A Study in Nehemiah: REBUILD THE WALLS


By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte


Nehemiah 3 is an account of each person who worked on the walls. Some men were assigned a section that was close to their home, and some came from far away. Some were priests and sons of priests. Some men’s normal jobs were specialized, such as perfumers and goldsmiths. Some were nobles, and yet, some nobles did not support the project. In all, there were forty-five named men, as well as many un-named persons who performed the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.

Regardless of who they were, where they came from, or what walk of life they represented, all the people had something in common. When Nehemiah put out the call for help, they answered. Each labored on their appointed section of the walls and gates. Can you imagine the scale of undertaking? In Nehemiah’s time, the city was relatively small in comparison as to the size of today’s Jerusalem. However, for men working with hand tools, I am sure the task was daunting indeed.

In chapter four, Nehemiah tells us he had a trumpeter standing near him so he could give direction and sound alarms. This tells us that even with all of the workers listed in Chapter three, they were still spread thin on their own sections. The work was great and the laborers were few.

Matthew 9:35-38 (NASB) stated,  “Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

When I think of Nehemiah and the unbelievable job that lay before him to rebuild what the enemy destroyed. I sometimes feel like him. The tasks God has given me are daunting indeed, but God reminds me that He has compassion for His people, and if I beseech Him for the workers, He will send them. I have to remember that I am not alone, just as Nehemiah was not alone.

God has called all of us to carry on the job He started. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, and we are to work in the fields for they are ripe for the harvest. Thank God we are not alone. He goes before us and is with us.

What can we learn from Nehemiah?

  • People responded from far and wide to Nehemiah’s call for help.
  • No matter what our “normal” job is, there is always something we can do to help.
  • Even if our name is not listed, and we don’t get the recognition for the work. God knows.
  • The task may seem daunting, and the odds stacked against us, but when God calls us to a task, He will make a way.
  • God goes before us. We are not alone.

Even with all of the planning and prayer Nehemiah put into the project, when it came to rebuilding the walls and gates of Jerusalem, Nehemiah needed help. The harvest Jesus spoke of in Matthew 9 35-38 is the same. The harvest is great, the fields are ripe but the workers are few.

What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?

  1. What is God calling me to that seems daunting?
  2. Is there large scale task that is not on your list, yet you feel the tug of the Holy Spirit to respond?.


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