>I’ve been mulling over a passage from Nehemiah for a week or so now. Several things in Nehemiah stood out to me, but I haven’t been exactly sure how to put the thoughts into words. Even now as I’m reading in Esther, though, the notes I made on Nehemiah are working their way through my heart and mind as God continues to speak to me through them.
The passage in mind right now is found in Nehemiah 3. The whole chapter goes through who was rebuilding which section of the wall, and is essentially a list of names and locations that don’t mean a whole lot to us. What does mean something, though, is the concept behind the work and the workers.
There are several groups of people working on the repairs. We see many residents of Jerusalem repairing sections of the wall right in front of their own homes. There are priests, officials, and residents from all occupations. We also see people from outside of Jerusalem. Workers came in from towns throughout the region to help and work. Some were the officials of the other towns, setting the example to their people to emphasize the importance of the work. Many of their townspeople followed suit, contributing to the work of the repairs.
In verse five we read, “Moreover, next to him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the work of their masters.” In this we find that some felt they were above helping, but their lack of example did not keep others from stepping up and doing what they knew to be right. In fact, the Tekoites are mentioned twice in the chapter, indicating that they didn’t stop with repairing just one section of the wall, but made sure to work until the job was done!
The point of it all is this…there was a job to be done, and once Nehemiah stepped in and started showing how it could be done, people came out of the woodwork to do it! They came from in town, out of town, high society, blue collar society, and everything in between.
We have a job to be done as well. The organizer is none other than the Son of God Himself, and He has outlined a plan for us if we will just follow it. But we’re not just repairing the walls of a defeated city. We’re building a kingdom that has already been deemed victorious and eternal! For some of us, the work is right in front of us. There are people among us who will never move away from where they are right now geographically, but their work right there will be so essential for the building of the kingdom of God. Others will physically travel far and wide to build another section of that same kingdom – missionaries, both short and long-term who build the kingdom worldwide; pastors and their families like us who often move from place to place strengthening and guiding workers as they work on the task before them; employees of various companies or members of the armed forces who are moved geographically but know that wherever they go they are still in the business of building the kingdom. Sometimes we will be working right alongside our leaders. Other times we will be working in spite of those around us who refuse to dig in and get their hands dirty for the work of the Lord. But the truth is, we’re all doing the same job – building the kingdom. We are standing side by side to work.
Can you imagine how the people of Nehemiah’s time felt when they saw their completed project? Can you imagine the pride? Every time Zadok’s kids walked out of their house, they could see the sections of the wall their father had repaired – and perhaps that they had helped with! Every time a worker from a neighboring town travelled to Jerusalem, they could take pride in the fact that the city walls were standing because of their contribution.
What will your contribution be? When we are standing in the midst of the multitude praising our Savior face to face, will there be evidence of your work standing in that crowd? May it be so! May we faithfully keep the work!