Nehemiah Chapter 3
Side by Side
This chapter was a bit hard to read for me. Too many names that I can’t pronounce but it has a very important message.
I feel like the two most important words in this chapter are “next to.” They are repeated over and over again.
They worked side by side. They worked together as neighbors. It says they worked to repair the gates near their homes or districts, so they were a community and they worked together as a community to accomplish God’s plan.
I do believe that there is a bit foreshadowing in this chapter of what is to come. In verse 5, we hear of some nobles who didn’t work, they didn’t get their hands dirty, they didn’t do the work of their Lord.
I wonder if they felt they were too good, too important to do this kind of labor?
I feel like this chapter speaks well to the idea of community. We all live in community – with our family, our neighbors, our friends, and co-workers – but do we actually come together as a community to live and work together?
We see it happen in disaster… floods, hurricanes, fires, illnesses… but shouldn’t we live as a community every day? Shouldn’t we work together in all things? Helping one another out however we are able? Isn’t that the work of our Lord? Isn’t that what we are called to do? In the book of Acts that is exactly what the disciples were about as they worked to spread the gospel. (Acts 4:32-37) They lived in community with one another sharing all they had with each other.
Have you read much about the world wars? Or maybe you were there. Or just that time period or even the time period of the great depression? Neighbors helped neighbors. Times were hard and people tried to help each other but there were those… like in the foreshadowing I mentioned above… that took advantage of the difficult times to give themselves a leg up, to get ahead. We’ll read about that more in Chapter 5.
Now Time To Share
What do you think? How do you feel about living in community? How do you go about it in your everyday life? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!