Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of the Hananel. The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them. The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.
. . . The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors. The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. . . . Next to them, repairs were made by men from Gibeon and Mizpah . . .
Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters. . . . Above the Horse Gate, the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house.
This chapter of Nehemiah is almost “boring” and therefore rather tempting to skip over. It is a record of different families and individuals and leaders rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem section by section. It has names that are difficult to pronounce and the passage doesn’t feel “enjoyable” to read! But there are three very important lessons that can help us in our practical living.
First: There is power in unity.
No matter how powerful our God-given vision might be, it will always take a united effort from everyone on the team to accomplish that vision. Nehemiah could not have accomplished the vision of rebuilding the wall if all the leaders and the various officials as well as the “common people” had refused to cooperate and work hard for their common goal.
Unity, needless to say, is vital if anything is to be accomplished by a team. The power of unity is underscored by Jesus’ statement that: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25). This is a most important principle for peace and success in life. It applies to our families, our homes, our businesses, God’s Church, our marriages, as well as our dreams and visions. The havoc Satan causes when a house, family, marriage, business, Church or nation is divided against itself is simply incalculable. Do whatever you can to create true unity by humbling yourself, admitting your faults, and allowing the wisdom of God’s word to prevail in your situation.
Second: Everyone is important:
No one seems to have been left behind. All hands seemed to have been on deck in the rebuilding efforts. Even the High Priest and the Levites played their role as well as a father and his daughters. It was a venture for everyone. Whatever goals or dreams we have, we must remember that different people have varied gifts, abilities and talents. It is in our interest to ensure that all talents are given the opportunity to be involved.
Finally: Some will always feel “too big” to make their hands dirty.
“The next section was repaired by the men of Tekoa, but their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors.”
There will always be people who will either feel too big, too high, too special, too educated, too privileged, too rich or too important to dirty their hands with the task at hand. Some of the biggest companies of today started in garages or basements. Before the “penthouse” offices were built after those companies prospered, there were the “dirty” garage and basement offices. If you are unwilling to dirty your hands in the garage, you might never experience the joys of a penthouse office. Jesus calls us to serve and not to be served. He set that example by washing the feet of His disciples. Never feel too big to dirty your hands. Let nothing be beneath you!
Prayer: Father, I thank you for these valuable lessons. Please help me to incorporate them into my life. Amen.