"'The popular perception of Christianity in America, prior to the last 10 to 15 years, has been that being a Christian meant you were soft—you were considered weak, kind of a pushover,' says Pastor James Trapp of the Atlanta Falcons. 'You’re the guy who was going to turn the other cheek. But you read in the Bible that some of those guys were brash and bold and forceful but still had a heart and a desire for God.'” From an article in Time Magazine entitled “God and Football: the NFL’s Chaplains Give Advice”.
Nehemiah 13:24-25 says: “Half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod or the language of one of the other peoples, and did not know how to speak the language of Judah. I rebuked them and called curses down on them. I beat some of the men and pulled out their hair. I made them take an oath in God's name and said: "You are not to give your daughters in marriage to their sons, nor are you to take their daughters in marriage for your sons or for yourselves.”
Not many sermons are preached from Nehemiah 13. In this chapter we see another side of the passionate “Rebuilder of the Walls of Jerusalem.” Nehemiah lead the wall rebuilding effort in Jerusalem then returned to Babylon. In a short time, he hears of more problems in Jerusalem and he returns to set things right. He returns to do some hair pulling and head slapping.
I agree with Pastor Trappp’s comment on the image of Christian men. We are perceived as wimps and pushovers. Today, the church likes the image of the limped-wrist Jesus, walking in a white robe, never bothering anyone or standing for anything. Yes, in many ways that’s Christian men today. Jesus was not like that. He spoke the truth using God’s word which gave him authority and a presence which was granted respect. The people delighted in Him. Read Mark 12:37—“David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.”
Jesus over turned the tables of the money changers in the temple. He told it like it was (read the Gospels), He was a carpenter who did not use power tools. He was a man’s man yet he carried out his life with authority and grace.
As men, if we lead a limped-wrist, passionless life, it is easy. Note any dead fish can float downstream. If we live this way, no demands are placed on us; no one confronts our mushy nice guy faith. Yes, it’s an easy superficial, disconnected life, and it blunts our influence and witness upon our culture.
In Revelation 19:13-16 it says this regarding Jesus: “He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
NOTE: The Armies of Heaven were following Him; commentators feel that they will be those of us who are believers. Are you ready to ride with the King?
When we consider the passionate and zealous hair pulling and head slapping Nehemiah, I wonder, would he qualify as a church deacon or elder? Oh Nehemiah, you had passion and zeal. I wonder do we have any passion or zeal left.
Look forward; rise up of men of God. Let’s ride with King Jesus.