After reading today’s chapter you realize one thing – there are a lot of gates to rebuild! There’s the sheep gate, the fish gate, the old city gate, the valley gate, the dung gate, the fountain gate, the water gate (sounds kind of familiar, that one), the horse gate, the east gate and the inspection gate. Now, include with that all the walls the go in between all those gates and you’ve got quite a pile of work to do!
Keep in mind these walls and gates have laid in ruin for seventy years! With so much work to do, it’s understandable why no one wanted to take up the task.
So, I’m very impressed with the charisma of Nehi. I realize we don’t have record of the entire conversation when Nehi got finished inspecting the situation and finally came out and told of his intention to rebuild. The thing that struck me is how quickly everyone jumped in to help. Did you get that from reading? It seems like ol’ Nehi says I’m here to rebuild the walls – and everyone just agrees and starts rebuilding. Look at the end of chapter 2:
17 But now I said to them, “You know full well the tragedy of our city. It lies in ruins, and its gates are burned. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and rid ourselves of this disgrace!” 18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.They replied at once, “Good! Let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
How did he get the people who had known of and walked over the actual crumbled walls and gates for seventy years to get excited about all this hard work so quickly?
Well, it took a man with the passion, and a man with the plan. God gave Nehi the inspiration and the opportunity with the King. Nehi simply told what God had done – and the people responded. I tend to think this was less about Nehi, and more about how God chose the right man at the right time. Still, Nehi had to possess the abilities and desires to get the job done – he was wired up for such a time as this.
Now, I feel like I need to mention something else. I normally don’t read anyone else’s emails before I read the chapter, but today I read an email from my friend James who has a great gift of cutting through all the noise and nailing the main point. He made some really good points about today’s chapter, and I want to share (with his permission):
Apparently, Jerusalem had dozens of gates. Their purpose, I assume, was for protection from attackers. My point:The city is only as strong as it’s weakest gate!
Each access point had to be repaired to it’s fullest or the city would be vulnerable. How does this relate to us?
We as men also have gates . . . our eyes, ears, mind etc.
Just like the city of Jerusalem many of our gates are broken in the sense that they are not keeping out harmful influences.
What gates of your life are broken?
What things are getting past the gate and into your life that harmful? TV, movies, thoughts?
What is it going to take to repair the gates of our lives? Accountability, living unplugged?
Yes! This is good stuff, James. Thanks for your insight this morning.
By the way, I found a site with some home photos of a trip to Jerusalem. They’ve identified all the gates and show a photo of how each looks today. Check it out by clicking here.
Think about how to rebuild the gates in your life today. As James points out, we’re only as strong as our weakest gate.
Lord, send the Nehemiah into our lives to inspire us to get off our butts and rebuild what we’ve been stepping over and ignoring for years. -amen