Day 34 Saturday, Mar. 28th
1Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 I gave my brother Hanani charge over Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel—for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many. 3 And I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot; while the gatekeepers are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their watch posts, and others before their own houses.” 4 The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few and no houses had been built.
STAY ON YOUR GUARD
Great work had been done, but there was still considerable work ahead. The city's wall had been built up, fortified, and its gates were set in place. Those charged with guarding the city, while they needed to remain vigilant, were allowed a breather now that the guards could serve in rotation. Having given authority of Jerusalem to his brother Hanani and responsibility for its security to Hananiah the commander of the citadel, Nehemiah instructs these leaders in how to maintain and safeguard what Jerusalem had thus far regained.
With progress comes maintenance. Every gain requires specific attention if one is to retain whatever ground they have been able to obtain. Nehemiah notes that while the walls of the city have been restored, the walls, rooms, and rooftops over people's homes have not. Certainly they were much better off than they had been, but they were still vulnerable. We have each been able to identify specific progress relating to our Lenten focus, but wisdom dictates that we must yet remain on our guard. We cannot afford to become lax nor overly confident in our recent gains. There is yet and still work to do if we are to realize the fullness of God's restoration in our lives. We must learn how to rest in the Lord without resting on our laurels and becoming complacent. Just as Hanani and Hananiah must hold to the instructions of Nehemiah in order to remain secure, we too must hold to the instructions from our heavenly God and Guide if we are to maintain the gains the Lord has granted us.
- List the changes God has brought about in your life surrounding your Lenten focus.
- What are you to do in order to maintain and continue progressing?
LET US PRAY
Lord God, thank you for bringing us thus far and for the future you have in store for us. Help us to hold to your plan and your way. May we continue to find our security and hope in you.
As you go through this weekend, pause to think about what the Lord has done in your life. Prayerfully consider what God yet desires to do in the final week of this devotional journey.