Nehemiah 2:17-A Calling Faces the Problem
Nehemiah 2:17 Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.
From the moment Nehemiah heard about the destruction of Jerusalems walls in 1:4, he wanted to begin the process of rebuilding them. After months of prayer and planning he spent three days examining the ruins, and then finally shared his challenge with the people.
It’s interesting that nobody had attempted to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem before this time. It obviously needed to be done, because without it, there was no protection from other armies. And lots of time had passed (possibly even years) before Nehemiah heard about its destruction.
While there are many reasons why nobody had tried to rebuild it yet (lack of resources or manpower, not enough planning) it all boiled down to one thing….
Nobody was willing to do anything about it.
The prayer and planning of Nehemiah flowed through the fact that he wasn’t willing to face the problem.
This doesn’t mean he took the problem lightly. We see in this chapter the detailed planning, and thought that went into his rebuilding program. But the immensity of the problem didn’t keep him from fixing it.
Life is filled with problems or challenges that people will look and say “somebody should do something about that.” But of course, they are never that somebody.
Throughout Nehemiah while others say “somebody should do something about that” we can hear him say “I will do something about that.” This personal responsibility is one of the biggest reasons why the wall was built in the first place.
The application to life is obvious…..
We need people who will face (and solve) the big problems
As someone who sometimes struggles with procrastination, the theme of this verse speaks to me personally. Its easy to see a small problem and say “we can deal with that later.” But often that problem keeps being put off over and over, until it becomes a fire-breathing dragon nobody wants to deal with. So you end up ignoring the dragon sized problem instead of dealing with it when the problem was small.
How much simpler to respond like Nehemiah did in 2:17 when it is small
You see the problem….
You know what to do…..
Let’s do it!
Sadly the world is filled with fire-breathing dragon sized problems, and people who (conveniently) don’t notice them. We are called by God’s Grace to point out the dragon, and deal with it in His strength.