Now that I have your attention, let me reassure you that my blog is NOT about supporting President Trump’s plan to build a wall. This is about a more important wall built thousands of years ago: the wall built by Nehemiah.
This spring semester in my Bible study we dove into the book of Nehemiah. If I’m being totally transparent, before I started the Nehemiah study I had never read Nehemiah nor did I have any idea who he was. After studying this amazing book of the Bible, I have a newfound adoration for Nehemiah and his trust in God.
Nehemiah started out as a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes, which may sound like a lowly position but it still had a lot of significance. It was Nehemiah’s responsibility to taste any wine brought to the king in case it was poisoned. The king had to trust Nehemiah with his very life. This also provided a unique opportunity for Nehemiah to build trust with the king as his confidant. Because Nehemiah had established a good relationship with the king he was able to ask him if he could leave and direct the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem: “And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me” (Nehemiah 2:8).
After gaining approval from the king Nehemiah went on his way to gather a team to do the work of rebuilding the wall. Chapter three describes Nehemiah’s team and paints a beautiful picture of people working together. What makes Nehemiah’s team unique is many of them weren’t trained for the rebuilding of the wall, they simply trusted Nehemiah’s leadership and submitted themselves to the rebuilding of the wall. The diversity of the rebuilding team parallels 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 and how as members of the church we all make up the body of Christ in the church with our different skills.
As the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem was coming to a close Nehemiah faced severe opposition. Regardless of the opposition Nehemiah encouraged his team saying “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14).
Nehemiah continues to lead his team well and doesn’t get distracted even in the midst of more opposition and oppression of the poor. In chapter 6 the rebuilding of the wall is finished! “So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days” (Nehemiah 6:15). After the completion they dedicated the wall, read the Word of God and celebrated “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).Nehemiah is a good example of a godly leader who trusts in the Lord and contains so much depth. I encourage you to read and study the book of Nehemiah because as believers we can learn a lot by the example he set for us.