand others to conform to us. We have the right to set boundaries, and choose a path that that stands upon a foundation of integrity, but we cannot control, manipulate, coerce, or condemn others who chose to not walk alongside us. That is not our right and we are not qualified to judge. We must regard emotional and physical boundaries, spirituality, and evidence of science, patterns, and history to help us with wisdom and to prepare ourselves to defend our freedom by being completely responsible. We can lead with our examples and lovingly apply these boundaries to protect us but also to be mindful of others and their boundaries are just as important to protect.
How then do we proceed in such a dysfunctional world? Our family? We must understand our unique but absolute importance as we consider the construction of our boundaries and as we seek to rebuild our inner self that eradicate the distorted thoughts that are leading to impulsive behaviors. We then must organize the big tasks that are in need to be taken within each of us. Our common mission can bring a diverse community together as they witness our unity, love, resolve, and purpose that respects ourselves and them, yet is fortified with truth. We must understand that we cannot react but instead respond with mindfulness when ridiculed. People will say we are too feeble, foolish, frail, worthless, insignificant, and even harsh as they try to control due to pride, fear, doubt, covetousness, and greed. As Christ endured these tactics, he did not ridicule back; yet stood firmly upon truth, with love and commitment to fulfill his plan.
Nehemiah responded with: supplication (prayer), perspiration (work), as he continued with his plan to fortify the city. He did this while under bombardment/opposition which required dedication, devotion, determination, and the knowledge that he stood upon evidence and truth. He did not have the luxury to be distracted and time was of essence. As we are in the middle of our own crisis, we cannot be any less resolved. We must be vested in being the best we can be and hold ourselves accountable as we seek to resolve the issues. Are we taking our rightful place on the wall? Have we got a plan to help resolve the issues? We do. We do have the training and the ability to help you recover your worthiness and ability to persevere towards a better you.