Friday, March 26, 2010

The Other Guys

You just gotta love Nehemiah. Now there's a man with a keen sense of purpose; of destiny. Talk about unflinching determination!

Every time I read the Bible verses collected under his name, the Book of Nehemiah, all sorts of emotions & thoughts come to call; and never more so than when the bullies show up to taunt he and his co-laborers as they endeavor to repair breaches in the walls of Jerusalem.

On that subject alone I could write long - and vehemently - for it rings altogether too current to pass by it too quickly. But that's not where I'm roosted today. I move on ...

Today I'm looking at all those other guys, the ones standing around & watching, while a few good men work 24/7 to both rebuild God's city, and protect His people in it.

It strikes me deeply that today's other guys are every bit the character & nature of Nehemiah's other guys. It's not that they're lazy, or busy with other things, or ill, or oblivious to what God is doing. It's that they're arrogant; too good - too noble - to put their shoulders to the work.

The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work ... Nehemiah 3:5 means they wouldn't submit their necks to the yoke.

Submit ... now that's the real issue.

On a similar note, I can't help but reflect on the many other other guys (all of them noble in their own right) that insist the neck be submitted to their yokes; yokes of every form & weight & color. They are the Pharisees of old; yet they are also the religionists of new.

You know them ... they're the co-worker, or neighbor, or the church spokesperson (positioned or self-proclaimed) that shows up with conditions & teachings & even doctrines that aren't taught (or found) in the Scriptures - ostensibly to enlighten us as to what God really wants.

Their teachings are burdensome yokes that do little more than provide for a form of godliness.

Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are." Acts 15:10-11

Then comes Jesus.

He messes with the arrogant ones - the other guys - that refuse to submit to the yoke, and he messes with the self-righteous folk that have crafted a yoke of their own liking, and who also refuse (though far more clandestinely) to yield.

"Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy

and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

To stand with Nehemiah's noblemen, or today's Pharisees (can anyone say "goats") would be to miss the amazing peace His yoke brings. It's to be among the other guys; and it's also to miss the great adventure of rebuilding breaches and protecting God's people with the unflinching courage of Nehemiah - even in the face of danger, taunts, threats & seemingly poor odds.

May I never be found among the goats (though I confess I've probably been one more often than I'd care to admit)!


~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Nice message. Part of my life scripture is: Matthew 11:28-30. I have it posted at the bottom of my blog. Thanks for sharing Kathleen.

Debbie said...

I love that Matthew 11 verse. To be yoked with Jesus is right where I need to be. No job is beneath me. He shows me what I am to do. I haven't always listened but I so desire to be obedient. I know that His ways are perfect for me.

Thank you for sharing what you are learning Kathleen. I love the lessons you learn from the Word.

Btw, still no email.

Love you,

skoots1mom said...

Preach it!!

repairing breaches in the walls of Jerusalem..we're still doing that!

...too noble--we've seen God's hand with kings, haven't we?!!!

Submission is tough if you're not God led...conditional love isn't under Jesus' expectations
...His grace.Amazing grace

I'm with ya...doing my little part to "continue rebuilding God's people".."May I never be found among the goats"

Lloyd said...

Thank you so much for sharing this uplifting message regarding a biblical truth that Jesus takes "All" of our burdens when we give ourself to Him 100%. May our Lord continue to shine through you and your blog. God bless, Lloyd

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

We were discussing in this past weeks bible study how often we allow the world to place "yokes" around our necks without even realizing that it is happening. When we allow the secular rules to tell us that certain things, actions and pursuits are acceptable when they go against what we know is the truth of God's word...

Wonderful message, we should all learn from Nehemiah and his willingness to return and put in the hard work of rebuilding the walls of what he knew was the truth.


Beth E. said...

Oh,'re preachin' good today!!! Yes, I'm afraid I do know some other guys....and they've been hangin' around my church office lately! Shew...

Our pastor preached last Sunday on the difference between sheep and goats. Coincidence? I think not...God's getting His message out to His sheep!


Just a little something from Judy said...

For years I lived with yokes...strong and powerful yokes. Now I am learning the real and everlasting TRUTH...and it has truly been setting me free. Love the freedom in Jesus Christ. Free to be who He has me to be. The life of the oxen's yoke is draining, but the life of THE TRUTH is freeing, peaceful and rewarding. Well written my friend, and quite thought provoking.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Good word today, Kathleen. Thanks.

Susan :)

LisaShaw said...

I was all over the, "And then comes Jesus". Oh yeah!!! And when HE shows up on the scene all the other other guys are messed with for sure!

Powerful message Kathleen and definitely one that applies to TODAY!!

Love you dear friend.

Rose said...

Ouch, I have been those "other guys" before. I don't want to be among the goats either. I thank God for HIS mercy in letting me be a prodigal. Amazing how much you realize you miss when you step out on your own. Nice post Kathleen.
Blessings to you!

Karen Lange said...

Good stuff, and a good reminder...thank you!
Blessings and happy weekend,
Karen :)

Andrea said...

What an awesome post, Kathleen! I find it so easy to slip on the yoke of the "other guys" without even realizing it. And, I earnestly pray the Lord will guard my heart against the "doctrine" of the Pharisees, to make me aware of my own selfish motivations and weaknesses.

Thank you so much for your honest sharing! I appreciate you, dear friend!!!