Watchmen on the Wall – and the rebuilding in Zimbabwe

I had a dream towards the end of 2013. In the dream was a large, old, defensive wall and upon the wall there were many people. The people on the wall were looking down and watching the goings-on below them. Wrong things were happening down there, but the people on the wall simply watched it all happen. They did not dare to say “stop!” - or jump down from the wall to confront anyone doing the wrong things that they saw. The ways of lawlessness and greed just continued on as they

I believe that the dream was a call for all of us who are Christians. We are on the wall which is crumbling and old. Some of us are sleeping. Some of us are simply watching. The greed and lawlessness carries on in Zimbabwe but is there anyone to shout “stop!”; or is there anyone prepared to risk wading in to confront those in high places leading Zimbabwe further into the ways of greed and lawlessness?

Isaiah says: “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Oh Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord give yourself no rest and give him no rest…” Isaiah 61:6. Where are we as Christians and as Christian leaders in this calling?

Are we not mostly all silent – like in the time of Isaiah? “Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark…they love to sleep…They are shepherds who lack understanding…” [Isaiah 56:10-11].

When we look at the greed and lawlessness in Zimbabwe that continues to bring it to such ruin, have we allowed fear, apathy and complacency to make us “blind” and like “mute dogs”?

After I awoke from the dream about the wall I thought of Nehemiah. He re-built the wall around Jerusalem in 52 days – and did what was considered to be impossible. He was told by all the Jews living near the wall over and over again that he would be attacked wherever he turned. But rather than become “a mute dog” through fear – or the resultant apathy and complacency that fear brings – Nehemiah led the people by getting them to take up their positions. He told his people: “Don’t be afraid of them.” Rather he encouraged them to “fight”. “Remember the Lord who is great and awesome,” he said to give them the perspective that they needed. [Nehemiah 4:14].

Nehemiah has many lessons for us. As Zimbabwean Christians in 2014 I believe there are six critical lessons we need to be encouraged by if we are to see the seemingly impossible dream of the ruins of Zimbabwe rebuilt:

1. We need to be humble – and pray for a leader who is humble. [My personal prayer is that God raises up a capable leader who is a) God-fearing; b) a lover of truth and c) a hater of covetousness. These were the three qualities Jethro advised Moses to look for in the first leaders of Israel [Exodus 19:21]. God’s governance is about leaders with His integrity in their hearts. This is what we lack so desperately in Zimbabwe]. We need to have the humility to weep over the ruins of Zimbabwe and confess our sins and the sins of the nation against God and God’s laws that have caused so much destruction.

2. We need to have a clear vision of hope to do everything we can to bring Godly laws and Godly ways to Zimbabwe; we need to dedicate that vision to God – and be prepared to stand against and pray against the greed and lawlessness of the present days. [They “dedicated” the work on the wall to God and prayed. [Nehemiah 3: 1; 4:9].

3. We need to work with “all our hearts” towards the vision of a Godly Zimbabwe where the truth of God’s laws are upheld and not trampled through the greed and covetousness of those in power [they “worked with all their heart” in rebuilding the wall and so achieved the impossible. [Nehemiah 2:6]. Nehemiah nor his men ever even took off their clothes or put down their weapons during the whole rebuilding. [Nehemiah 4:23].

4. We need to conquer our fear of what man or Satan can do to us – and not allow fear to discourage us and make us useless. Nehemiah got them to focus on the awesomeness of God and not the fear of man. [Nehemiah 4:14].

5. We need to be prepared to “fight” with all our weapons at hand at all times. [They were ordered by Nehemiah to “fight” to defend the wall – and they had their weapons with them at all times]. We as Christians and the church need to be prepared to confront the greed and lawlessness of the leaders of Zimbabwe with courage and with the weapons God has given us. [Ephesians 6: 10-19].

6. We need to be organized and diligent. Each of us has an area on the wall where we can make a difference and build – however small that area may be. [Nehemiah 3]. If we leave our piece un-built, there will be a gap in the wall.

There are “savage wolves” among us – “even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth…” [Acts 20:29]. Do not be discouraged but take heart in the truth and God’s promise.

Jesus tells us that the “The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy.” But then He continues: “I have come that they [all of us that believe] may have life, and have it to the full.”

My prayer is this: “May all of us who believe in Christ our Saviour know the fullness of life that Jesus promises as we take up our places in building His kingdom on His wall. May we build with humility, prayer and confession. May we build with vision. May we build with all our hearts. May we build overcoming our fear of man. May we build knowing we cannot shirk the fight and must confront greed and lawlessness in our land. May we be organized and diligent in building the part of God’s wall that He has put us on. And as we take up our places to build in 2014, may the tearing down be arrested and may those who have been killing, stealing and destroying discover the grace that leads to life, restoration and rebuilding. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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