It was a day like any other day when Nehemiah heard about the plight of his fellow Jews. The walls of Jerusalem lay in ruin, and the Jewish people were in captivity because they persisted in worshipping false gods.
In effect, God said, “You like false gods? I’ll send you to idol central: Babylon.” They were captives there for seventy years.
Ultimately King Nebuchadnezzar was replaced by his grandson Belshazzar, who was overthrown. Enter Cyrus and the Medo-Persians. Cyrus allowed the first wave of those in captivity to return to Jerusalem, where Ezra the priest rebuilt the temple.
But the walls of Jerusalem were still in rubble. A lot of time had passed, and the news reached Nehemiah in the king’s court. The ruling king, Artaxerxes, would allow Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem and do something about it.
The walls of a city were important. Obviously, they served as protection, but they were more than that. City walls also served as a symbol. At the gates of the wall, city leaders would meet and make decisions. Or, the elders would meet. The walls mattered.
Walls matter in our lives as well. The walls of faithfulness protect our marriages. The walls of marriage protect the family. And the walls of the family protect the nation. It has been said that a family can survive without a nation, but a nation cannot survive without the family. I think we could take almost every social ill in America today and trace it directly to the breakdown of the family. America needs the family.
How did the people of Israel rebuild the walls? One brick at a time. How do we rebuild our nation? One home at a time. One family at a time. It starts in your home, and it starts in mine.