Nehemiah 2:20, "Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem."
This morning, people always (especially in this country) go about talking about "their rights." They seem to have the foggy-headed notion that everybody owes them something, and it is their "right" to have whatever they desire. The fact of the matter remains that we are commanded to do "what is right." Of our own merit and accord, we have no rights, for that is a foolish concept when considering the fact that we are all bankrupt sinners. Without the grace of God, we could never claim anything good as ours. But, thanks be unto Him that we have a right to something solely on what He has performed and accomplished.
Here, Sanballat and others seek to undermine what Nehemiah, Ezra, and others are doing. The Lord has blessed them to return home from captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. However, some crafty, wiley reprobates seek to discourage the people of God. Nehemiah answers their railing accusations by saying that this land and city is reserved only for those for whom the Lord has blessed. Nehemiah correctly places the credit where it belongs. They are not there based on their own goodness. They will not fulfill this effort of their own selves. The Lord and He alone is responsible for their release from captivity, desire to build Jerusalem, and restore the glory of the kingdom.
We today are children of Jerusalem. We are told that Jerusalem is the "mother of us all." This Jerusalem is not the one that Nehemiah was rebuilding, but that city is a type of the heavenly Jerusalem that the Lord occupies. Now, this spiritual Jerusalem outshines the natural in every sense. One day, all the children of the King will be walking wholly down her pavements. One day, all the redeemed of grace will behold her Maker and Keeper with their own eyes. However, the Lord also blesses some of the children to see her through an eye of faith while we walk and sojourn here below.
Those that are not the children of the King have no right or portion in this Jerusalem just as Sanballat and others did not back then. But, some children of the King have not the right to enjoy the Lord's blessings here by their stubborn and wicked actions. While all will one day be blessed in heaven, not all are blessed here below to see and look toward that day. An elder once wisely stated, "All the children of God will be in heaven, but not all of the children of God will enjoy the foretaste of it here on earth."
When the Lord blesses us to assemble in His house, we are standing on holy ground as ambassadors and citizens of that country to which we are going. In this period of time, we get glimpses behind the curtain to see our glorious Saviour. We feast at the Lord's table, and His banner over us is love. In all of these things, our right, portion, and memorial can only be traced back to the work of Jesus Christ. This right, portion, and memorial comes from the covenant before time fulfilled on Golgotha's hill. Finally, He will call us all home to be with Him, and no longer will it just be a foretaste. It will be the fullness of the inheritance.