1 all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.
2 So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. 3 He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.
If you are unfamiliar with the Book of Nehemiah, I will take just a minute to refresh your memory as I am sure you have heard a bit about this industrious man. Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem—the homeland of his ancestors. He finds broken walls needing repair and broken lives needing the healing Word of the LORD; the people have lost their security and spiritual way. Nehemiah starts his work by rallying the people to unite in order to rebuild the walls. He faces a great deal of opposition during this time of building, but through prayer, perseverance, and sacrifice he keeps the project moving forward for the glory of God. When the walls are rebuilt, Nehemiah gathers the people—men, women, and children—to listen once again to the Book of the Law being read by the priests in order to heal their lives and give them the proper vision for a future in Yahweh’s care.
Believers are called to build God’s Kingdom. Like Nehemiah, if we are determined to build something for God’s glory, we will face opposition and difficulties. We should not be surprised by conflicts or challenges. Instead, we should realize great victories rarely come without troubles. The Word of God keeps us moving with the right vision. In Nehemiah’s many prayers, he confesses the need for God’s help, places the results in God’s hands, reveals trust in God for his own well-being, entrusts justice to God when he is treated wickedly, and sets his motives before the Lord by asking God to take away his temptation to seek revenge. In our world, we can be builders or destroyers. If we are going to continue building God’s righteous Kingdom, we must faithfully pray like our brother, Nehemiah and trust God with the results.
Prayer: Lord, we confess we need your help as we continue to build your Kingdom in this world. We place all things in your hands and we trust you to keep us in your perfect shalom—peace. Justice is yours, so when we are mistreated by others, we will rest in you. Please put a watch over our minds, wills, and emotions; keep our motives right before your holy presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.