Nehemiah 3:1-32

Jerusalem Restoration

There was a reality show called ‘American Restoration’ on History channel.  It was about a family-owned repair shop and the stories of repairing pieces of America’s history and restoring items from the past to workable condition for the clients, giving back an object to its original function and meaning.  This commercialized TV show has done client projects from a few of hours of labor to a couple of hundreds of hours – no comparison to the effort that Nehemiah and his team of workers were doing in Chapter 3 – the walls and the gates for the whole city of Jerusalem.

In chapter 2, Nehemiah surveyed the land and encouraged the people for this grand ‘Jerusalem Restoration’ project.  Chapter 3 listed the workers and their specific areas of rebuilding efforts.  The text seemed less exciting but God gave the significance of this list, making it part of scriptures for us.  A commentary said, “There are three kinds of people in the world – those who don’t know what’s happening, those who watch what’s happening, and those who make things happen.”  Nehemiah, and the teams of workers listed here, were the men who made things happen according to God’s will.

A few things to note in this list of workers and their work:

Clear responsibility and exact coordinates used in the labor of division:  Each team was called out with their designated areas and the repeated use of ‘the next section…’, ‘next to them…’ is to assure there’s no gap of coverage.

Total participation and considerations:  This list is diverse, we see men and women, permanent residents and commuters, not only the priests, but men of various vocations were called for this rebuilding effort.  For the locals, the responsible areas usually were ‘in front of his own house’, or ‘opposite his house’.  This close vicinity showed great considerations and almost ‘hinted’ that this restoration was also a family-oriented, day-to-day project.

How about us and the work that God entrusted in our hand?

While the greatest restoration has been done by our High Priest Jesus Christ, are we living our lives up to its original glory and meaning?  When our names are called up yonder, do we have the assurance that we have given it all to the work of His?

Lord, thank you for remembering these workers of rebuilding your holy city, thank you for giving us this record so that we would know the details of restoration efforts thousands of years later.  Please help us to be motivated and be zealous of your work and take actions when you call us.  In the name of Christ we pray, Amen.           —- Ivy Lin

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