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God’s Glory on Display

Nehemiah 6:15-16 (NIV)

So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.
When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.


Each one of us spends our time on this earth living in two realms. We, of course, are most familiar with the physical component of this equation in the seen, temporary realm in which our bodies dwell. More important from an eternal perspective, though, is the mostly unseen spiritual realm of our souls. The Bible is an incredible gift offering amazing insights into the spiritual realm around us, demonstrating how the seen is always intertwined with the unseen.
The story of Nehemiah is very much about pressing realities of the physical world — a giant wall, built by human hands, under challenging circumstances in a tight time frame. Simultaneously, the work of God’s unseen hand is very much at work in the spiritual side of this story. Ultimately, an impressive physical wall is the result, clearly pointing to the success of the human effort to build it, but just as clearly emphasizing the glory and immense power of an unseen God.

Nehemiah’s story is a clear example of how our decisions in the seen physical world interact with the unseen spiritual world. The wall had an immediate and significant physical impact Nehemiah’s contemporaries could see and touch. Its spiritual implications, however, were impossible for their minds to fully comprehend at the time, as the construction of this wall would ultimately play a role in God’s millennia-long plan to offer salvation to a broken, sinful world through the birth of Jesus Christ. Nehemiah’s faith is a crucial part of this story. He trusted and obeyed God to carry out his role in rebuilding a temporary wall that had eternal implications.

It is the same with us today. If we trust God, He will lead us through both the physical and spiritual challenges in our own lives. The inevitable results of our faith put God’s glory on display, sometimes in ways we can see but often in ways we cannot. It is an incredible mercy from a loving God that all we are required to do is have faith. He will take care of the rest, even when the body is gone and only the soul remains.

Action Steps

1. Consider the ways your faith has put, or could put, God’s glory on display. Through faith, God’s glory can be displayed in countless physical ways, such as accomplishments/achievements, relationships, selfless service to others, artistic creation, and love.

2. Now think of possible ways these physical acts could have spiritual implications as well. Reflect with a grateful heart on how a gracious God has provided an opportunity for you to be blessed by serving in specific roles created just for you to fulfill both physically and spiritually.

Lord, thank You for provision in this world and the next. Help strengthen my faith for Your glory. Sustain my body and mind through the daunting challenges of this dark world while lovingly guiding my soul to Your eternal light beyond. Amen.

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