Reasons and Remedies for Blah Days
Neh 4:1-22 NASB)

1. Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?" 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, "Even what they are building-- if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!" 4 Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before Thee, for they have demoralized the builders. 6 So we built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.   7 Now it came about when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repair of the walls of Jerusalem went on, and that the breaches began to be closed, they were very angry. 8 And all of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it. 9 But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. 10 Thus in Judah it was said, "The strength of the burden bearers is failing, yet there is much rubbish; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall." 11 And our enemies said, "They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them, and put a stop to the work." 12 And it came about when the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times, "They will come up against us from every place where you may turn," 13 then I stationed {men} in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. 14 When I saw {their fear,} I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: "Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses." 15 And it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work. 16 And it came about from that day on, that half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows, and the breastplates; and the captains {were} behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took {their} load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each {wore} his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter {stood} near me. 19 And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, "The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. 20 "At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us." 21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day."
 

INTRODUCTION
You probably have heard this insurance claim report.
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number 3 of the accident reporting form, I put, "Poor Planning", as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient:

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a ten-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over.

Rather than carry them down by hand, I decided to lower them to the ground in a barrel by using a pulley which, fortunately, was attached to the side of the building at the tenth floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went to the roof, loaded the 500 pounds of bricks, then went back down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of bricks. (You will note in block 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds).

Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forget to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone.

I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.

Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.

At approximately this same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 30 pounds.

I refer you again to my weight in block number 11 of the accident reporting form. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.

In the vicinity of the fifth floor, I met that barrel coming up again! This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body.

The second encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks, and fortunately, only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks -- in pain and unable to stand -- watching the empty barrel ten stories above me -- I again lost my presence of mind -- I LET GO OF THE ROPE.
I HOPE THIS EXPLANATION HELPS.    This person had a reason for a blah day.
 
 
 

1.    The Reasons for Blah Days. v 10-12 

A. A Reason May be Your . . Drained. v 10 a
        " Thus in Judah it was said, "The strength of the burden bearers is failing,. . . "
 

B. A Reason May be Your . . Disappointed. v 11 b
        ". . . yet there is much rubbish; and we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall."
 

C. A Reason May be Your . . Demoralized. v 1-4, 5 b, 11
    1. Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spoke in the presence of his brothers and the wealthy men of Samaria and said, "What are these feeble Jews doing? Are they going to restore it for themselves? Can they offer sacrifices? Can they finish in a day? Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burned ones?"    3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was near him and he said, "Even what they are building-- if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!" v 5 b for they have
demoralized the builders. 11 And our enemies said, "They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them, and put a stop to the work."

1. Demoralized by Fear.

John 15:20 a "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you;. . . "
 

D. A Reason May be Your . . Depression. v 12
    " And it came about when the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times,  "They will come up against us from every place where you may turn,"
 

ILLUSTRATION

You know it's going to be a bad day when:

* You wake up face down on the pavement.

* You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.

* Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.

* You wake up to discover that your waterbed broke and then realized you don't have a waterbed.

* You turn on the news and they're showing emergency routes out of the city.

* Your twin sister forgets your birthday.

* Your horn goes off and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.
 

APPLICATION

There are Reasons for Blah Days.
 
 

2.    Remedies for Blah Days. Read Illustration on page 5 

A. A Remedy May Be to . . Renew your Strength. v 21-22
        v 21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. 22 At that time I also said to the people, "Let each man with his servant spend the night within Jerusalem so that they may be a guard for us by night and a laborer by day."

1. A Physical remedy. A physical check up.
 

B. A Remedy May Be to . . Rethink your Strategy. v 13 & 16-18
        v 13 then I stationed {men} in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, the exposed
places, and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows.
6 And it came about from that day on, that half of my servants carried on the work while half of them held the spears, the shields, the bows, and the breastplates; and the captains {were} behind the whole house of Judah. 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took {their} load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each {wore} his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter {stood} near me.

1. An Organizational remedy.
 

C. A Remedy May Be to . . Revive your Spirit. v 4-5. 9
    v 4 Hear, O our God, how we are despised! Return their reproach on their own heads and give them up for plunder in a land of captivity. 5 Do not forgive their iniquity and let not their sin be blotted out before Thee, for they have demoralized the builders. 9 But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.

1. A Spiritual remedy. 2 Tim 1:7
    7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (NAS)
 

D. A Remedy May Be to . . Recount your Successes. v 14-15
        v 14 When I saw {their fear,} I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: "Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses."    15 And it happened when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had frustrated their plan, then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.

1. A Psychological remedy. A check up from the neck up.

ILLUSTRATION
Steve Brown related the story of a British soldier in the First World War who lost heart for the battle and deserted. Trying to reach the coast for a boat to England that night, he ended up wandering in the pitch black night, hopelessly lost. In the darkness he came across what he thought was a signpost. It was so dark that he began to climb the post so that he could read it. As he reached the top of the pole, he struck a match to see and found himself looking squarely into the face of Jesus Christ. He realized that, rather than running into a signpost, he had climbed a roadside crucifix. Brown explained, "Then he remembered the One who had died for him -- who had endured -- who had never turned back. The next morning the soldier was back in the trenches. "
 

Conclusion
Cripple him, and you have a Sir Walter Scott.

Lock him in a prison cell, and you have a John Bunyan.

Bury him in the snows of Valley Forge, and you have a George Washington.

Raise him in abject poverty and you have an Abraham Lincoln.

Strike him down with infantile paralysis, and he becomes Franklin Roosevelt.

Burn him so severely that the doctors say he'll never walk again, and you have a Glenn Cunningham -- who set the world's one mile record in 1934.

Deafen him and you have a Ludwig van Beethoven.

Have him or her born black in a society filled with racial discrimination, and you have a Booker T. Washington, a Marian Anderson, a George Washington Carver.

Call him a slow learner, "retarded," and write him off as uneducable, and you have an Albert Einstein.

As one man summed it up: Life is about 20% in what happens to us and 80% in the way we respond to the events.
 

There are Reasons; and there are Remedies for Blah Days
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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