“So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun.” – Nehemiah 6:15.
After Hurricane Michael, many homeowners were faced with the decision to rebuild or start from scratch. Rebuilds are generally much bigger projects so starting over would often be the most economical choice. But sometimes starting over is not an option. Rebuilding the city wall in Biblical times would be a monumental undertaking; they had to first deal with twisted metal from the old gates, burned timber, shattered masonry and other various types of debris had to be cleared. Then the ground had to be leveled and cleaned. It probably would have been far easier to start from scratch.
There are times in our life when we wish we could start over, but are faced instead with rebuilding or remodeling parts of our spiritual life from the foundation that already exists. We may be in a similar place as the Israelites, needing to rebuild a part of our lives. You may need to rebuild a marriage or other relationship that has fallen into disrepair. You may need to rebuild some areas of your spiritual life or restore your connection with God. You may need to either live with your spiritual condition as it is or slowly rebuild that area of your life, one brick at a time.
Nehemiah set out to achieve what God had put on his heart, then he followed through with the hard work to get it done. Even though the project seemed imposing, impractical and nearly impossible, God helped Nehemiah all along the way. God provided Nehemiah with the wisdom, resources, strength, and people to pull it off. Nehemiah followed a series of practical steps to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, steps which you can follow to rebuild the things in your own life that need rebuilding. It involved much prayer, much planning, many people and a fair amount of hard work.
So what can we learn from the story of Nehemiah that can help us when we need to undertake a rebuilding effort? Perhaps the best takeaway from the Nehemiah story is pretty straight forward. Read the directions. Pull out a copy of God’s Word and do what it says. The same directions that helped you to build and maintain the good things you have built to date, will help you rebuild.
This is exactly what Nehemiah did when they finished rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Nehemiah assembled all the people in one place and had Ezra the scribe, along with the Levites, read and explain God’s Word to the people. Nehemiah 8:8 says, “They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.” The same God who helped Nehemiah will help you in your rebuilding project.
- Do you think it is easier to rebuild or start over when rebuilding spiritual walls in our life?
- What can we do this week to start any needed rebuilding efforts?