And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. ~Nehemiah 4:10
Tooth decay is when the enamel of our teeth wears away due to poor dental hygiene. A lack of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and routine dental visits greatly contribute to tooth decay, cavities, and loss of teeth. The men of Judah said that the strength of the men who carried the burden of helping rebuild the wall of Jerusalem was decayed. This meant that they had become feeble, were cast down, were overthrown, and were stumbling. It sounded hopeless. However, there is decay prevention that we can exercise when we are discouraged, feel overwhelmed, and are lacking strength.
We see the reason.
Why did they get discouraged and feel like their strength was decayed? First, there was fatigue. In v. 6, the men helping Nehemiah had built half of the wall. They had a mind to work. Great things are always accomplished when there is a mind to work. Second, there was fear. The enemies of the Jews threatened to fight with them and to hinder the work. Fear of hurt, loss, or defeat takes the courage out of you. Fear is a great demoralizing enemy. Third, there was filth. They looked at the remaining amount of work to be done and all the rubbish that need to be hauled away, and they got discouraged. The devil causes to see the sin in our life, and we think that it’s not possible for God to use us. Fourth, they were faltering. They said, “We are not able to build the wall.” They lacked the faith that they had started with. We must identify the reasons for decay before it utterly defeats us.
We see the response.
When decay in our morale and spirit is identified, we must deal with it. Nehemiah said, “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God.” We must get back to praying. It was prayer that had inspired this work, and it would be prayer that would sustain it. When Satan’s fiery darts come your way, pray with much intensity. We must set a watch. Jesus told His disciples,“Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” Never take your eyes off the enemy. Keep both eyes and both ears open for an attack. We must be courageous and be ready to fight. Nehemiah told them to fight for their families and their lives. We must have faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the enemy. We must have faith that what God has called us to do we can finish with His help. “Our God shall fight for us” (v. 20).
We see the result.
The decay was silenced. God turned the counsel of the enemy to nought. The enemy saw that there was a new resolve among the Jews. God stopped their mouths from wearing at the people’s spirit. The decay was stopped. Nehemiah said in Nehemiah 6:1 that the wall was built and that there was no breach therein. Nehemiah and the Jews stayed focused day and night on building the wall and fortifying it. The decay was subdued. The enemy planted subversives in the house of the Lord, but Nehemiah discerned this and took a stand against them. Decay must be met head-on. We cannot allow traces of it to exist anywhere. Then, amazingly, the wall was finished in a record-breaking 52 days. The enemy saw that what was accomplished was wrought of God. In short, decay in their spirit and morale was overcome through courage, determination, faith, prayer, resolve, and work.
Don’t let the decay of discouragement hinder you from serving the Lord. Establish decay prevention in your life as N