Despite all the opposition, the wall and gates stood picturesque against the sky. The opposition depressed and defeated: “much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God” (Nehemiah 6:16). Our labors are not in vain; even when the going gets very tough, we must remember God is our strength and the victory is His. The wall was complete; but, there were other tasks that still lay ahead for the nation. Nehemiah named his brother Hanani as governor over Jerusalem; because “he was a faithful man, and feared God.” Now with the wall completed, they turned to other necessary work; because, the infrastructure needed repair. “the city was large and spacious: but, the people in it were few, and the houses were not rebuilt” (Nehemiah 7:4 NKJV).
Before moving forward, Nehemiah did four important things; because, he knew just having the wall would not keep the people safe without rules and regulations guarding them. The people needed an infrastructure built upon rules and regulations established by God, to protect them from heresy. Ever since King Solomon’s inclusion of so many ideologies through his bringing in so many wives from other nations and allowing them to build idolatrous altars to other gods; the nation had waxed and waned. When so many did not truly embrace their own ideologies, the nation had become a melting pot of ideas that turned them away from worshipping the true God. This had led them to not have any national pride; ultimately, leading to captivity instead. There loss of strength and position had begun within; by having so many who did not love the nation nor it’s ideas.
REBUILDING THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF ORDER
As we noted, first Nehemiah placed a governor in place who was a faithful man who revered the Lord. Second, he established rules regarding the wall and the gates. “And I said unto them, ‘Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house’ (Nehemiah 7:3). Nehemiah established law officers and guards to protect the people. For the protection of all, the gates remained closed and barred through the night.
Third, he registered the people. “And my put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people that they might be reckoned by genealogy” (Nehemiah 7:5). It was important to establish a registry to ascertain the people who were there; were so, legally. Some unlawfully requested registration; claiming rights although foreigners. Some were even among the priests. “These sought their listing among those who were registered by genealogy, but it was not found; therefore, they were excluded from the priesthood as defiled” (Nehemiah 7:64 NKJV). Their exclusion was not a point of cruelty; but, rather to protect the people from harm. They desired registration as teachers in Jerusalem; however, they did not love God nor His laws. How could they teach what they did not know.
Then, all the people gathered their money to develop a plan of Rebuilding the infrastructure of their land. The houses, the streets, and the water systems needed rebuilding.
REBUILDING AN INFRASTRUCTURE OF FAITH
Then, “Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding” (Nehemiah 8:2). All 42,360 people gathered to listen as Ezra opened the books of the law to the people. He began with a word of praise to God, and as he opened God’s word, “all the people, stood up; And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground” (Nehemiah 8:6). Imagine the scene! Everyone standing before God with their arms lifted high and their heads bowed low in worship.
Then, as they stood there Ezra began to read to them the law. Suddenly, overwhelmed; they all began to weep. Each one felt the conviction of their own sins, their guilt and shame. Then Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites teaching said unto the people, “this day is holy unto your Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep…Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry: for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:9-10).
Note the charity. Establishing borders, building the wall, setting themselves apart in registering, and worshipping God provided them the ability to be generous and help others. Until they stood firm as a nation, they had not the ability to really be charitable. Not allowing the others in, protecting them; that they could do the greater good through strength; united, one nation under God.
DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.
OR ARE YOU IN OF NEED PRAYER?
Two Newest Books Available
A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy. Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.
WHEN INJUSTICE AND VIOLENCE REIGN:
Through a study of Nahum, Habukkuk, and Zephaniah; I brought their message into our modern times. Answering the questions of “Why, God?”
Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation. With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.
You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.
OTHER RESOURCES AVAILABLE
If you want to know more about other books I have written: You can read more about each one at: Book Resources.
©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.