So the wall was completed in fifty-two days, on the twenty-fifth of Elul.
I. A great MANIFESTATION OF DIVINE POWER is a great casting down of God's enemies.
1. There is real weakness in all sin. "In their own eyes" defeat meant shame and confusion; but the true heart never doubts that its cause is right, even when success is delayed.
2. The world will perceive God's hand. When the finished work is before them they will not dare to deny who has accomplished it. Therefore we should hasten it on, and be more eager to bring it to completion.
3. The great facts of Divine grace spread their message not only among the enemies of the Church, but among the heathen, who have been sitting in darkness. A revived zeal and energy in God's people will have a mighty effect in casting down the imaginations which exalt themselves against the name of Christ.
II. The best preparation of the true Church against discouragements, both from without and from within, is to know that ITS WALLS ARE BUILT UP, AND ITS GATES IS THEIR PLACES.
1. That will put a stop to the corrupting intercourse between the Church and the world.
2. It will help the people of God to know their true leaders. The nobles were traitors; but henceforth men after the example of Nehemiah will be the defenders of Judah.
3. In the sight of the finished work the hearts of God's people are strong. In the best sense success makes success. "Tobiah's letters" will do no harm, for there are the walls speaking in the name of God, "epistles written by the Spirit of God, known and read of all men." Let the world trust as it may in its devices, we rejoice in "the walls of Jerusalem," which are "salvation," and "her gates" "praise." - R.
1. The work of human redemption. Yes, the work was done. The atoning sacrifice was offered and accepted, as was demonstrated when Jesus rose again from the dead.
So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day...in fifty and two days.
Homiletic Commentary.Let us make a parable of the story and use the text as a motto of a deeper theme. Fifty-two Sundays and their work.
I. HOW QUICKLY THEY PASS.
II. WHAT OPPORTUNITIES THEY FURNISH.
1. Of rest.
2. Of spiritual friendship.
3. Of Divine instruction.
4. Of moral renewal.
III. WHAT RESULTS THEY LEAVE.
1. In memory.
2. In life.
3. For judgment.Application
: 1. Thank God for the day of days. 2. Use each day as it comes. 3. Determine upon a rounded result for each cycle of fifty-two. (Homiletic Commentary.)
1. Thank God for the day of days.
2. Use each day as it comes.
3. Determine upon a rounded result for each cycle of fifty-two.
2. And is there ground for hope that the great and blessed work of renewal, begun in the believer's heart, will be perfected?
3. The progress of the Church at large is also assured.
(J. M. Randall.)
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