Read: Nehemiah 2:11-20
And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. (v. 18)
In Nehemiah 1, we read that Nehemiah’s brother Hanani had reported that the exiles were “in great trouble and shame” because the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and the gates were destroyed by fire (see Neh. 1:3). The exiles had been back in the city for more than 90 years, but it felt like they were still on square one. The enormity of the task of rebuilding was intimidating, and the exiles were nearly paralyzed by inaction.
But Nehemiah was not intimidated by the ruins! Without informing the city officials of his purpose, he quietly slipped out during the night to inspect the walls for himself. He saw the debris and destruction, but that didn’t discourage him. Instead, he presented his plans to the Jewish leaders and encouraged them to take on his rebuilding program. When the Jews heard about God’s provision for the work and the permission Nehemiah had received from Artaxerxes, they caught his vision and committed to the work.
We can be intimidated by the things in our own lives that need to be rebuilt. Maybe we long for the restoration of a broken relationship. Or perhaps we are rising from the ruins of a long illness or a failed business. Maybe it’s our relationship with God that needs to be restored. Nehemiah shows us that the right path forward is to begin where you are right now. Strengthen your hands for the good work! —Laura N. Sweet
As you pray, ask for faith and strength to continue your own good work.
About the Author
Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.