Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They built as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and consecrated it, then as far as the Tower of Hananel. Next to Eliashib the men of Jericho built. And next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.
Also the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. And next to them Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, made repairs. Next to them Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok the son of Baana made repairs. Next to them the Tekoites made repairs; but their nobles did not put their shoulders to the work of their Lord.
Moreover Jehoiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors, with its bolts and bars. And next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite, Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, repaired the residence of the governor of the region beyond the River. Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Also next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; and they fortified Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. And next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, leader of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs in front of his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabniah made repairs.
Malchijah the son of Harim and Hashub the son of Pahath-Moab repaired another section, as well as the Tower of the Ovens. And next to him was Shallum the son of Hallohesh, leader of half the district of Jerusalem; he and his daughters made repairs.
Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it, hung its doors with its bolts and bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Refuse Gate.
Malchijah the son of Rechab, leader of the district of Beth Haccerem, repaired the Refuse Gate; he built it and hung its doors with its bolts and bars.
Shallun the son of Col-Hozeh, leader of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate; he built it, covered it, hung its doors with its bolts and bars, and repaired the wall of the Pool of Shelah by the King’s Garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David. After him Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, leader of half the district of Beth Zur, made repairs as far as the place in front of the tombs of David, to the man-made pool, and as far as the House of the Mighty.
After him the Levites, under Rehum the son of Bani, made repairs. Next to him Hashabiah, leader of half the district of Keilah, made repairs for his district. After him their brethren, under Bavai the son of Henadad, leader of the other half of the district of Keilah, made repairs. And next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, the leader of Mizpah, repaired another section in front of the Ascent to the Armory at the buttress. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai carefully repaired the other section, from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz, repaired another section, from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib.
And after him the priests, the men of the plain, made repairs. After him Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs opposite their house. After them Azariah the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs by his house. After him Binnui the son of Henadad repaired another section, from the house of Azariah to the buttress, even as far as the corner. Palal the son of Uzai made repairs opposite the buttress, and on the tower which projects from the king’s upper house that was by the court of the prison. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh made repairs.
Moreover the Nethinim who dwelt in Ophel made repairs as far as the place in front of the Water Gate toward the east, and on the projecting tower. After them the Tekoites repaired another section, next to the great projecting tower, and as far as the wall of Ophel.
Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. After them Zadok the son of Immer made repairs in front of his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs. After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun, the sixth son of Zalaph, repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah made repairs in front of his dwelling. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs as far as the house of the Nethinim and of the merchants, in front of the Miphkad Gate, and as far as the upper room at the corner. And between the upper room at the corner, as far as the Sheep Gate, the goldsmiths and the merchants made repairs. (Nehemiah 3)
Priests. Goldsmiths. Perfumers. Sons. Daughters. District Leaders. Merchants.
Built the gate. Hung the doors. Laid the beams. Repaired the residence. Repaired the gate. Repaired the wall.
Nehemiah chapter 3 is an example of how God’s people working together in unison can accomplish a daunting task. It took each person… each family… each district… working together, doing their individual parts, to accomplish the work at hand. Each person committed themselves to the work right in front of them. Every sentence of this chapter details people working side by side building up the wall around their city.
The individuals’ professions and backgrounds were not important. What was important was all of the individuals had to learn how to lead, how to follow, and how to work together with one heart and one mind to accomplish the task before them. Nehemiah, following God’s leading, inspired the people of Jerusalem in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem after 100 years of living inside its broken down ruins.
This stands in contrast to most of the leaders of our world today. We see individuals who are more interested in tearing down their enemies than building up the people they have been appointed to lead. Too many individuals are looking to promote themselves and tear down everyone around them. This isn’t the biblical model that we are given.
As individuals, we are each called to build, repair, and restore the environment where God has placed us. There is room for restoration and rebuilding all around us in the world today. Many people have lost hope and find themselves without any forms of positive encouragement in their lives. Think small tasks that touch someone directly. Think about building individual relationships. Think about individuals that you know are struggling right now that could use some positive encouragement. Think about reaching out to individuals that you don’t already have much interaction with on a regular basis.
At work: Ask a co-worker, that you haven’t talked with in a while, how their family is doing. Offer to pick up lunch for a co-worker or bring extra to share with someone.
In your neighborhood: Pick up trash along the street. Take some cookies to your neighbors and ask how they have been doing or if there is anything that they need. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor so they don’t have to go to the store.
In your church: Identify an individual or family that you haven’t talked with in a while and invite them to go to lunch after service next week to catch up with each other. Tell the pastor that you have a few hours one evening or on the weekend and ask if there is a project that you can help out with. Invite friends to the weekly Bible study or monthly luncheon.
In your community: Take a “Thank You” card and some Little Debbie snacks to you local police/sheriff’s station. Volunteer at a food kitchen or other ministry in your community. When you pass someone in a store aisle or on the sidewalk… smile and say “Hello”. That might be the most encouraging word that they hear all day.
Our nation and our families need to be rebuilt, repaired and restored. They both need a solid foundation on which to steady themselves against the constant attacks that are being waged against them. Your not leaving them to fend for themselves. They need strong, biblical encouragement. They need everyone to do their part to build up the walls and the gates to protect against the fiery darts of the enemy that seeks to kill and destroy God’s children.
How have you built, repaired, and restored your community this week? How have you been a light to encourage someone this week? Look for opportunities around you. Ask God to show you how to be a wise master builder… adding to the lives of those that you encounter, like the apostle Paul declared to the Corinthians… According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. (1 Corinthians 3:10)
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)