The Passage: Nehemiah 3. Additional reading: Nehemiah 2:17-18
The Point: Don’t settle for the status quo.
What made Nehemiah the right man to lead the rebuilding efforts was a holy dissatisfaction with the status quo. “Status quo” is a Latin term meaning “existing state.” We never use that term in a completely positive way. We say things like “break the status quo” or “don’t settle for the status quo.” When we settle for the status quo, we miss opportunities to do something great for Jesus. Christians cannot settle for things as they are. We are on mission ― always pursuing what God has called us to do.
The people of Israel had settled for the status quo. They had grown accustomed to the state of their city. It wasn’t until Nehemiah showed up that the people were motivated to rebuild. They banded together and began the rebuilding efforts. Jerusalem would be a laughingstock no more. Nehemiah would lead them to return Jerusalem to its former glory as Israel’s capital city and God’s favored city. It is referred to as “the joy of all the earth” in Psalm 48:2, and Psalm 87:2 says “…the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.”
God doesn’t settle for things as they are. When we trust in Jesus, God begins the process of transforming us into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18), a process completed only when we join God in eternity. God doesn’t settle, and we shouldn’t either. We know South Florida is 96% unchurched. Broken families, financial ruin, and illegal drugs permeate Palm Beach County. People all around us live in brokenness. We have the greatest message of hope the world has ever heard. How can we settle for the status quo when we look around and see so much brokenness in South Florida? Nehemiah wasn’t satisfied with the status quo because God wasn’t. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo because God isn’t. We must do all we can to reach every resident in South Florida with the gospel.
- What attitude did the Israelites have while building the wall?
- Why do you think the Israelites grew accustomed to living without the protection of the walls?
- Why is it dangerous for Christians to settle for the status quo?
- Are there areas of your walk with Jesus in which you are dissatisfied? If so, what can you do to change them?