Scripture Reading — Nehemiah 1
“The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
—Nehemiah 1:3 —
An ancient city without a wall was wide open to be plundered by thieves or enemies. A city’s walls helped to protect people and their households, as well as the blessings they had been given. Walls provided security.
Nehemiah was grieved when he heard that the exiles who had returned to their homeland were “in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem [was] broken down.” He begged God to change the situation, and God called him to rebuild the walls (Nehemiah 2).
Often today we talk about walls that need to come down: walls of deceit and corruption, walls of racism and favoritism, barriers that prevent people from opportunities that all should be free to enjoy.
But there are also good walls that can protect us from harm and evil influences. In our lives, we need walls to help us guard our hearts so that we can be loyal to our spouse and faithful to our family, friends, and community. Our spiritual lives also need walls to protect our relationship with God. Our walls crumble if sins like unforgiveness, selfishness, compromise, and rebellion take over in our lives.
Do any walls need to be rebuilt in your life? In your family? Your community? Do some walls need to come down, and others go up—so that sin can be cast out and kept out? Ask God for the wisdom to build a life that honors him faithfully.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace. Cleanse us from our sin, and build us up to stand firm in you. For your sake, Amen.