The Walls Were Rebuilt!
City walls and gates were very important in Bible times. Walls were built to be several feet thick. They protected a city from its enemies and provided a sense of safety and security. Gates were the center of city life, the meeting place for commercial and social transactions. Without these structures, the surviving remnant of God’s people struggled and was vulnerable to attack.
Nehemiah traveled from Persia to Jerusalem to lead the effort in rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. Nehemiah’s leadership was effective. Nehemiah 3 describes all the people working together to rebuild the gates and walls.
But it wasn’t long before Nehemiah met opposition from local governors who planned to attack God’s people. God’s people armed themselves and kept working. They completed the wall in just 52 days.
Note how their enemies reacted: “All the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God” (Neh. 6:16). Now God’s people were protected from their enemies.
Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem to protect them from their enemies. Jesus came to protect us from our enemies. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to rescue people from sin and death.
Help your family see that God provided the way for us to be protected from our enemies, sin and death. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. When we repent and trust in Jesus, He frees us from sin and death. We still sin, but we are no longer slaves to sin. (See Rom. 6:17-18.) We may die a physical death as a result of sin, but we have eternal life. (See John 11:25-26; Rom. 6:23.)
Some points for Discussion this week:
-For younger children, talk about how God kept his promise by keeping the people safe as they worked together to build the walls! Continue by teaching that Jesus was the best example of someone who obeyed God, and we should be like Jesus!
-For older children, begin by saying that God used Nehemiah to lead His people as they rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls. What are some ways that God can use us today to accomplish his will?
-For students and adults, take some time to read Nehemiah this week and dig a little deeper. It doesn’t take much for us to see that, even when the people obeyed God by building the wall, they neglected other important areas of their lives. It can be very easy to follow God completely with one area of our lives, but forget him in other areas. How can we examine ourselves to see any areas we give God second place? What do we need to do to give him first place?