Chapter 3 “Builders of the Wall”
When I started reading this, I thought why is he just listing who built this wall? I don’t know who any of these people are! Am I supposed to know who Meshulla, son of Berekiah is? It wasn’t until I got to verse 8 that I started to care. “Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.” Wow, a goldsmith and a perfume-maker were working on this massive undertaking. People that don’t seem to have any of the skills necessary to build this wall are in on the project. God didn’t only call the carpenters and craftsmen to be a part of this! No, He is using regular ole people that want to be a part of something great. They are volunteers, simply showing up to be His servants in the rebuilding.
That is fantastic news for you and me! I surely don’t feel like I have any major skills. I can’t speak at a conference, or write a book: what kind of wall could I help build? What I do have is a heart for Jesus and a desire to be used.
If this is your prayer, ask God to put you in a place where you can be His hands and feet. It may simply be at home or at your job. That’s where I am being led right now. There is plenty you can do to further His Kingdom right where you are now.
The next chapter is full of good stuff!! I have so many little points….
“Opposition to Rebuilding” Chapter 4
Right at the start we find people that are upset about the rebuilding of this wall and mocking Nehemiah and the workers for even attempting it. What did Nehemiah do? Pray. That seems to be his response for every situation. He prays, then gets back to work.
“So, we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half of its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” (v6) (emphasis added)
These people are putting everything they have into this wall. It is going to work? Are armies going to come and destroy it again? Are we ever going to finish? I am sure they had these questions in their heads. But that didn’t stop them. They continued to work with all their heart.
When other people started hearing that progress was actually being made on the wall and things we were coming together “they were very angry.” (v7)
Doesn’t it seem like whenever you are trying to do something good and really feel like this is what God wants you to do, someone/something happens to try and destroy it? That is not a coincidence! You better believe that the enemy absolutely plots good work! Anything to further the Kingdom of God he is against. Psalm 37:12 “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them.” Which is exactly why in the following verse Nehemiah, again, prays for God’s protection: “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” (v9)
I particularly loved this next part.
“Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.” (v13)
Nehemiah knew that the lower points and the most exposed were going to be the vulnerable spots for getting attacked. He wanted extra protection to the weaker areas and especially by the families.
Wow. Are we putting extra protection around our weaker areas? Remember, anything working to further the Kingdom of God will get attacked. Are we specifically praying for strength in our marriages and families? As verse 14 says “‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, fight for your brothers, your sons and daughters, your wives and your homes.” We don’t have to be afraid of these things, but we do have to fight for them!
“The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”(19-20)
You may feel alone in your work. You may think like I do sometimes “is this really going to matter?” God promises that this work will be extensive. We will feel spread out like no one cares what we are doing. Is anyone actually going to read this little blog? I am just one person donating $20 to the shelter, that can’t really be doing much. If just one person reads this and becomes encouraged to do something then it was worth it. Think of that one person that can have 3 meals that day in a shelter because of your $20. That may have been the one day that he realizes that he is loved.
Know that “our God will fight for us!”
I would love to hear what spoke to you in these chapters!
Tomorrow’s challenge: Chapters 5 and 6