Now it came about that when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious and very angry and mocked the Jews. 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 burnt ones?” Nehemiah 4:1-2 (NASB)
When Nehemiah came to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls of the city, he was mocked by Sanballat, the Horonite. Nehemiah 4:2 records the voice of the enemy:
“Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish – stones that are burned?” Nehemiah 4:2 (NKJV)
Today the enemy of the work of God is making the same railing accusations, seeking to discourage and demoralise. Both the rebuilt temple and the walls of the city were constructed with stones that had been burnt during the destruction of the former temple and city. These were the ones that had been through the previous failure and now looked useless for building anything, much less the glorious temple of the Lord or the walls of Jerusalem. But every one of them had a place in the plan of God.
Are you one of the burnt stones? Are you charred and marred, burnt by religion, burnt by failure, burnt by past relationships, burnt by disappointments? Have you been through a work that seemed glorious and pregnant with potential, only to see it end in a terrible disappointment? If so, then you are a prime candidate for the glorious new work that the Lord is doing today. The stones Nehemiah used had been pulled out of position, removed out of the wall of destiny, out of where God has positioned them. They had been through the fire – they had been tested. God’s got a place for burnt stones. His plan is to revive them and restore them, to get them back in position again and give them significance and purpose.
The enemy would have us to believe that it’s useless, it’s hopeless, that all our efforts are in vain. You’re a nobody, you’re rubbish, you’re trash, you’re good for nothing, nobody wants you. You can hear the scorn derision and sarcasm in the comments of Sanballat, “Can they revive the stones from the dusty rubble even the burnt ones?” God’s answer is a resounding yes. The wall was rebuilt with the stones which were burnt.
Maybe today you are thinking, can I ever rise up out of this mess; can I ever find a place where I fit; can God ever use me again? Nehemiah used the burnt and charred stones to fortify a city. Encourage someone today with the good news that God can restore a burnt stone and set it back in its place in the wall of His plan and purpose, and from a charred mess, the embers can be rekindled and become a flame ablaze with His glory.