Social distancing and self-isolation are terms very few had heard of just a few weeks ago. Now they are daily headlines. The encouragement early-on was to practice good hygiene and keep your distance from someone that is sick. That quickly moved to a directive for social distancing – to maintain at least a six-foot distance from other folks. Now, many parts of the country and the world are under mandatory lock-down, self-isolation in a concerted effort to inhibit the contagion.
In the sixth century BC, the contagion was foreign gods. The Israelites caught idol worship and the religion of foreigners beyond the walls of Jerusalem. They turned from Yahwey, the one true God. Subsequently, the Babylonians attacked, destroying the city and exiling many Israelites to Babylon. In 445 BC, the Lord called Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall around the Holy City.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” … They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work. – Nehemiah 2:17-18. Nehemiah was convinced that isolation was a key component to reestablishing Jerusalem as the Holy City. The wall would give them a needed break from the constant in and out of foreign influence. Israelites rebuilt the wall, constructed and set the gates and reestablished Jerusalem as the Holy City in 52 days! Certainly, the gates could be opened for business but closed for the Sabbath. The isolation provided an opportunity to keep foreign influence in check.
One thing that has become very obvious the last several weeks is how the contagion of worldly influence has contaminated the home. The message for this time may very well be one of isolation. We have an opportunity to build a spiritual wall around family and reestablish right priorities - Priorities like eating meals together, limiting time on various media, going on walks, dropping a line in the water with the kids, having regular family devotion time, putting a puzzle together, streaming church as a family, having spiritual discussion around the sermon, worshiping and praying, and working together on projects around the house. When this pandemic is behind us, maintain the spiritual wall to its full height and stay alert at the gates. (Click HERE to access the Nehemiah Initiative study)
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and for this time. I do not understand it but I do know You are God and I am not. I have been alerted to the degree to which I have let spiritual disciplines and discernment collapse in rubble while worldly priorities took control of my time, activities and finances. Forgive me. I do want to build a spiritual wall and embrace this time of isolation with You in family. I am thinking this may be how You are glorifying Yourself in all of this. Help me glorify You through this time in my marriage and family. That is the dad You call me to be, and that is the dad the next generation needs to see. Amen.
A faithful father uses time in isolation to build a spiritual wall for his family.
Great word today and the video was outstanding as well. The pictures combined with your commentary are impressive
Posted by Ken on 04/02/2020 - 07:51 AM
Thanks for the encouragement from Nehemiah.
Posted by Lee on 04/02/2020 - 09:09 AM
Well done again!
Posted by Buddy on 04/02/2020 - 09:10 AM
Thanks Rick. Spot on as usual.
Posted by Jay on 04/02/2020 - 10:40 AM
Just think what Spiritual Walls, AND GATES we and our family can buid together in 52 days of isolation from the worldly pressures and temptations and influences that we did not even know up to a few months ago were affecting us and pulling us and our families away from God and his master plan for our lives.
Nehemiah built protective-security gates and wall around his city in 52 days.
In 52 days we MUST do the same thing for our families!
Posted by Grandaddy 1936 on 04/02/2020 - 10:43 AM
Such a good word during this time! God bless
Posted by Chris Arend on 04/03/2020 - 08:35 AM
Thanks Rick! Great one. Back to basics is what I call it. Took the family to the park Sunday-found isolated area for just us. Flew a kite, played some baseball, laid on blankets and just did nothing together for several hours. How rejuvenating! Blessings.
Posted by Trey on 04/03/2020 - 04:47 PM
Thank you Rick for this great message reminding us of where our priorities lay during this difficult time
Posted by Carlos Chao on 04/03/2020 - 09:09 PM
Terrific words Rick!!
Posted by Richard Chapman Jr on 04/06/2020 - 07:40 AM