When Nehemiah brought the Israelites back to Jerusalem from their captivity in Babylon, his intention was to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Actually Zerrubabel brought an earlier group back to rebuilt the city, Nehemiah returned to rebuild the walls, and Ezra’s passion was to rebuild the temple and the worship of the true God. The people in the surrounding communities weren’t real happy about it all because it threatened their lifestyle in many ways. The returning Israelites were always being enticed by the Canaanites that were living in the land and often succumbed to their enticements to forget their purpose in life and adopt the Canaanite culture and lifestyle. The enticements, much like today, seemed to surround family values: sex, marriage, family, children’s training.

The more Nehemiah and his group progressed in the rebuilding of the walls the more the nations around them intensified their efforts to stop them. The Israelites lived with a constant threat from their neighbors. Nehemiah finally had to call his people to action. He said, “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” (Nehemiah 4:14). It seems that our culture is constantly at war with the standards for marriage and family that God has established in His Word. But we must be careful about the rallying cry from the political candidates who will call all the leaders and people of the land to support their agenda based on a platform of “family values.” J. M. Boice, said it well: “…in the current political climate an appeal to ‘family values’ without a corresponding acknowledgment of God’s existence, God’s law, and biblical revelation as a basis for all values will always have a hollow ring and sound purely political and manipulative.”

When the nation was crumbling at the hands of the Babylonian Army, 70 years earlier, Jeremiah did his best to get the eye of the Israelites in order to call them back to true Biblical values. The nation found itself in its predicament because it deserted God’s standard. It’s the same way with us. We’ll find that once we reject God’s standards for the establishment and the maintenance of family values, we’ll be in trouble also. We must put God’s word at the center of our value system if we’re to save ourselves and our children and our families as a whole. Jeremiah’s beautiful cry to the wayward people gives me goose bumps when I think that in many ways our nation has drifted from the sound and unshakable convictions regarding God’s revelation to us, The Bible. Jeremiah cries out to the people of his day and to us in our day in Chapter 22, verse 29. He says, “O Land, Land, Land, hear the word of the Lord!”