I have been contemplating the biblical man of Nehemiah
recently. What I see in his character is a man without compromise. He stood set
apart by God for this, and accomplished great things. God was able to entrust
him to oversee the rebuilding of the Temple. Nehemiah did not waver, even when
challenged to new levels. He was not free of enemies, nor of those who would
rather have seen him dead.
Nehemiah grieved over a temple he had never seen in his
lifetime. It was only passed down by his ancestors as if it were mere legend.
He grieved at the destruction of his people, too. And he grieved over the grief
of those left behind to pick up the pieces.
Though constantly challenged and threatened, he never
compromised. Even when he was being stretched like steel, about to snap under
pressure. He stood in the gap for his tribe and pleaded to God for His
forgiveness upon Israel. He confessed their sins. He praised God. He thanked
God. His prayers were heard. You can reference all of this in the Book of
Nehemiah in the Old Testament.
I spent quite a while trying to determine if I have ever met
a man like this in my lifetime. The years rolled back. I have known some “True
Grit” Christians across the decades. I have read the accounts of some
unshakeable Godly men.
I have admired the likes of Mother Teresa, Oswald Chambers,
Jim Elliot. Some exceedingly great preachers, teachers and missionaries all
come to mind. But after weighing them, no.
I do not know of any man without compromise. That includes
Do not misunderstand me. I am not idolizing Nehemiah.
But I am joining him in his grief.
Why, why, when so many of us profess to be followers of
Christ, and possess faith, do we so often compromise?
Written by Jori Sams