Nehemiah’s Wall serves as both metaphor and inspiration at Kingdom Defense.
The Book of Nehemiah tells the story of how Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem so that followers might once again worship God in safety. Nehemiah accomplishes this daunting task in a remarkably brief period of time using common folks who built with one hand while defending their actions from enemy attack with a weapon in their other hand.
The biblical account of “Nehemiah’s wall” is well known. Nehemiah was a Jew in Persian captivity. He was the cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes. In 444 b.c, Nehemiah was granted permission to return to Judah and rebuild the dilapidated walls and gates of Jerusalem, which had been destroyed during the Babylonian invasions in the early sixth century.
When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, he toured the city walls to assess the damage. He faced opposition as he made plans and directed the people in rebuilding the city walls. He was threatened as he persisted. Nehemiah had opposition from enemies and opposition from the people he was leading(1).
The Bible says that the threat was so great from outside the city Nehemiah posted armed guards along the walls to protect the city until the building was done. Men were armed and ready to fight while they worked daily to build the wall. The book of Nehemiah shows that Judah at the time was surrounded by enemies and under constant threat of attack. Nehemiah and his crew worked with great urgency and astonishing speed in order to rebuild the wall.
I need to tell you about my journey to Christ, as it is the reason for starting this blog.
For most of my life I was a Christmas (c)hristian. Growing up, I went to Church every Sunday. I was baptized, confirmed, and married in the Church, but I wasn’t a Christian.
About 15 years ago my daughter began attending church on her own. She was in her early 20’s and over the next few years she established her relationship with Christ. We began talking about her experiences and I realized that I really had no idea about what it meant to be a Christian.
Through her guidance, and at times insistence, I started reading the bible and attending various study groups. Through God’s word, I was able to better comprehend the nature of the triune God I serve, and through His great mercy, I began my own relationship with Christ.
My own walk with Christ began only after I was able to set aside my ego and unconditionally accept God. Initially I was subjected to a sense of vertigo where many things that I had taken as gospel, were not.
Along the way, I examined many aspects of my life, especially my career which had some interesting twists and turns. The most unsettling realization I had in this personal examination involved my occupation.
My company delivers training, specifically firearms training to businesses, churches, schools, and communities. Our core competency is training individuals and teams to actively defend against violent threats, which in some cases requires the application of lethal force.
My reading and research generated many questions. Most were about the use of violence, whether it be a “just” war or basic self defense.
I had one particularly enlightening conversation with a pastor who had previously been in the Special Forces. Our conversation centered around the hypothetical situation of a man with a gun headed to your church nursery.
Do we standby and let the murder happen? Or do we employ any means necessary to defend the innocent?
Going further, what about pro-life supporters who are violently assaulted? Pregnancy support centers that are firebombed? Christian Churches in small town America vandalized? Or Christian parents imprisoned for defending their children from sexual grooming by activist educators?
As Christians we are taught to pray. The Lord gave us the model of prayer in the Lord’s prayer. Deliver us from evil, we ask. And through prayer we call on Jesus Christ to defend us from evil.
But what happens when prayer does not repel the violent attack? Is it God’s purpose for the slaughter to happen? What if we could have stopped it? Do we allow the slaughter to proceed?
Does God answer some of our prayers with the means and the ability to defend the innocent? And repel these attacks?
What happens when spiritual warfare results in physical attack? When the fiery darts are real?
Those were some of the questions that contributed to my vertigo.
It took me several months of prayer and conversation to find my equilibrium. I found my answers in the integration of several verses – Nehemiah 4:17 and Ephesians 6:10-12.
Together these verses provided a grounding that lead me to the conclusion that God wants us to engage, he wants us to defend the innocent, to push back the darkness, and most importantly, to learn how to defend his Kingdom.
The purpose of The Wall is to open up a conversation on the topic of Kingdom defense. You will find articles, posts, research, scripture and other items of interest that contribute to the conversation of Kingdom defense.
I have posted many sources I used in my research, both passive and active voices. I will regularly add other resources along with commentary on current events impacting Kingdom defense.
And I will continue to go deep on my cornerstone verses, Nehemiah 4:17 and Ephesians 6:10-12.
Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And comments are open, your input and participation is encouraged.
Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. NEH 4:17
The Wall is part blog, part journal, part bulletin board, and part archive I set up in order to further the discussion about the use of force in defense of church and community. Learn MORE ABOUT THE WALL.