Rebuilding the Wall

Key Verse: “I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”
—Nehemiah 2:18

Selected Scripture:
Nehemiah 1:1 – 2:20

NEHEMIAH, WHILE SERVING as cupbearer to King Artaxeres in Persia, inquired as to the well-being of the Jewish remnant who had returned to Jerusalem following their Babylonian exile. When informed of the hardships his brethren were experiencing and the fact that the city walls were broken down, he committed the matter to fasting, mourning, and prayer. He confessed his sins and that of the Israelites, asking God to be merciful to the Jews and also to prosper his desire to speak to the king in an effort to aid his afflicted brethren.—Neh. 1:1-11

The king granted him a leave of absence to rebuild the wall at Jerusalem. He also gave him permission to pass through various provinces en route to Judah, as well as written authorization to receive materials for construction of a fortress near the Temple, the city walls, and building a residence for himself.—chap. 2:1-9

“When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.”—vss. 10

After Nehemiah reached Jerusalem, he took a few men with him at night to survey the ruined state of the city walls to determine what course of action would be best suited to make the needed repairs. This was done under the cover of darkness in order to keep his plans from being revealed.—vss. 12-15

After completing his assessment, Nehemiah determined it was time to share his findings with the various leaders and to exhort them to begin rebuilding the wall. “Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.”—vs. 17

In our Key Verse, Nehemiah properly reminds the leaders of God’s hand in this undertaking, and the officials concurred that they should proceed at once to undertake this task.

“When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”—vss. 19,20

The opposition of Israel’s enemies in this instance is illustrative of the present distress she experiences from her enemies today. Nevertheless, the Scriptures promise a permanent future deliverance of that nation from those who seek her destruction.—Isa. 35:10

Nehemiah’s life of devotion and fervency in prayer should give all Christians confidence that God will answer their prayers in his own due time and in accordance with their best spiritual interests. “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”—I John 5:14

Dawn Bible Students Association
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