Read Nehemiah 11 -- 12
Ordinary people, although not skilled in building walls, willingly went to work under Nehemiah's leadership and did the best they could to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
Only a few people who left Persia to rebuild Jerusalem lived inside the city's walls. Most of the Jews lived in suburbs where they could grow crops, pasture their animals, and make a living more easily. Because of this, there were not enough people living in Jerusalem to maintain and protect it. The rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell at Jerusalem the Holy City (Nehemiah 11:1). In addition to those chosen by lots, others volunteered to move inside the walled city, and the people blessed all the men, who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem (11:2).
They could now assemble within the rebuilt walls of Jerusalem and worship without fear. At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing (12:27). Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy . . . so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off (12:43).
We again encounter several lists of spiritual leaders to confirm that the priests, Levites, and those serving in the Temple were qualified according to the Law. No one served because of a popular majority vote of the people. Biblically-qualified leadership is just as essential today.
The Israelites' worship demonstrated a commitment to the Lord in their renewed relationship to Him. Though all true Christians love the Lord, not all are willing to give up personal interests and financial security to do what is needed to accomplish His purposes.
It is no less important for followers of Christ to consider "the walls" that may need to be rebuilt in their own lives where worldly interests have broken through and devastated their zeal for the Lord that once stood strong. We are reminded: Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 7:1).
In our Christian walk, we need to be on guard against anything, including good, wholesome activities, which may cause us to divert either our time or money from their usefulness to God and from becoming treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:20).
Upon the return of our Lord, all of us must give an account of how we spent our lives -- and only some will have the joy of hearing Him say: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Matthew 25:21).
Christ Portrayed: Through the priests and Levites who purified (sanctified) themselves, the people, the gates, and the wall (Nehemiah 12:30). Christ, our High Priest, through His more perfect sacrifice, purified His believers (who are the Temple of God) by His Word. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken and by His prayer to the Father: Sanctify them through Your Truth: Your Word is Truth (John 15:3; 17:17).
Word Studies: 11:16 outward business means outside external business; 11:24 was at the king's hand means represented the king; 12:44 that waited means who served, ministered.
Government Official: Sen. John Edwards (NC) · Pray for Youth With A Mission and Ron Boehme · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in memory of Dr. Hash's mother, Iva Ann McElroy · Country: Lithuania (4 million) eastern coast of Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe · Major languages: Lithuanian and Russian · Limited religious freedom · 80% Roman Catholic; 5% Russian Orthodox; 1% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for godly discernment to know His will (Ezekiel 44:23).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:21