Neh 3 — Rebuilding the Wall
Neh 4 — Opposition to the Work
Thoughts about serving others
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One Reply to “Jul 16 — Nehemiah 3-4”
Chapter three records the work of rebuilding the wall from the Sheep Gate all the way around and back to the room above the Sheep Gate. Nehemiah takes care to honor those who actually did the work. I thought is was interesting that Shallum repaired some of the wall “with the help of his daughters” (Nehemiah 3:12). Last week we did a ton of work with the help of one of our daughters! Alyssa helped with great excitement, though the work was hard, the temperature hot and the humidity stifling, she sought out the opportunity to work with her mom and dad, drove four hours as soon as she could leave work, helped us immeasurably and never complained. Such is the story in chapter three. I’m so thankful to God for his provision, for allowing us to complete our work as a family, though it was exhausting. The work was just last week, but we will retell the story for many years with pride (not the boastful kind). I can only imagine what the Israelites must have felt like.
For years the Israelites were exiled, removed from the promised land and inheritance because of their sins and the sins of their ancestors. Now they’re working together, sweating like crazy, while threatened by those surrounding them. “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other” (4:17). The work was hard, but the joy was greater. Side by side they had a common goal and the progress was swift. In Alabama, we worked for 11 days in the heat, just the three of us, half our family. It was tough, but we grew together, each doing the task we could. We prayed for protection from heat, bugs, thorns and stickers and God provided. He even sent us help from our former church’s youth. Evan, Jackson and Michael came under the leadership of Chappell (high school leader) by direction of Tony (associate pastor) to help us spread pine straw. In a matter of three hours, they distributed over 70 bales of pine straw. I include their names just as Nehemiah chronicled the names to those that helped rebuild the walls around Jerusalem (though their names are easier to read!).
In a tiny way, I understand how Nehemiah must have felt. He heard of the trouble in Jerusalem, asked God for his favor and did the work along with a large contingent of excited followers of God. It’s such an honor and privilege to work as a family, I’m so grateful each time we get to work together. Beyond my wife and children, we have a church family that loves to work together as well. Help me to remember to follow Nehemiah’s pattern: hear the need, pray, do what God says, invite others to help, honor those that do the work, then give God the glory in the end.