written by Keith Foster
Nehemiah wasn’t a wall builder as much as he was a team builder. Although he was willing to get his hands dirty to do the work and lead by example, his true strength was exemplifying the characteristics of a good team. As we read through chapter 10 of Nehemiah, the first thing we read are a lot of names, 84 to be exact. In chapter 9 the people had acknowledged that they had fallen away from God and were not obeying His rules for their lives.
The first thing Nehemiah used was COVENANT. The people made a covenant to “…bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God…” It is interesting that this group started at the top with the governor, Nehemiah, then included the priests, the leaders and “the rest of the people…all those who separated themselves…”. It was everyone who claimed to follow God. After the wall was rebuilt, Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the fellowship with God the people lacked. This took COMMITMENT. We all make those commitments to God and then fall away in our weakness, it was no different for those in Nehemiah’s day. Just as they had committed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, they committed to follow God.
To build anything and to be obedient you must be committed. The Way 2 Serve cannot accomplish anything without commitment. Your commitment. What was Nehemiah’s plan to keep that commitment? COMMUNITY. Nehemiah listed 84 people by name that would sign and seal a covenant with him to work together to keep God’s law. Can you list 84 people in your life that you are in deep community with? How about 8 or 4? God gave Nehemiah a burden to rebuild the walls, then Nehemiah used community to accomplish the task. You can’t follow God in isolation no matter how much you are burdened. It is impossible to rebuild our community without “community”. One man cannot do it. One staff cannot do it. Are you in a community that follows Gods law? The Way 2 Serve seeks to join communities of followers to rebuild relationships and “walls” in our physical community.
The next step was to follow Gods COMMANDS. Nehemiah mentions several of the commands. There were commands not to do things, like marry non-believers and trade on the Sabbath. And there were commands to do things, namely to give offerings. God gave this command to see that the business of the “house of God” was supported. Likewise, we should give to see that the “business” of The Way 2 Serve is supported. Your giving is essential. In addition to offerings, the people were called to give a CONTRIBUTION. This differed from an offering. The contributions here are firewood, ground meal, olive oil and other crops. These required physical labor and time to produce and transport to Jerusalem. We should be equally willing to give our time and labor for the work of the Kingdom and rebuilding the walls of our community.
The Way 2 Serve needs all of these things, as well as fervent prayer to be an effective team to rebuild our Jerusalem.