The Wall Is Repaired Through Unity

Photo by Atypeek Dgn:

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Nehemiah chapter three.

We have been studying the Book of Nehemiah, and how that wonderful Book relates to the Church today. God expects His Church not to languish, but to grow. As the Church we are called to promote the Kingdom of God in this present world. Jesus sent us with a specific commission to tell others about Him and His Gospel, and to be the light of God in this present darkness.

Israel was destroyed because they got away from the Word of God, and started to love themselves more than they loved God.

God sent a series of enemies into Israel – Babylon, Assyria, and Medo-Persia – to punish His people and awaken them from their sinful slumber. The Church in America today is in much the same place. We are a “Post Christian” nation because we as Christians have not stood at our post. Years ago the great Evangelist Dwight L. Moody said:

A great many people have got a false idea about the church. They have got an idea that the church is a place to rest in … to get into a nicely cushioned pew, and contribute to the charities, listen to the minister, and do their share to keep the church out of bankruptcy is all they want. The idea of work for them—actual work in {and through} the church—never enters their minds.”

This is a poor concept of the Church. God calls His Church to work together for His glory. The reason that God gave us ministers:

Ephesians 4:11-13 And {God} gave … apostles; and … prophets; and … evangelists; and … pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting {καταρτισμός katartismós, [pronounced kat-ar-tis-mos’] meaning equipping or maturing} of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect {τέλειος téleios, [pronounced tel’-i-os], complete} man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ

Every member of the Church is called by God to serve God, to glorify God, to be like the Son of God.

A Christian not serving God is an abnormality. There is coming a judgment day for every Christian where we will give an account to Jesus as how we used the Grace He gave us. We are not to be judging our brothers and sisters in Christ, but are to be working together:

Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at naught thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

We are called to judge ourselves, so we will not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). Whether saved or lost, everyone will stand before Jesus and be judged one day. The Christian’s salvation will not be judged, for our salvation was settled at the Cross. But Beloved, God did not give us salvation so we could coast into Heaven. We are called to live for God, to work for God. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Together We Can Fix The Wall

As Nehemiah called on Israel to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, we read:

Nehemiah 2:17-18 … Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that WE be no more a reproach. 18 Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And THEY said, Let us rise up and build. So THEY strengthened their hands for this good work.

Nehemiah wanted Israel to understand that they were in this mess TOGETHER. What you are feeling and suffering is not someone elses’ problem. It’s ALL our problem.

They were all in a mess. The walls of Jerusalem, some two miles long, were totally destroyed. With the walls down the inhabitants of Jerusalem were at the mercy of the criminal element. The Temple could be rebuilt, but it would be easily ransacked by invading unbelievers. So Nehemiah told the people the scope of the problem … and pointed to God as the solution. Nehemiah made sure the people understood that HE did his part, and GOD did His part.

Nehemiah 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel.

Eliashib the high priest” along with the priests of Israel were the first to rise up and build. Eliashib is the grandson of the High Priest Jeshua, who first entered the land with Zerubbabel and Ezra. The name Eliashib actually means “The God of Conversion”. As High Priest, Eliashib rose up to build, and his brother priests followed his example. The words “rose up” is the Hebrewקום ,qum, (pronounced koom), which means “to rouse oneself, to lift up, to approach with excitement”.

They started at “the sheep gate”, an area where sheep were brought into Jerusalem to be sacrificed in the Temple. There is a pool near this market called Bethesda, and around that pool were five porches that overlooked the water. It was here that Jesus met a crippled man that had laid there 38 years, unable to get into the healing waters. Jesus told this man “Rise, take up your bed, and walk” (John 5:8). This is the incident that led to the Pharisees to attacking Jesus because Jesus healed people even on the Sabbath Day. We are told in:

John 5:16-17 … therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

If Eliashib the high priest along with the priests of Israel had not risen up to do their work of repairing the gate and the wall where they did, the Temple would have never been rebuilt.

If the Temple had never been rebuilt, the sick and infirm would have never gathered around the Pool of Bethesda.

If the people had never gathered around the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus would never have revealed His deity and Himself as the Son of God, sent to pay for the sins of the world.

When Eliashib and his fellow priests did their work for God, they had no idea that the area they built on would one day be visited by the Son of God. We do not know how what we do today will be used by God in the future. As God’s priests (and every believer is a priest unto God – for “Christ hath made us Kings and Priests unto God” – Revelation 1:6) we are to rise up in love and work for our Lord. We read:

they sanctified it …

Word Study: They sanctified the gate and the wall that they worked on. This is the Hebrew קָדַשׁ qâdash, {pronounced kaw-dash’}, which means “to hallow, to consecrate, to dedicate to God as sacred”. Though the High Priest did not know how God would use his work and the work of his brethren, he knew that the work was for the glory of God. The Bible says:

Colossians 3:17 (ESV) And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

We serve a Risen Savior. He’s in the world today! I know that He is with me, no matter what men say!” The Priests worked together for the glory of God. Again, Paul encourages us:

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

The “Sheep’s Gate” is where Jesus Christ, “The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) would one day walk. Jesus said:

John 10:7-9 … I am the Door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Commentator and Preacher Harry Ironside saw each of the Gates mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3 as an allegory, or something with a hidden Biblical meaning. I don’t think it’s wrong to see it this way.

In the Old Testament the Jew went to God by the Law, bringing in animal sacrifices through the “Sheep’s Gate”. But because Jesus Christ came through this Sheep’s Gate to Bethesda, and eventually to the Cross, we have the promise that …

Hebrews 10:10 we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Thank God for the Sheep’s Gate. But also thank God for the fish gate.

Nehemiah 3:2-3 And next unto him {the High Priest} builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. 3 But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.

The sons of Hassenaah worked on the fish gate. This was a commercial gate through which fish from the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee entered Jerusalem. Since their name means “thorny” or “prickly” these possibly could have been fishermen. They were, it is certain, hardened workmen. Jesus told us:

Matthew 4:19 … Follow Me, and I will make you “fishers of men”

God used a variety of people to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. In like manner, it takes a variety of people – diverse in education, ability, station, and color – to make up a Church. The Bible says of the Church:

Galatians 3:28 there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Together We Honor God

God brought people from all walks of life together to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. God brings people from all walks of life to build His Church.

Nehemiah 3:4-5 And next unto them repaired Meremoth the son of Urijah, the son of Koz. And next unto them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabeel. And next unto them repaired Zadok the son of Baana. 5 And next unto them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

We may not know these people, but we can identify with them. They were people from all walks of life who loved God and loved one another.

What binds people together?
Love of God, and love for one another.

You see the phrase next unto them repeated over and over throughout Nehemiah chapter three. This is what God expects of His people. Before our Lord Jesus went to the Cross He prayed:

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

When God’s people are in turmoil, fighting among themselves, complaining and self seeking, they are not being good witnesses for Christ. Jesus prayed that His people would be unified in their mission of love toward God and toward one another that the world may believe that Jesus Christ is indeed the Messiah. God’s people are to be distinguished by unity. “God is not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). God’s Kingdom is filled with various gifted and talented people,

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 … there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

If God is in the people, they will be unified in the mission. People are saved by God to love God and love others. We are to …

Ephesians 4:1-6 … walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Not all, however, were working for God. We read:

Nehemiah 3:5 … but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord.

Word Study: Who are the nobles? This is the Hebrew אַדִּיר ʼaddîyr, {pronounced ad-deer}, which means “the powerful, famous, glorious, lordly, godlike”. This was the “privileged class”. Like the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees of Jesus’ day, these people thought themselves too good to get their hands dirty. They felt that they should be waited on, instead of putting their necks to the work of their Lord. God spoke of these people through the Apostle, saying:

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

There are many on the rolls of the Church that pretend to be saved, and pretend to know God, but do not. One day these nobles shall stand before God and give an account for their lives. God help them!

Nehemiah 3:6-11 Moreover the old gate repaired Jehoiada the son of Paseah, and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, and the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. 7 And next unto them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, unto the throne of the governor on this side the river. 8 Next unto him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, of the goldsmiths. Next unto him also repaired Hananiah the son of one of the apothecaries, and they fortified Jerusalem unto the broad wall. 9 And next unto them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of the half part of Jerusalem.

God took note of who worked – and who didn’t! We see at least 7 different vocations of people listed in the building:

1. Priests Nehemiah 3:1
2. Goldsmiths Nehemiah 3:8
3. Apothecaries (druggist) Nehemiah 3:8
4. Rulers Nehemiah 3:9
5. Nethinims (water carriers) Nehemiah 3:26
6. Gate Keepers Nehemiah 3:29
7. Merchants Nehemiah 3:32

I’m not going to go through every name of every person who worked on the walls and gates. But I do want to note some interesting aspects in this section.

People Worked On The Gates And Walls
Nearest Their Homes

Nehemiah 3:10 And next unto them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, even over against his house. And next unto him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabniah.

Nehemiah 3:23 After him repaired Benjamin and Hashub over against their house. After him repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah by his house.

Nehemiah 3:28 From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house.

Nehemiah 3:29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

Nehemiah had people working on the walls and gates nearest their own homes. Why was this smart? First, it was closest to you. They didn’t have to waste time traveling every day, and could start on their project earlier in the day. Second, you will take greater care of the wall nearest your home and your loved ones.

The Enduring Word Commentary brings out an interesting point about the men’s names who made repairs in front of their homes. I quote:

· Nehemiah 3:10 mentions Jedaiah, and his name means “He who calls unto God”. Our homes must be places of prayer, where the family calls unto God.

· Nehemiah 3:23 mentions Benjamin, and his name means “Son of my right hand”, speaking of a protector. Our homes must be places of protection and peace.

· Nehemiah 3:29 mentions Zadok, and his name means “Justice”. Our homes must be places of justice and integrity, especially with integrity regarding our marital vows and promises.

· Nehemiah 3:30 mentions Meshullam, and his name means “Devoted”. Our homes must be places of devotion and separation to God.

What is in our homes will be in our Churches. Let us, as God’s people, realize that rebuilding the walls that have fallen begins by rebuilding the walls in our homes. As goes the home, so goes the Church. As goes the Church, so goes the nation. May God the Holy Spirit light a fire in our hearts to love and serve our God. For the glory of Jesus! Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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