“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.'”
Last time we looked at the all the people who would need to come together for the work ahead. Today we get a glimpse of what Nehemiah tells these men.
“You can see our adversity: Jerusalem is in decay, its gates were kindled with fire. Come, accompany me and let us rebuild and fortify the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in cherpah – disgrace, shame, contempt.”
The “come, let us” stuck out to me. Especially since this morning I read John 14:23: “We will come and make our home in him.” As Jesus was talking to His disciples about the future, He used a collective we. It reminded me of two Genesis references of “Come, let us”:
Make man in our image (1:26)
Go down and confuse their language (11:7)
Though good Jews would have recited Deuteronomy 6:4 (“The LORD our God, the LORD is one”) regularly, there are plenty of we references in the Old Testament to evidence a Triune God. And this three-in-One Creator lives in perfect unity. What the Father, Son & Spirit do, they do as One. In perfect humility with love eternal.
It seems this loving unity is the birthplace of ours. And Nehemiah rallies his men by speaking a “come, let us” over them.
The nobles, priests, officials and all the rest had been exposed to contempt by the peoples around as a city with no defense against its enemies. It is likely the Jews had attempted before to repair the ruined walls and burned gates, but were attacked before it could be completed. Efforts thwarted and morale low.
Ever been there? Rallied the strength to pick up the tools of repair only to soon lay them right back down in defeat? Me, too. But some things can only happen in community.
What He wants to accomplish during our tenure here requires deep connection to Him and each other. The needs in our world are staggering. But unified prayer, knowing an alive and active Word, loving each other, and the unstoppable Gospel is everything we need to invest.
Come, let us.