Nehemiah 1:1-4, 4:1-6, 6:15
We sometimes think of walls in a negative sense: barriers that divide and separate, or obstacles that work against the cause of unity. Walls can have a positive connotation, too, however. Walls protect and preserve. Take your house for instance: thankfully, it has walls that protect against cold, heat, and rain, as well as thieves and predators.
This was the kind of wall Nehemiah wanted to restore. He had a heart for God’s people, and he was willing to invest his time and sacrifice his comfort for their benefit. Nehemiah’s vision was that the walls of ravaged Jerusalem would be rebuilt so that the people of the Lord would no longer suffer affliction and reproach (Nehemiah 1:3). They would one day have a testimony of victory, and that testimony would begin with him.
Rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls was important to Nehemiah because it symbolized God’s blessings on His people. The restored walls illustrated God’s restoration of the people and of their dignity. Nehemiah’s desire to build revealed his heart: it was hidden deep in a love for the things of God and His people.
Pray: Lord, when I invest myself into my peers and community, I am beginning the process of building a wall of spiritual safety. I am sowing seeds that will one day have an impact I can’t even begin to fathom now. When opposition rears its head, give me the courage to persevere. Help me to remember my sacrifices are the seeds of a powerful testimony.