It was a cool cloudy morning this week as we gathered for worship at Countryside Bible Fellowship. We opened with the hymns “what Manner of Love” and “Blessed Assurance”. The scripture reading was from Psalms 37 where king David reminds us that the wicked will not prosper and will eventually fall into the very trap they set for others. We continued in Dr. R.C. Sproul’s series “Dust to Glory”, with the episode  “Ezra and Nehemiah”. Sproul notes that although these two books are located earlier in the Bible they fall chronologically between the major and minor prophets and account the exile and the return from exile to Babylon. Both Ezra and Nehemiah experienced major revival in their nation. The book of Ezra opens with God inspiring Cyrus, the king of Persia, to not only allow the Israelites to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem but ends up funding the building project out of the royal treasury. In chapter 3 the foundation of the new Temple is laid with both rejoicing from the younger generation and weeping from the older generation who were old enough to remember the original Temple that Solomon had built. Ezra closes with the reformation of the political and religious structure including having all the men get rid of their pagan wives and practices in accordance with Scripture. Where Ezra rebuilds the Temple, Nehemiah rebuilds the wall of Jerusalem. Godly revival of a nation always begins with the Church, followed by the “State”. Like Paul said in 1 Timothy 3:15 the church of the living God is the “pillar and foundation of the truth”. Every successful nation is founded on self evident, fundamental truths that everyone in the nation can agree on. Where the Church’s revival begins with the return to God’s word, the State’s revival begins with the return to the time tested means of security — the wall. This is something former president Trump understood more than any other politician in recent decades and similar to Nehemiah, by means of projects like “The 1776 Commission”, Trump found himself in the middle of rebuilding much more than just a physical wall. He and the American people along with him discovered the depths of darkness in Washington DC in desperate need of the disinfecting agent of light to shine upon it. The book of Nehemiah opens with the bittersweet report of the remnant of Jews who survived the exile along with the news that the wall had been broken down. Nehemiah’s first response is to pray to God with thanksgiving and confess his sins and the sins of his nation.  In his prayer Nehemiah resolves that “If every man be a lier, God remains True”. He then goes to his leaders in government where he finds favor in the eyes of King Artaxerxes who sends him to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. In the middle of building the wall Nehemiah is interrupted by a conspiracy launched by members of the Persian occupation who are jealous of the favor shown to Nehemiah by the king. The Persian cabal fabricated lies about Nehemiah and about Israel’s historical past but to no avail. They then resorted to threats of physical violence which led Nehemiah and the workers to arm themselves with weapons of self defense. They are able to finish the wall by keeping one hand on their masonry tools and the other hand on their weapon. The book of Nehemiah closes with the purging of the false prophets who had weaseled their way into the body of believers through cunning deception. We ask that you continue in prayer for our nation that truth and reality will win out over the lies that threaten to tear us apart. We can only remain the land of the free if we remain the home of the brave.