Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

In Nehemiah 4, we come to two statements which contain elements of God’s awesome power and soveriegnty, and also elements of our responsibility.  The setting is the rebuilding of the wall and the fierce opposition from the enemies of the Jews.  In verse 9 we read:

And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

And in verse 14:

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to 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 homes.”

What is one of the lessons we can learn from Nehemiah?  Remember that we serve an awesome and powerful God, who is able to save us, protect us, and deliver us from our enemies BUT that doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing.  We pray and we set a guard.  We remember Who God is, and we fight in His strength.

Philippians 2:12-13 states it this way, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”