Nehemiah, the Abraham Lincoln of the Old Testament who exchanged the royal robe for coveralls and got to work for the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. (Max Lucado). He would have continued his job of being a cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, enjoying the air conditioning in the palace when he heard of the burnt and ruined wall. But he chose to get the dirt and be in the heat for the KING OF KINGS. A job which is of much more worth!
Realizing the favor, he had of King Artaxerxes and the King of the universe, he announced that the hand of the Lord was good upon him (Nehemiah 2:18) He declared to the mockers, Tobiah and Sanballat that the God of heaven would prosper the work of their hands and ignited the hearts of his fellowmen to arise and build the broken wall and burnt gates of Jerusalem (vs. 20). These encouraging words of Nehemiah together with his faith, drew more and more people to work towards the building of the wall. Remember your words matter!
We see Nehemiah lists down in detail how individuals pitched in and did the work together under his leadership in Chapter 3.
Neh 3:1Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. Eliashib was the first worker mentioned. He acted as a godly leader should; he was out in front of the work, leading by example. He did not act as if he was too “spiritual” for the hard work of rebuilding the walls. Being a leader, you are looked upon. What you say and do matter! Moreover, the idea behind consecration is to recognize something as special, as uniquely set apart for God’s glory and service. Nehemiah and Eliashib knew that God wanted everything set apart special to Him, including these city walls and gates. As they first did this step, it was a way for them to say, “All of this work belongs to You, LORD. This is a special work done unto You.” This is a great secret to joy and success in life: to do everything as unto the LORD. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)
Made repairs: The word for repairs in Hebrew is chazaq, which is used 35 times in this chapter. It has the idea of strengthening, encouraging, of making something strong (Kidner). These are principles that have an application to far more than material gates and walls. The Bible says that we must be built up and repaired. In Ephesians 4:12, God says the purpose of the church is for the equipping of the saints, and the idea behind equipping is to prepare, strengthen, and make something able to be used. We come together as Christians to strengthen one another, to make us strong and able to live for Jesus and serve Him outside the gatherings of the church.
Neh 3:8,12 Also next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; And next to him was Shallum the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and his daughters made repairs. Rebuilding the wall was not done by experienced skilled labor. Together with Nehemiah the cupbearer joined perfumers, a politician, and his daughters, pastors, and layman. God did not look at their expertise in construction work, but rather their dedication to serve. They were determined to build the wall. The most important ability in the work of the LORD is your availability. God sees that and loves it!
Moreover, they were few ordinary people who were ready to make repairs in front of their own house. The names of these men are interesting (Neh 3:10,23,29,30):
1.Jedaiah- His name means He who calls unto God. Our homes must be places of prayer, where the family calls unto God. 2.Benjamin – means Son of my right hand, speaking of a protector. Our homes must be places of protection and peace. 3.Zadok- means Justice. Our homes must be places of justice and integrity, especially with integrity regarding our marital vows and promises.4.Meshullam- means Devoted. Our homes must be places of devotion and separation to God. (David Guzik)
All of them were not waiting for others to do it neither did they blame anyone else for the ruins. Things that needed to be fixed by themselves, they did it!
A special mention to Malchijah son of Harim: This man is mentioned in Ezra 10:31 as one of the men who was confronted by Ezra for the sin of taking on a pagan wife. That was many years before this, so Malchijah got things right with God and now, years later, he served Him. A believer should never let a past failure get in the way of serving God. Repent, set it right, make a stand for righteousness – and get on serving the LORD.
It does not matter for God- our qualification, gender, or talents. He sees your heart. Issues that need a fix from your end, do it. God honors that step you take today to forgive, pray for those who hurt you, strengthen a weak soul, ultimately you are fixing your own wall of God’s guidance, protection, and joy. So do your best towards His kingdom and His work. Let us arise and build for our King Jesus!