Rebuilding by Families
Scripture reading for May 10th: Nehemiah 4-5
Nehemiah faced a daunting task! After over 7o years of disrepair, rubble and burned timbers were all that was left of the wall surrounding Jerusalem. I imagine trees might have grown up and time had taken a toll. He had a vision of that wall being rebuilt and shared it with the leaders. They could see it, too, and together they began to work. Evidently, Nehemiah divided the work between families who lived in the area where the wall would protect them. The leaders of these families were put in charge and were responsible for their section of the wall. They found great favor and help from working with those who loved them.
We find all sorts of people helping with this wall. You did not need to be a block or brick layer to work here. We find many common people working together. Goldsmiths and perfume makers worked side by side with rulers and women. (Nehemiah 3:8-12) Priests and Levites worked on the wall as well. (Nehemiah 3:17-22) This was a cooperative project that took everyone’s attention and effort.
There is always opposition when God’s people work together. We find some nobles refusing to work on the wall. (Nehemiah 3:5) Tobiah the Ammonite and Sandballat the Horonite were angry and ridiculed the workers, trying to cause discouragement. (Nehemiah 4:1-3) Some workers did become discouraged and voiced failure. (Nehemiah 4:10) Enemies threatened to attack the workers and some Jews were fearful. (Nehemiah 4:11-12) Satan loves to discourage and cause division. We must always be aware of his devices.
Nehemiah called the workers to prepare to fight as well as to build. He armed some of the family members and posted guards. “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” (Nehemiah 4:14b) This was a good fight of faith and God gave strength and courage to the laborers.
Today we must take this same approach. God wants each family to work together. Each church family is also a unit that must build and fight. There is opposition from the enemy, Satan, and from within from discouragement and criticism. Good leaders encourage the people and focus their efforts on the mission! Victory comes when we work with all our heart! (Nehemiah 4:6)