I. Leading by Example – Nehemiah 3:1
The high priest and priests were first out of the starting block. They apparently did not have the idea that such work was for “peons.” Rather, those with sacred office took the lead in the restoring work.
II. Unwilling to stick their Necks Out – Nehemiah 3:5
The verse is puzzling, but it seems that there were some from the town of Tekoa, the “nobles,” who refused to assist in the work. Did they think it was beneath them? By contrast, however, the chapter is littered with others who had social and political clout yet who contributed their share to the work (see Neh. 3:9,12,15,19).
III. The Motive of Personal Interest – Nehemiah 3:23,28-30
What do you make of those who carried out repairs “in front of their house”? Well, what’s wrong with it? They would likely perform quality repairs if it were part of the defense near their own home. In 1948, when the Jewish sector of Jerusalem was being slowly strangled by an Arab cordon, there was yet time to get the women and children to the coast, away from besieged Jerusalem.
A Canadian lawyer in charge of provisioning Jewish Jerusalem, refused to allow the evacuation. He reasoned that Jewish men would fight far harder to defend Jerusalem if they knew the lives of their wives and children depended on their bravery. Personal interest can be quite a motivator.
IV. The Passion
There are some who seem marked by special zeal for the work. Shallum’s daughters (Neh. 3:12) even helped him in his section of repair. Maybe Shallum didn’t have sons, but no matter; his girls could do construction.
Meremoth the son of Uriah apparently repaired two sections (Neh. 3:4,21), as did the men of Tekoa (Neh. 3:5,27), even though the latter did have some malcontent’s (Neh. 3:5b). This taking on more than one’s share speaks well for these workers. Happily, such a breed of the Lord’s servants never seems to be totally extinct!
Lessons For little Saints…
What kinds of people helped rebuild the wall?
What kinds of people refused to help?
Why did some people not want to help?
How did they build and prepare for war at the same time?