God Will Honor It – Part 1
“Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs.” (Nehemiah 3:4 NIV)
Nehemiah had received permission from the Persian king to return to Israel to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, which had lain in ruins since God’s judgment had come upon Judah and the people had been taken captive by the Babylonians. The Persians, who conquered the Babylonians, had issued a decree that allowed the people to return to their land, but everything was in ruins and much rebuilding had to be done. Notice the detail God gives about the people who joined Nehemiah and were willing to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem—names we can’t pronounce, such as Zakkur son of Imri, Meremoth, Meshullam, Zadok, … The list goes on and on.
What good would it have done for the emperor to let Nehemiah go or for Nehemiah to get hold of the lumber he had asked for, if no one had actually gone and done the work? God didn’t speak the walls into existence, nor did he use angels. He used the people to do the work. No one person built the whole wall, but they were doing it together in the name of the Lord, because it was God’s city; it was God’s project. And how did God respond? He said, “Put their names in the Bible. I want the names of everyone who rebuilt the wall, along with their families and their clans. They are to be honored, because they are doing my work.”
That was the Old Testament. In the New Testament, buildings have no importance whatsoever, because God doesn’t dwell in man-made structures. He dwells in every believer, and he has a far more important building project than anything Nehemiah could have envisioned. Jesus is now building his church, and the question is the same: Who’s going to do the work?
To be continued…