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DON'T LET DOWN YOUR GUARD!

Rev. Enoch Thompson | December 4, 2023 | Nehemiah 7:1-3

KEY VERSE:

I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses." Nehemiah 7:3 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

When the opposition is on, and times are rough we have a consciousness of our danger and give much attention to staying safe and making progress. Many people have been overcome by the enemy, not in their most difficult times but in their times of comfort and progress. It is said in the wisdom of the Akans of Ghana that good living produces forgetfulness. Another saying has it that when the chick gets drunk then it forgets that the hawk is still in the skies. This is to express the complacency that can enter people who were once impoverished or under threats and have managed to make wealth or to escape the immediacy of their past threats. People forget easily, especially when things move on and get better for them. When that happens, they lose their guard.


A team that is scoring all the goals at the beginning of a match may lose their guard and begin to concede many goals until they are totally beaten. A student in class who is always top of the class may become complacent and begin to drop towards the bottom of the class. A follower of Christ who has overcome faith challenges and eliminated moral challenges may fall back into them if they do not retain the alertness they exercised before.


Nehemiah was careful not to let complacency set in with the work that God put in his heart to do for Jerusalem. After the wall had been rebuilt, he made sure that the doors had been set in place, for the walls without the doors would easily let in their enemies. He ensured that the gates were not left to be entered without supervision, so he appointed gatekeepers.


He ensured also that there was someone officially responsible for Jerusalem by appointing Hanani his brother, and the security system was structured under Hananiah the commander of the citadel. Nehemiah went on to issue a directive for the management of the gates: ‘I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses." Nehemiah 7:3 (NIV). The principle here is that the enemy had more space for manoeuvre at night, and so the gates were not to be opened until broad daylight, even with the guards at the post. Besides the gates were to be shut before nightfall, and they were to be barred. In addition, residents of Jerusalem were to be appointed as guards, some working at posts and others as area vigilantes. What measure upon measure of security, just to make sure the enemy does not get to attack the finished project!


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

When by God’s grace we have passed some dangers may we not become so forgetful that the enemy still lurks around. Are you praying as much as you did when times were rough? Can you say you are alert to retain your freedom in Christ, never to come under the enemy’s control?

Be wary and keep watching and praying, give no chances to the adversary.


PRAYER:

Dear Father in Heaven, I am ever grateful to you for your saving grace that saw me through my initial danger, enslaved to Satan and being drawn to Hell. I am grateful for the many mercies I have seen along the journey of faith so far. Now I pray, please keep me from falling into the comfort of fools, that which exposes the redeemed to new bondages. Help your Church to maintain the narrow path, to retain stringent care so that we may never fall into the schemes of darkness. I ask for these in Jesus’ Name, Amen.


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!

 

DAILY word study: GATEKEEPERS

The term "gatekeepers" in Nehemiah 7:3, translated from the Hebrew root word שָׁעַר (shaar), which means "to calculate," "to estimate," or "to oversee." This root reflects the gatekeepers' function, involving careful observation and oversight of those entering and leaving the city.


In the broader biblical context, gatekeepers were not only physical guards but also symbolic figures representing spiritual principles. They stood as a barrier against external threats, emphasizing the need for discernment in allowing influences into the community.


In the book of Nehemiah, the gatekeepers were instrumental in the restoration of Jerusalem's walls and gates. Their diligence ensured the safety of the city and its inhabitants. This echoes the spiritual truth that we, too, need gatekeepers in our lives—individuals or principles that safeguard us from harmful influences.


Consider the gates of your life—the entry points where external influences seek access. Who or what stands guard at these gates? Are there gatekeepers ensuring that only positive, uplifting, and godly influences are allowed entry? Reflect on the importance of setting spiritual gatekeepers to protect your heart, mind, and soul.


Reflections

Who are the gatekeepers in your life, ensuring that only positive and godly influences gain access to your heart and mind?





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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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