The Book of Nehemiah begins and ends with faith. Faith, no matter its size, can remove mountains and it can restore broken walls. Take this Journey to learn how to restore your city through prayer and God’s Word.
1These are the people who helped rebuild the wall and gates of Jerusalem: The high priest Eliashib and the other priests rebuilt Sheep Gate and hung its doors….Hananiah the perfume maker rebuilt the section next after that, and it went as far as Broad Wall….12Shallum son of Hallohesh …rebuilt the next section of the wall. Shallum's daughters also worked with him….17The Levites who worked on the next sections of the wall were Rehum son of Bani; Hashabiah, who ruled half of the district of Keilah and did this work for his district;… 27The men from Tekoa rebuilt the next section of the wall, and it was their second section….32The goldsmiths and merchants rebuilt the last section of the wall, which went from the corner room all the way to Sheep Gate. Read More
Nehemiah devotes a whole chapter in which he lists the names of those who helped to rebuild the wall and the gates of the city. For a project as important as this, he creates a virtual “Memorial Wall of Fame.” While we may not recognize the names or even be able to pronounce them, we get the general idea: each person worked side by side encouraged and motivated by a tireless and charismatic leader.
Nobody was above getting their hands dirty. Not the priests, nor those in business. Not the women who wanted to help out. Not the men who oversaw town matters; nor the others whose titles did not get mentioned. Some, having done a first stint, signed up to do an additional job. They started at Sheep Gate, continued in a circle, and ended at Sheep Gate. Each place the wall looped was a worker, diligently building and repairing—united by a common cause—the fortification of the wall.
According to Nehemiah’s list, the work began with the high priest (the church). What do you see as the church’s role in matters of urban renewal? economic revival? social justice?
If your house of worship is not actively engaged in making conditions better for the poor, pray about it, and consider how God might use you to lead an effort, with the blessing of your leadership. Volunteering with a reputable organization in your city is also a viable alternative.
Lord, thank you for giving us different gifts. Let us be mindful that they function best when used in community to benefit others.
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