Pastoral Commentary for Nehemiah 6:15-7:73
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
It's hard to believe that the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem took less than two months to complete. In part, that was due to the fact that the foundations of the walls were intact, but more so, it was due to the effective leadership of Nehemiah, who not only did an excellent job of organizing the work, but was able to motivate large numbers of people to work steadily on the project and to put in long hours in the face of opposition. In addition, Nehemiah was able to keep his own spirits high even when he came under attack from Tobiah and people loyal to him. Not many leaders possess those kinds of qualities. God chose well in selecting Nehemiah for this important project! The first portion of the book of Nehemiah closes with a listing of the names of the exiles that returned from captivity to rebuild and restore Israel. This is essentially the same list that appeared in the book of Ezra, chapter 2. Slightly different numbers and a few different names are easily accounted for by the census being updated and improved after the exiles settled back into their homes and lives in the Promised Land. How good it was of God to bring back His rebellious people, to restore them to their towns and lands after sending them into exile because of their idolatrous practices! God was gracious not only to restore them, but to protect them through the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and to reassure them of His love and presence through the rebuilding of the temple. This was all by the grace of God. And in doing these things, God was preparing them to receive the ultimate sign of His grace, the gift of His Son, the Messiah who would come from the line of David, from the restored nation of Israel.