So far, Nehemiah has been about rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The book begins with the report to Nehemiah, “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are destroyed by fire” (Nehemiah 1:3). Nehemiah is cupbearer to the king, believes he can do something about it, and does. Six chapters later, “the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days” (Nehemiah 6:15). End of story? Hardly. Nehemiah has 13 chapters; we are only half-way there. The wall only got us to the heart of the story, the heart of Nehemiah, which is God and his people.
Chapter 7 begins, “Now when the wall had been built” (Nehemiah 7:1), and the rest of the chapter, the rest of the story, is about a people and their God, because Nehemiah is about God and people, not walls. Walls are monuments of pride built by people who love their own name. Nehemiah wasn’t building a wall, but a city of 42,360 people who love the name of their God. After the wall was built is when the story really begins, “and when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns” (Nehemiah 7:73). Israel had returned home.
Heavenly Father, deep in my heart I know I belong to You. I can sense eternity, that there is more to this life, and that I am more than flesh and blood. You have told me that I am specially made, and I don’t doubt that, because I know my Maker, and You are good. This world is not all there is, and someday all things will be renewed and there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and someday I’m going home. I look forward to that Day.
I live my life today with eternity in mind. I pray my life will be a reflection of that eternity, of You, that I might show You to others. I suffer the pains of this world knowing they are short compared to forever, and that they will end. I walk confident in the sure hope of Your sovereignty, that You are King of kings, that You are my King and my God and my Father forever.