Posts tagged Nehemiah
Nehemiah’s story has always fascinated me. Here’s a guy who has a pretty decent job as cupbearer to the king and he risks it all to ask the king what would normally be an absurd question. He wants to leave his duties as cupbearer and go back rebuild the walls around his city. The crazy thing is, the king says yes!
The crazier thing is that the same kinds of things happen today. People take incredible risks for God and somehow, all logical reasoning aside, God opens doors and softens hearts to accomplish his plans.
However, God doesn’t usually work alone. The brilliant thing about God’s plan for Nehemiah was that it wasn’t really about rebuilding the wall. It was about rebuilding the people.
Nehemiah sets out to rebuild walls, and in the process, he enlists the help of just about every Israelite he can find. Chapter 3 of this book is an incredible example of a community working literally side by side to accomplish God’s plans.
The image that comes to mind is one of an Amish barn-raising – the whole community pitching in on a massive construction project. And the truth is that the Israelites (and the Amish) are giving us a visual representation of how the kingdom of God should really work.
You see, so often, we get sucked into this trap of believing that success in life is about what we accomplish for ourselves. We are taught that independence is the goal, even from an early age. We work most of our lives for individual accomplishments and recognition. But God’s kingdom isn’t about the individual. In fact, in God’s kingdom, the only person to ever actually deserve anything had to give up his life to save the rest of us.
No, God is all about the community. When we come together to do God’s work, the kingdom of God is revealed in the process. Whether building a barn, restoring a city wall, or bringing hope to a community, we do our best work when we come together. And sometimes, rebuilding a wall is just the means to rebuild a community.