At the end of the book of Nehemiah, he writes in first person: “Remember me with favor, my God.”
God certainly remembered Nehemiah’s dedication and faithfulness, and we know this because we are still learning about Nehemiah today, and Jerusalem was restored enough for the next so many years. Nehemiah acted where God inspired him, for BOTH the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall and it’s gates to make it a city again around the temple, AND because he also brought about the peoples’ rededication of FAITH. Nehemiah knew God wanted to build faith, not just a wall.
With JOYFUL MUSIC, choirs and musical instruments as prescribed by David the man of God, they transversed the wall and entered the temple. “The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.”
Now, did everyone’s dedication/rededication last? Sadly no, and Nehemiah (chapter 13 when he left and came back) he heard about even the leaders going off-book again, not following God’s prescribed laws and desires for their people, especially not honoring the Sabbath or the distribution of harvest to the temple workers. And this eroding of their dedication caused others to stray.
Nehemiah cleared and purified temple rooms dedicated to God’s service. Once just building up the outside, he restored the inside again and again… sounds like Jesus to our souls! Reinvigorate us with the Holy Spirit, we pray.
We also now know that God still supported the people and lineage as promised to David, so that a remnant of the root of the tree of Jesse (David’s father), would survive and from Judah a Savior was born.
It was clear that Nehemiah cared, and also knew he was “on loan” to tend Jerusalem from working in Persia for the king there. He did not reject his obligations and others in Jerusalem would have had to continue on. We too must remember our earthly commitments all while knowing our true king. And we serve working hard as if for the Lord. Let us let God take care of our situations too…
Let us be rededicated and be THANKFUL. God remembers Nehemiah with favor. God knew to blesd us with Jesus and His Holy Spirit before we were even born. Jesus will come again with a New Jerusalem. Now that’s Restoration Really!!!
Dedication of the Wall of Jerusalem
At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. The musicians also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem—from the villages of the Netophathites, from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the musicians had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem. When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zakkur, the son of Asaph, and his associates—Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani—with musical instruments prescribed by David the man of God. Ezra the teacher of the Law led the procession. At the Fountain Gate they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the site of David’s palace to the Water Gate on the east.
The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people—past the Tower of the Ovens to the Broad Wall, over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials, as well as the priests—Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets— and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah. And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.
At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites. They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the musicians and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon. For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the musicians and the gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.
Nehemiah 13:17-18, when Nehemiah came back… I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them: “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
Remember me for this, my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services.