If Nehemiah were a Hollywood movie, it would end in chapter 12. The wall is rebuilt, the people are restored and there is a huge celebration, filled with music, joy, and worship. All would live happily ever after. But Nehemiah still has one more chapter that functions as an epilogue of sorts. What really happens after "happily ever after?" After so much victory, Nehemiah returns years later to find people who have drifted from their purpose.
For the people in Nehemiah's time, as for us, it is all too easy to drift away from Godly living. Life happens, priorities shift, and before we know it, we've fallen back into destructive habits. As the songwriter says, we are "prone to wander...prone to leave the God [we] love." We need to acknowledge the problem and look to God to fix it, again taking our cue from that beloved hymn: "Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it/seal it for thy courts above."
We must confront drift in ourselves and in others
Not only must we recognize drift in our own lives and ask God for His power in getting back on track, we should also gently help our brothers and sisters who have gone astray. In love and humility, we are to encourage and admonish one another toward holiness. Remember, "iron sharpens iron," and we are called to be such instruments of grace in one another's lives.
We must move forward in faithfulness
God loves and accepts us no matter how far we've drifted away, but he loves us far too much to let us remain in sin. We are called to respond to God's grace and love. The good news? God empowers us to be faithful. God empowers us to move forward. In the end, our greatness is not measured by results, but by our faithfulness. No matter how small our work seems, God will honor our faithfulness and weave our work into his design.
Questions to Consider:
Where does God want rebuilding to occur through me?
Where does God want transformation and revival in my life?
How can we follow Nehemiah's example of faithfulness and loving correction?