“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:17–18 ESV)
Was it a surprise to anyone that they were in jeopardy because of the disrepair of the wall? No. A city’s wall was an integral part of its defense from outside invasion. It provided safety, security and a place where people could live and prosper without fear. So why hadn’t they rebuilt the wall before now? Perhaps fear, perhaps a lack of leadership or resources, perhaps opposition. But, why rebuild now? Was it because Nehemiah was inspirational or especially gifted. Maybe. It seems more likely that it was because the “hand of my God had been upon me for good” (verse 18). God had appointed the reconstruction for this time and Nehemiah to lead the effort and God’s hand was upon him in this effort. Avoid the risk of running to scripture looking for self-help tips for being a better dad, husband, father, leader or worker. You will find some help for these areas of your life in scripture, but that is not its intent. We need to run to the scriptures to see God, plain and simple. We need to ask God to incline our hearts toward Him and to obey Him (Psalm 119:36, 112). Without a doubt we ought to be better men, husbands, fathers or leader’s, but that is not the end game. The end game is an all satisfying pursuit of God that as our ultimate treasure in life.