The Project

Preached by

What would it take to rebuild an entire city from ruins? For the people of Jerusalem, long in exile and shame, restoration seemed an impossible dream. But step by step, through unexpected allies and ordinary acts of service, the broken down walls were raised once more.

In the book of Nehemiah, we see how grief and curiosity, courage and humility worked together towards an extraordinary end. A cupbearer’s question sparked a king’s compassion, and resources were provided. Hands from every walk of life joined in the labor – from goldsmiths to gardeners. Yet the text reminds us that ultimately, it is through the “hand of God” ascending upon ordinary faithfulness that great things are accomplished.

Today we will explore how this unlikely rebuilding project came to pass. We will see how each small stone added to Jerusalem’s foundations was laid through everyday virtues lived out in humble obedience. And we will learn that it is often in our simplest acts of service, done in dependence on God, that walls are mended and communities restored.

  1. God ordinarily works through ordinary acts done by ordinary people. Nehemiah shows how various ordinary people like builders, goldsmiths, priests helped rebuild the walls through their ordinary acts.
  2. The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem represented Israel’s moral and spiritual restoration. It symbolized them being distinct and separate from pagan influences.
  3. Nehemiah details how God used ordinary things like Nehemiah’s grief, the king’s curiosity, Nehemiah’s courageousness in asking, and the humility of ordinary people to accomplish the extraordinary work of rebuilding the walls.
  4. While the people worked hard through ordinary means, the overall success ultimately depended on “the hand of God” being upon them. Their responsibility was faithfulness, and if God blessed it, then they would be fruitful.
  5. The passage encourages believers to take up ordinary acts of service done in humility and dependence on God, trusting that God can accomplish great things through ordinary faithful people and means.

The book of Nehemiah calls us to consider the ordinary ways that God is at work in our world. It invites us to join in through steps of faithful service, however small, trusting that God can take our efforts and multiply them for His glory and the flourishing of His people.

Where do you sense God leading you to rebuild what is broken through kindness, compassion or labor? How might grief over injustice stir you to quiet acts of mercy? In what ways could curiosity about another’s struggle lead to understanding and aid?

Let us go from this place resolved to steep ourselves in humility, asking how we too can lay stones – teaching a child, cleaning a park, listening to a neighbor. For when we join God in His work of restoration one modest act at a time, walls are mended and communities restored beyond what we could achieve alone. May the hand of the Lord be upon us all.


Nehemiah 2, Nehemiah 3

All content is property of Seth Troutt and Redemption Gateway.