Many people today have right beliefs. They would agree that the Bible is the Word of God. They would contend that Jesus is the Son of God. They might even possess great theological knowledge. But they do not necessarily act on what they believe.
Nehemiah was a man of right beliefs and right actions. He put everything on the line to follow God. The task before him was a dangerous and difficult one, but Nehemiah could not rest knowing that the walls of Jerusalem lay in crumbled heaps. As we will see, he was the kind of man who could show the world his faith by his works (see James 2:18).
Nehemiah trusted God enough to praise Him, to pray—and then to get to work rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem.
Read Nehemiah 1. When Nehemiah received news that the walls of Jerusalem were in shambles, he was not the only one with that knowledge. But the reason that we have a book in the Bible bearing Nehemiah's name, and not someone else's, is that Nehemiah alone acted. He trusted God enough to praise Him, to pray—and then to get to work rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem.
Today, we hear about "broken walls"—things that have gone wrong in our culture, in our families, and in our churches—but too often we think that someone else will fix them. Can you imagine if that had been Nehemiah's response?
There are many excuses Nehemiah could have given as to why he was not the man for the job. First, he was in Persia, serving under the king. He was not free to leave. Even asking the king for permission was dangerous. Second, Nehemiah was a cupbearer. As far as we know, he had no experience organizing a great building project like a city's wall construction. And finally, Nehemiah had a lot to lose. He was a wealthy man working for the most powerful man of his day.
But none of these obstacles prevented Nehemiah from following the Lord. Instead of seeing all the possible reasons why someone else should go, he saw the only reason that mattered: God's name should be glorified, but the broken walls of Jerusalem were telling the world another story.
What are the broken-down walls in your life—situations where things are not as God would have them? There may be plenty of reasons why someone else should act rather than you, but there's only one reason that matters: Jesus has called you to follow Him. So praise Him, pray, and then do what you know God is calling you to do.
Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to do what You are calling me to do. Help me to pray and act boldly on behalf of my family, my city, and my nation. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?" (Nehemiah 2:3).